WTC: A Multimedia Work in Response to September 11, 2001

Created by Jonathan Zalben

Installation: July 11 to 27, 2006. Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays from 12-2 P.M. and 6-9 P.M.
Performances: Wednesdays July 12, 19, and 26, from 8:30-9:00 P.M. with reception to follow.

The piece is in two movements, one devoted to each tower that fell. Each movement is based on a piece from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. Recordings and transcripts of radio transmissions released by the FDNY on August 12, 2005 are layered into the original music score, consisting of strings and electronics.


As visitors walk through the space, their movements trigger excerpts of the radio transmissions, while transcripts are read over walkie-talkies by live performers. Video footage using images of the World Trade Center, is also projected in the space and responds to the audio through custom computer software. The colors vary with changes in the sound score, and a person’s movement can also trigger changes in the video, such as cueing new images. In the center of the space are two columns of light which recall the memorial each year at the World Trade Center site. When a person enters the light, their image becomes an outline for an American flag revealed in the video projection. The movement captured in the light also serves as the focal point for triggering audio and video clips to be filtered through the computer. In addition to the installation, live performances incorporating dance, recitations, and an ensemble of flute and strings will take place every Wednesday at 8:30 P.M.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information including photos, audio, and video please visit: or

…More after the break…

Supported by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space Program at 15 Nassau.

Performers: Jonathan Zalben•violin, Chris Tignor of Slow Six, Bessie Mcdonough-Thayer•dance, Lisa Bost-Sandberg•flute, Ezra Seltzer•cello, Taylor Krauss•camera, Marshall Jones•laptop

The ensemble will perform from WTC, as well as two other works, Lusitania and Pearl Harbor from The Great Wars. Each piece is the length of the date on which the event happened ( WTC is nine minutes and eleven seconds in length, Lusitania is five minutes and seven seconds and Pearl Harbor is twelve minutes and seven seconds). For these works, instruments are processed live over a tape component, and archival recordings from the events are also projected. In the background is Woodrow Wilson’s Armistice Day Speech, the oldest surviving recording of a radio broadcast. Excerpts also include a WWII war bond film and Roosevelt’s War Address on December 7, 1941.

WTC is made possible by Swing Space, a program of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, generously supported by the September 11th Fund. Space is donated by Silverstein Properties. The installation will also be presented on August 13 from 3-6:30 P.M. with a performance at 6 during HERE Art Center’s American Living Room Festival at 3 Legged Dog, 80 Greenwich St.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: