Memorials Using Sound

9-11 Memorial-Competition Submissions-2003-NYC That Never Was-World Trade Center.levine-0019/11 Memorial Competition Entry: Wiktor Szostalo, Poland/United States

The 21st Century is becoming ever more multi-sensory. Some Competition entrants proposed a number of ideas for “powering” memorials with sound. These are only two from a dedicated chapter of the book.

Wiktor Szostalo, a Polish sculptor who works in both Poland and the United States, combines two sound sources in his design – a lower one with pipes topped with another, using wind chimes.

He describes the visitor’s experience on the entry:

“As the wind swirls around, the Windpipes…give out a deep, vibrating mournful sound. As we follow the sound rising…the Symphony of Sorrow is met by a different sound, one…produced by…several thousand wind chimes… A much lighter sound, with overtones of hope.”

“The lighter sound…of the chimes will be symbolic of the victims’ continued existence, be that just in our memory, but also for many, as spirits looking over us bringing hope and peace.”

“Thus the music will become a continuous dialogue, a prayer, a meditation on death and the aftermath, on anger, mourning and hope, and our own place in All of This.”

9-11 Memorial-Competition Submissions-2003-NYC That Never Was-World Trade Center. Levine-0029/11 Memorial Competition Entry: Alison Cornyn, New York City

Alison Cornyn, a New York City interdisciplinary artist who works extensively with many technologies, imagined incorporating sound coming from visitors and delivering it via the then new “hypersonic” technology which directs sound to a small area without being heard around it. She pictured a visitor experiencing it:

It would be a “Chamber of Voices” where one can record and hear personal memorial reactions:

“… to the events of 9/11, the tragic loss of life, the courage of those who risked their lives, the compassion of those near and far, their hopes for the future…”