Episode #1235

Jonathan Franzen and The World Trade Center

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Friday, September 02, 2011

Studio 360 Episode 930, Philippe, Kehinde, DJ Shadow Philippe Petit walks between the two towers of the World Trade Center in 1974 (©2008 JL Blondeau / Polaris)

This week, two stories from the World Trade Center as it once was: Kurt Andersen talks with Philippe Petit about his daring tightrope walk between the towers in 1974, and Stephen Vitiello composes music using the sounds of the building. Plus, the novelist Jonathan Franzen — his epic best-seller about an American family, Freedom, is out in paperback this month. And we consider Georgia O'Keeffe and her paintings of animal skulls as part of our American Icons series.

Philippe Petit, Man On Wire

It had all the glamour, conspiracy, and danger of a classic heist movie, but it was real — and the hero was wearing slippers. Long before 9/11, Philippe Petit’s unauthorized walk on a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers in 1974 transfixed the world ...

Video: Philippe Petit walks between the Twin Towers

Comments [1]

Jonathan Franzen

Ever since Jonathan Franzen wowed the literary world with his 2001 novel The Corrections, he's been hailed as the next great American writer. His latest book Freedom, out in paperback later this month, was another roundly praised bestseller. At this point, Franzen makes it look easy ...

Bonus Track: an extended cut of Kurt and Jonathan Franzen's conversation

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American Icons: Georgia O’keeffe’s Skull Paintings

“The men were all talking about the great American novel, the great American play, ... the great American everything,” said Georgia O’Keeffe. “So I thought ... I’ll make it an American painting ...”

Slideshow: Georgia O'Keeffe's World

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The Sounds of the World Trade Center

Stephen Vitiello is a composer and sound artist. In 1999, he worked in a studio on the 91st floor of the World Trade Center. For six months he recorded the noises of the building and its surroundings. At first, he’d hoped to capture the sounds outside his window — turns out, it wouldn’t open ...

Comment

Artists Respond to 9/11: More of Your Suggestions

The 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks is approaching, and Studio 360 is putting together a list of the best books, music, movies, and other works of art that have responded to those events. And we want to know what you think should be highlighted ...

Video: Part I of Simon Armitage’s “911: Out of the Blue” performed by Rufus Sewell

Comments [10]

Comments [5]

Timothy Brien from Chicago WBEZ

I have 2 memories, one, my students in my intro to theater class coming to my apartment and looking to the old grad student who had been in the military to give them some wisdom, I told them that what they knew as America ended that day. My next memory was that we had 2 guest actors come in from New York talking about theater and taking about life in New York, one actor stopped half way through and talked about everytime he came home to the city and saw the twin towers he felt like he was home, at this he broke down. I feel the same way about my hometown Chicago, mmany of my students have written and created pieces about what happened those days and it is my hope that they can feel some type of hope through these ten insane years.

Sep. 04 2011 11:36 PM
Steve Farrow from Newport, VT

What a great radio program you make.
I would like to submit music selections commemorating September 11th. I feel that Lucy Kaplansky's amazing album, The Red Thread, is worthy of mention. In particular are the songs "Love Song / New York" and "Land of the Living" as well as "Brooklyn Train".
Also noteworthy is George Winston's entire tribute album, Rememberance.
Thank you,
Steve Farrow

Sep. 04 2011 07:41 PM
Sally Strachan

One of the most memorable images for me coming out of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York are the two massive blue light streams that quietly, coolly, and ephemerally light the NY night. My breath is literally taken away each time I see these beams.

Sep. 04 2011 01:18 PM
L. W. Sanderson

My favorite film dealing with the 9/11 tragedy is called "Brothers" done by the son of my friend Bill McGinly. One of his three sons died in the first building, and one of his brothers made the film.
Bill can be reached at Bill@ahp.org

Sep. 03 2011 03:26 PM
PatitaC from Westside, KCMO

What I most remember, directly following 9/11, was the silence of artists. This was totally appropriate, too, as the event was utterly tragic, and any response would likely have been seen as exploitative. This appropriate silence was one of the most profound experiences of my life--to know in one's heart that nothing could really be added in that moment except tears and grief. It made me delve very deeply into what the creation of art means to me, and what its purpose is, and why profound art requires patient development and time and maturity and a sense of connection to all that is, to produce it well.

Sep. 02 2011 11:48 AM

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