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The beginning of Falling Man paints a haunted picture of the event of 9/11 as one of the main characters, Keith, walks through the chaos of it. The debris and rubble are falling around him as people run past. It is a very chaotic scene. While listening to Steve Reich’s “WTC 9/11,” I was reminded of the beginning. Violins imitate the sound of a phone being off the hook while a prerecorded voice track plays over it. The voices of the air traffic controllers express confusion over the flight path of one of the planes. This parallels Keith’s feelings during this scene. He’s not confused, exactly, but he’s in a trance-like state, just walking through the wreckage.The phone ringing through the first movement of the piece also brings a sense of urgency and wrongness. Usually, when a phone is left off the hook, usually something has happened to the phone or the person behind the phone. This makes the listener feel uncomfortable and goes perfectly with the agitated voices of the air traffic controllers and fire department. ┬áIn this early scene from Falling Man, Keith also hears the fall of the second tower. The prerecorded voices from WTC also describe this event, as if Steve Reich were composing the piece as the events happened.

Here’s the video of the full quartet, though it doesn’t have as good sound quality as the first video:


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