Sunday, September 13, 2009

Frequency Band and the 9/11 Commemoration in Boston

The Frequency Band, of which I am co-director with my wife and partner Carol Viera, was very humbled to be asked to play at the Boston 9/11 Commemoration Service held at the State House. What was extra touching for us was the fact that the 9/11 families wanted us back. To me, that says everything. It is a very deep feeling of humanity and service to think we can be a support to their lives in some way through the music.

We started by playing on the lawn in front of the State House for about 15 minutes before the Lt. Governor officially began the ceremony. The pieces we played were: "Onward" from "On With the Battle of Life," "In All Hearts," "Acceptance and Hope" from "On With the Battle of Life," and a new piece I wrote especially for the 9/11 families called "My Love for Thee Will Always Be."

Then the Lt. Governor spoke, after which was the flag raising and lowering to half mast, Taps, the official moment of silence. We were entrusted with breaking the moment of silence, at which point we played "A Prayer for the Dying." Then, there was the reading of the names of the victims read by family members. That is very moving and stirs the emotions in a real and raw way. They were just not names on a page. They were somebody's brother, sister, husband, son, daughter, wife, cousin or in-law.

We played two pieces at the end, while the people were leaving. They were "Unity Born of Humanity" and the ending from "Katrina Contemplation and Wish." All of these pieces, except for "Onward" and "Acceptance and Hope" (which were recorded in 1998 on our "Experiments in Music" CD) were recorded this past January on the CD entitled "Phoenix." I mention this in case people are interested in hearing what music was picked for this solemn and reverent event.

This was not a concert. We believe not all pieces are meant to played at a concert. The pieces we played on this occasion we also have performed in a concert setting (except for "My Love for Thee Will Always Be") but we always prepare the audience in a way that makes them listen beyond "concert ears" or other kinds of judgement, as best as we can. We picked these pieces for this circumstance and the families were very content with our choice and presentation in this very delicate solemn circumstance.

Our hearts go out to the families and we are very touched and filled with thanks that they included us in this so very personal part of their lives.

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