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The Stories of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

From: Scott Gurian
Length: 54:57

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A powerful, documentary collage of relatives of September 11th victims describing what they remember from the day of the terrorist attacks and how they came to work for peace.

Peacefultomorrows_small A few months after September 11, 2001, I covered a DC-NY "Walk for Healing and Peace" by several people whose family members were killed in the attacks. I also had the opportunity to sit down with several of them and conduct a series of in-depth, hour-long interviews about their experiences and motivations. What came out of that was undoubtedly the most powerful and emotional material I've ever recorded that, frankly, makes me regret that I've held on to it for so long before having the time to work with it and put something substantial like this together. What I've produced is a 2-part, hour-long documentary that aired on Pacifica radio on the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks. It features the voices of four people whose relatives were killed on that day. Their stories are woven together with a bit of music, as they describe what happened to them on that morning and how they came to commit their lives to working for peace.

Piece Description

A few months after September 11, 2001, I covered a DC-NY "Walk for Healing and Peace" by several people whose family members were killed in the attacks. I also had the opportunity to sit down with several of them and conduct a series of in-depth, hour-long interviews about their experiences and motivations. What came out of that was undoubtedly the most powerful and emotional material I've ever recorded that, frankly, makes me regret that I've held on to it for so long before having the time to work with it and put something substantial like this together. What I've produced is a 2-part, hour-long documentary that aired on Pacifica radio on the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks. It features the voices of four people whose relatives were killed on that day. Their stories are woven together with a bit of music, as they describe what happened to them on that morning and how they came to commit their lives to working for peace.

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Review of The Stories of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

I think it is especially interesting to hear now, two years later, because it really took me back to that time, that feeling of awe and sorrow in the days immediately after the event. I also lost my father this year. So, I really related to the man from Ithaca's flashback stories as well as everyone's grief.

I'm really impressed with how you were able to piece together such a long program with no narration whatsoever. The spare use of music served you well.

I especially loved the first half. The second half hour was also well done, and very, very important. I've been thinking about why it didn't hold my attention as well as the first, and I think it is because the second leans more towards exposition and less towards anecdotal storytelling. In my opinion, if the piece was shorter, the lessons learned in the aftermath would stand out more prominently in the mix.

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Review of The Stories of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

Captivating. Very appropriate application (and removal of) scoring, brilliant editing of the documentary interviews. Most: the overall flow describes a sweep, an arc of emotion and thoughtfulness that can only be described as absolutely human. Too often, shorter news holes cause a preemption of how feelings progress over time. In "Stories of September Eleventh", Scott Gurian is patient, and brings out something deeper. Well worth the wait. Bravo.

[This review refers to the first of two 27-minute segments.]

Broadcast History

Pacifica Radio Ntwk- 09/11/03, 09/12/03
WMBR (Cambridge, MA)- 09/03
WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio- 12/21/03
KPFA (Berkeley, CA) Radio Chronicles

Transcript

original lead
(you'll probably want to replace the beginning with a more timely news hook, perhaps about the progress of the 9/11 Commission, plans for rebuilding the WTC site or recent developments in the "War on Terror"):

As President Bush used the anniversary of September 11th to claim progress in fighting the war on terror and possibly expand it beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, we're going to listen today to the stories of people for whom the terrorist attacks not only provided a life-altering experience but determined their roles as lifelong peacemakers. They're the mothers, wives, sisters and brothers of people who were killed in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and they've formed themselves into a group called September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.

In the months following the attacks, independent radio producer Scott Gurian followed several members of this...
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

The Stories of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

length: 54:57

rundown:
00:00 first half (26:45)
26:46 break with music (1:11)
-------------
27:58 second half (26:11)
54:09 music bed for anouncer back-announce (:48)
54:57 end

Musical Works

"Tea Merchants" by Rachel's
length used- 7:10
"To Rest Near You" by Rachel's
length used- 2:50
"Lloyd's Register" by Rachel's
length used- 2:37
"The Blue-Skinned Whales" by Rachel's
length used- 2:07
all from album- "The Sea and the Bells"
(Quarterstick, 1996)

"3?me Gnossienne" by Eric Satie
length used- 2:45
album- Satie: Piano Works (performed by Daniel Varsano and Philippe Entremont)
(Sony Classical)

(as well as two other songs I haven't yet been able to identify. I believe one may be by Moby and the other may be "Sunday Evening" by John Jarvis.)

Additional Files

Related Website

http://www.peacefultomorrows.org/