The Music We Played On Sept. 11, 2001

Toni Ann Costa mourns the victims of the World Trade Center disaster on Sept. 14, 2001.

Toni Ann Costa mourns the victims of the World Trade Center disaster on Sept. 14, 2001. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images

As NPR covered the events of Sept. 11, 2001, it was music that gave listeners time to reflect; to digest the images and the impact. So many letters came to NPR telling us how comforted they were by the music. A few days later, we put together some of those songs for an episode of All Songs Considered, in part to answer some of those letters wondering what we'd played (precise record keeping was impossible), and also to create an aural snapshot that in some small way tried to capture the tone of a nation shaken and changed.

At the time, All Songs Considered was a very young show and looked and sounded very different from now. For one thing, we used to do a lot of slideshows with music and text. This was in the day of dial-up connections, so the quality of the images and audio was pretty rough by today's standards, but hopefully no less affecting.

This is the little slideshow we did after Sept. 11, followed by some of the songs that were played during the live coverage.

Songs From Sept. 11

Cover for Begin Sweet World

Begin Sweet World

  • Artist: Richard Stoltzman
  • Album: Begin Sweet World

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Begin Sweet World
Album
Begin Sweet World
Artist
Richard Stoltzman
Label
RCA

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Cover for Glassworks

Opening

  • Artist: Philip Glass
  • Album: Glassworks

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Song
Glassworks
Album
Glassworks
Artist
Philip Glass
Label
Columbia

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Cover for Fast Cheap and Out of Control

Eternal Future

  • Artist: Caleb Sampson
  • Album: Fast Cheap and Out of Control

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Song
Fast Cheap and Out of Control
Album
Fast Cheap and Out of Control
Artist
Caleb Sampson
Label
Accurate
Released
1997

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Cover for Work in Progress

Smiles and Tears

  • Artist: Edgar Meyer
  • Album: Work in Progress

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Song
Work in Progress
Album
Work in Progress
Artist
Edgar Meyer
Label
MCA

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Cover for 6 Days, 6 Nights

Broken Glass

  • Artist: Michael Nyman
  • Album: 6 Days, 6 Nights

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Song
6 Days, 6 Nights
Album
6 Days, 6 Nights
Artist
Michael Nyman
Label
Virgin
Released
1994

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Cover for Highlights from "Alternatives": A Series of Performances of Soviet Avant Garde Music

Music From Behind The Wall

  • Artist: George Pelecis
  • Album: Highlights from "Alternatives": A Series of Performances of Soviet Avant Garde Music

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Highlights from "Alternatives": A Series of Performances of Soviet Avant Garde Music
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Highlights from "Alternatives": A Series of Performances of Soviet Avant Garde Music
Artist
George Pelecis

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Cover for Lamentation

Hill of Solitude-Valley of Festivity

  • Artist: Tunde Jegede
  • Album: Lamentation

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Lamentation
Album
Lamentation
Artist
Tunde Jegede

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Cover for Work in Progress

Without Express Intention

  • Artist: Edgar Meyer
  • Album: Work in Progress

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Work in Progress
Album
Work in Progress
Artist
Edgar Meyer
Label
MCA

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Cover for By the Dawn's Early Light

Boy About 10

  • Artist: Harold Budd
  • Album: By the Dawn's Early Light

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By the Dawn's Early Light
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By the Dawn's Early Light
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Harold Budd

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