Thursday, September 10, 2009

The September Concert: Approaching 9/11 - Memories and Beyond

"After silence, that which comes nearest
to expressing the inexpressible is music."

This year, whether owing to the passage of time, the changes or responsibilities in my own life, or all of the above, there actually was a period when I realized that the events of 9/11/01 were not weighing on me, a pressing, continuing, painful and disturbing memory, as they had in the past.

Perhaps it was late August when I thought, oh, 9/11 is coming round again. Although, like many New Yorkers, I was personally acquainted with someone who died in the towers, it was in no way a close, personal connection such as those who lost a family member, loved one, or co-worker. But the reality is that for most New Yorkers, among others, 9/11 will remain in our history and collective memories, and -- if we allow it, and pull away the miasma and tissue and movement of time – in our hearts for a long time to come.

Last year, at work, I took a walk at lunchtime, and wandered on a string quartet performing in the plaza in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall. This turned out to be part of a special continuing performance, “The September Concert” which remains a unique, international, shared musical experience of 9/11.

Inspired by the above words of Aldous Huxley, The September Concert was born in 2002 on the first anniversary of 9/11. Since then, on each anniversary The September Concert’s message of peace through music has spread further and further.
In 2008, The September Concert group organized 222 concerts throughout the world with close to 10,000 performers. 46 US cities from coast to coast joined in, including Brooklyn, NY, Oakland, Philadelphia, Santa Barbara, Forth Worth, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

Globally, The September Concert partners with Sister Cities International and all other Global Affiliates helped to spread the event to 33 cities around the globe, in countries ranging from Italy, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, India, Great Britain, Ghana, Germany, Haiti and the Czech Republic.

All concerts adhere to three basic principles:
• * Freedom: All venues and musicians are free to design
and organize their own concerts.
• * Equality: All music and all musicians are treated equally,
regardless of genre or background.
• * Accessibility: All music is offered free of charge.

Brooklyn concerts 2009 include:

Brooklyn Borough Hall: 12 noon , Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra Quartet
Bar 4, 444 7th avenue: 7 PM, pop/rock
Grand Army Plaza- 2:30 PM – 5 PM, Jazz
South Oxford Space, 138 S. Oxford, 8 pm – 11 PM, Jazz, other
Spread Art, 104 Meserole, 8 PM – 11PM, Jazz
Target Community Garden, 931 Bedford, TBA
The Commons @ Metrotech, 12:30 – 2 PM, The Dubs

More Details on Brooklyn venues, click here.
For more information on The September Concerts, including schedules for other boroughs, cities and countries, or information on this organization, and how you can help in the future please click here.

9/11 has been designated by President Obama as a National Day of Prayer, Service and Remembrance. If the spirit moves you, and you wish to connect either with the feelings stirred by that day, or simply connect with the beauty of the human spirit as expressed through music, this is a wonderful way to do it.

"On behalf of all Brooklynites, I salute Haruko Smith and the extraordinary board of directors of The September Concert - who represent some of the world's most brilliant contributors to the field of arts and letters - for their collective effort to create a poignant urban soundtrack from which our sense of peace and brotherhood may be restored...I am grateful to all those present for filling New York City with the sounds of hope and love."

Marty Markowitz,
President of the Borough of Brooklyn
May 2006


--Brooklyn Beat

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Current Reading

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Current Listening

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