The downtown music scene after 9/11

I sometimes listen to Radio 3’s Mixing It. Freaky stuff from every corner of music and only occasionally a bit po-faced. This week I stumbled across a web page about their visit to NYC in August 2002. They recorded a one-off programme with members of the downtown music scene, many of whom lived and worked within a few blocks of the WTC – Sonic Youth in Murray Street, Laurie Anderson in Greenwich Street, for instance. The programme is excellent – you can listen to it in Real Audio. Some of the artists interviewed have obviously had their worlds turned upside down by the event. Others do that amazing thing that only artists and egomaniacs can do – coming through a world-changing trauma, worldview, prejudices and ego intact – “yeah. It was a nightmare. And now I’m mostly working with tabla and tape loops…”