Awakening at BAM
Marking the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is a fraught enterprise, but the Kronos Quartet’s New York City debut of Awakening: A Musical Meditation on the Anniversary of 9/11, at BAM, seeks to transcend the political noise and offer, instead, what Kronos founder David Harrington describes as, “a musical place that people can inhabit for awhile….that allows the audience to experience what role music might be able to play in this situation that we’re all in together.” The legendary group has crossed the classical-pop divide by collaborating with such diverse talents as Björk and Henryk Górecki, and Awakening continues this eclectic approach, combining 12 compositions from 11 countries, including a work by Einstürzende Neubauten (which will be played with hammers and electric tools), as well as pieces by Terry Riley, Michael Gordon and Aulis Sallinen, among others. Somber moments are to be expected—the musical centerpiece of the performance is Gordon’s The Sad Park, which weaves in recordings of children who were present at ground zero—but the experience ends on literally uplifting notes, as the Brooklyn Youth Chorus performs pieces by Riley and Sallinen that sketch an aural vision of hope, a memorably moving way to mark the anniversary of an event that irrevocably altered the city’s psyche.
Awakening at BAM
For those who plan on attending the September 22 performance, purchase a ticket for a pre-show artist’s talk about Awakening—moderated by NPR’s Brooke Gladstone, the panel will feature Julian Laverdiere, co-creator of the Tribute in Light, Dianne Berkun, artistic director of the BYC and Iranian novelist Porochista Khakpour, author of Sons and Other Flammable Objects, along with David Harrington.
Awakening, A Musical Meditation on the Anniversary of 9/11
Photos: Zoran Orlic