The Music We Played On Sept. 11, 2001

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

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

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
 
Cover for Glassworks

Opening

  • Artist: Philip Glass
  • Album: Glassworks
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  • "Glassworks"
  • Album: Glassworks
  • Artist: Philip Glass
  • Label: Columbia
 
Cover for Fast Cheap and Out of Control

Eternal Future

  • Artist: Caleb Sampson
  • Album: Fast Cheap and Out of Control
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  • "Fast Cheap and Out of Control"
  • Album: Fast Cheap and Out of Control
  • Artist: Caleb Sampson
  • Label: Accurate
  • Released: 1997
 
Cover for Work in Progress

Smiles and Tears

  • Artist: Edgar Meyer
  • Album: Work in Progress
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  • "Work in Progress"
  • Album: Work in Progress
  • Artist: Edgar Meyer
  • Label: MCA
 
Cover for 6 Days, 6 Nights

Broken Glass

  • Artist: Michael Nyman
  • Album: 6 Days, 6 Nights
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  • "6 Days, 6 Nights"
  • Album: 6 Days, 6 Nights
  • Artist: Michael Nyman
  • Label: Virgin
  • Released: 1994
 
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"
  • Album: Highlights from "Alternatives": A Series of Performances of Soviet Avant Garde Music
  • Artist: George Pelecis
 
Cover for Lamentation

Hill of Solitude-Valley of Festivity

  • Artist: Tunde Jegede
  • Album: Lamentation
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  • "Lamentation"
  • Album: Lamentation
  • Artist: Tunde Jegede
 
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
 
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"
  • Album: By the Dawn's Early Light
  • Artist: Harold Budd
 

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