WTC Sonic Memorial Project

Lost and Found Sound: Looking at Life at the World Trade Center

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Charles Traub looks across the water toward the world trade center

Charles Traub Here Is New York hide caption

itoggle caption Here Is New York

Once, the World Trade Center towers were alive with sound: night-shift workers listening to Spanish radio tunes while they cleaned offices, sightseers chattering on the rooftop observation deck, even the strains of The Wedding March when couples said their vows there.


To honor the voices stilled when the towers were destroyed Sept. 11, a team of independent radio producers set out to compile a "sonic memorial" — an audio project commemorating the life and history of the World Trade Center. On All Things Considered, Jay Allison, the curator of the Sonic Memorial Project, shares a sample of the sounds contributed so far.

The memorial was launched as part of the occasional NPR feature Lost and Found Sound. On All Things Considered, Allison asked listeners to contribute voicemail tapes, tourist tapes, recordings of events in the Trade Center plaza.

The Sonic Memorial Project was a collaboration between The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson), Jay Allison, public radio station WNYC, and NPR News. Further stories about the Trade Center were heard later in the year.

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