Remembering 9/11: Terence Blanchard’s Score


Today (11th September 2021) marks 20 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks which took the lives of 2.977 people (see also this article on people who died from cancer which was directly related to the tragedy). Given this important date, I thought I would pay tribute to all those who suffered and/or died in this tragedy, as well as to all those who fought bravely to save people in the aftermath, by sharing this powerful soundtrack composed by Terence Blanchard for Spike Lee’s film 25th Hour (2002). I consider this film, based on a book by David Benioff, to be the most significant 9/11 feature film. While it does not speak of the tragedy directly, it conveys movingly the 9/11 atmosphere just after the attacks and somehow manages to show collective and individual trauma caused by the tragedy, albeit indirectly and somewhat symbolically. The film contains resonating messages on loss, grief, isolation, confusion, anxiety, missed opportunities and responsibility.


7 thoughts on “Remembering 9/11: Terence Blanchard’s Score

  1. I was born and raised in NYC. Lived there until 2017. Was watching TV coverage when the second plane hit. I did not know any of the people who were killed that day. A friend of my wife’s lost his sister. To this day, I cannot look at video of the event or the immediate aftermath without tearing up. And when I am in NYC, there is at least a passing concern attached to every plane that appears.

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    1. I totally understand and sympathise. I can only imagine what it must have been like for someone who was actually born in NYC and lived there and knew people who lost someone. Though I was not in the US during the attacks, this tragedy did affect me deeply and I feel deep compassion for every one who was involved. This may sound like a very trivial thing to say given the circumstances, but me growing up we had this big painting in our hall of the Twin Towers and I always looked at it going to and coming back from school. Naturally after the tragedy the painting provoked different feelings.

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  2. I was just commenting on a friends blog that I thought about writing something about 9/11 but couldn’t find the words to properly articulate what it all means. I instead chose to commemorate it via a painting by Gerhard Richter. So much has happened in twenty years. It’s scary. 9/11 still in many ways feels like it just happened yesterday.

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    1. Like you used art to express your thoughts and feelings, I used music because I too just could not quite put into words all that I wanted to say. I agree, 20 years have passed, but it does feel like yesterday. America and the world have never been the same since nor do I think they will ever be. I also hope future generations will understand what it all meant and will continue remembering the victims and those who tried to help people. I also think they should understand and remember that alongside immense trauma, suffering and death, there were also instances of unbelievable bravery, self-sacrifice and genuine desire to help others.

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