Friday, September 11, 2015

Crappy Anniversary: 9/11 Au Go-Go

I got knocked offline this morning but no worries, I am back with a rather strange and haunting little soundscape to commemorate some bad shit that happened 14 years ago today. This will be the first time, although probably not the last, where I share some of my own sonic work on this page.
There's no need to go into what happened or what didn't happen and what people believe about it and why. I personally no more buy into the official story of it than I'd believe a six-year-old's tale of being kidnapped by a tribe of militant teddy bears and forced into toy servitude, but I don't exactly sign on to a lot of official stories. That's not what this post is about.
This comes from my time on Berkeley Liberation Radio (formerly the old Free Radio Berkeley, technically the oldest continuously operational pirate station in the world) from 2005 to 2007. It's a live, improvised Radio Film I did on the topic of 9/11/2001, using all manner of original footage of the calamity and megamixed in real time on the air by me on March 21, 2005. Anyone I have ever played it for has claimed to be blown away by it even though it was totally made up on the spot on fairly primitive gear, so I am going to share it today for your auditory inquisition.
Not to make everyone relive the day and its (still ongoing) aftermath of course, but it seemed appropriate and it's been long enough ago that I feel comfortable going for it despite its somewhat controversial and unpleasant content. The basis of it -- kind of the spine that runs through it -- comes from the New York City-specific cable channel NY1, which was only in its infancy when this event happened and which covered the whole thing, of course, top to bottom as it unfolded. 
This is a pretty terrifying and gut-wrenching tape, I am warning you that just like that awful day, it is not necessarily for the faint of heart. I used all original, mostly un-narrated audio footage of firefighters' radios, air traffic personnel, TV and radio reporters onsite as the thing was happening, and various subsequent documentaries where footage was used of original participants from EMTs to police to WTC then-owner Larry Silverstein. There's even some footage of noted conspiracy hyper-loony Alex Jones (and equally-as-notorious war criminal Richard Bruce Cheney), just to grind everyone's gears. I offer no editorial comment other than to say that this is intended as art and not as any sort of concrete opinion or definitive statement about the whole mess. Segments are somewhat perversely titled after Brian Eno's seminal ambient work, Music for Airports.
 Emperor Nobody
Phase 4 Radio
Berkeley Liberation Radio 104.1FM
Oakland, CA

01 introduction by EN
02 1/1
03 1/2

01 2/1

Total time: 2:08:30

EN - tapes, effects, live improvised mix of a pre-FM CD recording

Of course what went on, and what has followed from the unconscionable mayhem and the horrifying slide into surveillance state and national security profiteering, is well documented and wholly up for continued analysis, debate and insight. I won't trouble you with those sorts of editorializations; your understanding of these events, and really any others, depends squarely on your own mind and your own decision-making powers of discernment and inquiry. I only post this in loving memory of everyone who perished 14 years ago today, as an artistic offering and example of some of what I have gotten into over a lifetime of participation in the medium of live radio.--J.

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