By Tom Lehman 1:40am, November 20, 2012
Requiem for 9/11 composer Wilson Gault Somers discusses his new compositionA local composer's new work that remembers those who died during the September 11th terrorist attacks through music is set to be performed this weekend.
Composer Wilson Gault Somers his second major work, Requiem for 9/11, pays tribute to the nearly 3,000 people perished in the attacks, including the first-responders who entered the World Trade Center despite life-threatening danger.
"There are reports that as people were going down, these first responders were coming up in the towers and it's said that from the look on their face were that they knew they weren't going to come out alive. That's an incredible thing that needs to be honored," Somers says.
Somers says he drew inspiration for the piece during a visit to Ground Zero in January 2002. He and the ensemble performing the piece rehearsed the performance last night at St. Helena's Church in Wilmington.
"Looking at the space and standing at the viewing platform, the ash from the buildings was still over the gravestones at St. Paul's Chapel right there on Wall Street and it was just apparent to me that there had to be a response," he says.
He says composition draws upon traditional requiem masses and some of the work is performed in Latin. However, it also includes contemporary features, such as audio from radio broadcasts aired during the attacks.
"It brings you right back into the day, we don't need to have any pictures, it's all going to be an aural experience. It's going to take you right back into the day," he says.
The performance incorporates the Bible and the Quran to acknowledge is intended to deliver a message of tolerance and understanding.
Somers says the composition has taken 10 years to be realized, which was one reason why it wasn't performed on decade anniversary of 9/11.
He says the upcoming performance is especially timely after a presidential election as it will help bring unity among Americans.
"We're not a divided states, we're a united States. Well, why is that? We have a commonality in terms of who we are as a people. We celebrate this democracy," he says.
The proceeds from the performance will benefit the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa., which honors the 40 passengers who mounted an assault on the four hijackers that had taken control of the plane to prevent them from reaching their target in Washington, DC.
Requiem for 9/11 will be performed Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Grand Opera House on North Market Street in Wilmington.
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