On September 11, 2001 we all know what happened.
Just minutes before the first World Trade Center bombing back in 1993, I was almost there. I spoke to a friend "Shane" and his pregnant wife in the PATH Subway station in front of my company office at around 11:30 am. Sometime on my way to teach a music producing class at NYU, I take the subway train to the World Trade Center, sometimes I take it to the Empire State Building. That morning I went the Empire line, they went the Trade Center line. I was in my class at NYU teaching when the bomb went off. They were in the Trade Center Subway station and were injured with smoke inhalation and were sent to a hospital. That evening when I returned to my office/studio, there was no World Trade Center building in the NYC Skyline! Very Eerie! As a writer, I was moved to write lyrics about my feelings and the original song was 'born". I immediately filed it away with no idea what to do with it. Two years later I scheduled a session with a teen singer to record it with other teen musicians (my 3 nephews) from Buffalo, NY, as a statement on terrorism by teens.A few days before the session the "Oklahoma City" event occurred so I changedone line of the chorus to read "'made Oklahoma Wake" (as in go to funeral wakes.) We proceeded to record and then several associates informed me that Hilary Clinton was looking for forms of media created by young people that related to their feelings on this topic. I called the White House and 5 different White House aids suggested that I send a copy.I did. A few weeks late I received a letter from a "James Dorksind", a special assistant to the President stating that "he greatly appreciates your thoughtfulness in bring your work to his attention". That was all that ever happened with the song. A few days later, hen the president of a record company learned about this unique recognition and asked me to produce a song called 'Spread Peace All Over The World" which was then used by the United Nations for a 50th anniversary event!
thereafter I was asked to write and produce the theme to MTV's "Fight
For Your Rights: Take A Stand Against
Violence" campaign which won an Emmy Award in 1999. Manny of MJ
Medina sang on this song and both Manny & Joy acted on the video
portion. A few months later I was approached to write "We, Are
Drug Free!" for a massive anti-drug rally. I invited MJ Medina
to co-write it with me and Biddy "Q" Valdez. MJ Medina rewrote
the rap section of Take A Stand, and now they perform these songs at
a multitude of performances for children. (Over 50,000 kids to date
have experienced this message via MJ concerts, including those involved
with the amazing "D.A.R.E." Program and "Urban League"
events.) On September 4, 2001, I was given verbal
approval by a large youth education organization to begin working on
a message statement album. Earthquake was one of the 12 songs I proposed.
I Tuesday morning "9/11" I was setting up the studio to re-record
the new version featuring MJ Medina, later that afternoon, after school.
While I was speaking to my father on the phone in the studio about an
aunt who just passed,. The studio overlooks the NYC harbor from the
top 35th floor of a hi-rise in Jersey City, (across from the USA Network,
SciFi Channel, KTU FM 103.5 & Z100), I suddenly heard a strange,
faint crashing sound. I put my dad on hold and peeked out on one of
the balconies and discovered a "small fire" in one of the
World Trade Center towers. I told my Dad I would call him back, I grabbed
a mini DV camera, and unfortunately the rest is horrible history. I
immediately thought about the song 'Earthquake". Being completely
stranded, in complete shock of what I was witnessing and also being
a creative producer, I was intensely driven to modify a few lines of
the song to fit the moment. Never intending to be the lead vocalists
on this, but under the bizarre circumstance, MJ were stranded in school,
I realized that I just had to roll tape and verbalize my statement because
it was what it was and now "is what it is". MJ joined me in
Hoboken the next day (just a few blocks away) and then I proceeded for
one week to capture shots of what I was experiencing. Let's all continue
to hope that this will never happen again.
|©2001 David A Musial|