The haunting choral piece “On The Transmigration Of Souls”, by John Adams, commissioned in the immediate wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 as a tribute to the victims and those who were left behind.
Performed here by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
In an interview Adams explained: “I want to avoid words like ‘requiem’ or ‘memorial’ when describing this piece because they too easily suggest conventions that this piece doesn’t share. If pressed, I’d probably call the piece a ‘memory space.’ It’s a place where you can go and be alone with your thoughts and emotions. The link to a particular historical event – in this case to 9/11 – is there if you want to contemplate it. But I hope that the piece will summon human experience that goes beyond this particular event.”
The title itself carries a certain heaviness of thought and meaning. According to Adams, “Transmigration means ‘the movement from one place to another’ or ‘the transition from one state of being to another.’ But in this case I meant it to imply the movement of the soul from one state to another. And I don’t just mean the transition from living to dead, but also the change that takes place within the souls of those that stay behind, of those who suffer pain and loss and then themselves come away from that experience.”
I was present at the world premiere performance by the NYPO at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, in 2002. A very moving experience.
Today, the 10th of May 2013, the spire was added to the top of One World Trade Center, bringing the building to a symbolic height of 1,776 feet and making it the tallest structure in the western hemisphere.
The silver spire topping One World Trade Center on Friday was fully installed on the building’s roof, bringing the structure to its full, symbolic height of 1,776 feet.
Loud applause and cries of joy erupted from assembled construction workers as the spire was gently lowered and secured into place.
“It’s a pretty awesome feeling,” said project manager Juan Estevez from a temporary platform on the roof of the tower where he and other workers watched the milestone.
“It’s a culmination of a tremendous amount of team work … rebuilding the New York City skyline once again.”
And this is how not to do it:
This is Fox News talking head (and supposed token liberal) Bob Beckel cowering like – well, a pathetic coward – and arguing that all foreign student visas for muslim students in the United States should be revoked, and no new visas issued for a period of five years, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing.
It’s not clear from Beckel’s “sober and solemn” pronouncement whether he means to target anyone from outside the US who self-identifies as a muslim, or students from predominantly muslim countries (whether they self-identify as muslims or not), or through some other method of profiling. Probably because he hadn’t thought it through before going on live television and acting the part of a terrified little girl in the face of a lone act of terrorism.
So there we go. One case study in how to face up to and defeat terrorism, and another in how to cower in the face of terror.