Sunday, September 11, 2011

On 9/11/11 Remembering the Heart of New York

On this sad day of remembrance, I would like to share with you a video, just released, which features a song called "The Heart of New York" by recording artist John Watts, with animation provided by his daughter, Leila Watts.  The song and video are sensitive and moving, and here is what John has written about it over on YouTube:

'The Heart of New York' was originally a song inspired by the eloquent way in which the victims of September 11 were able to communicate to their loved ones on the phone, under those terrible circumstances - simply beautiful human communication. My daughter Leila animated those words to accompany the music. I was very interested in the idea that some of the lasting legacy should be sentences and sentiments and words, rather than images of disaster. The wonders of human nature were demonstrated to me by such clear and dignified expressions of love in adversity. The animation is mine and Leila's tribute to the victims and their relatives and friends.

Actually, it would be best if you saw it on YouTube, because then it would count as a view, and maybe it can go viral--here's the link:  

But of course, you can also view it here (and then go watch it again on YouTube):

In contrast to the spectacular and sensational videos of the planes hitting the twin towers, and their subsequent collapse, "The Heart of New York" provides an intimate portrait, on a human scale, of the tragedy, based on the personal medium of the cell phone, and utilizing the less visceral visual motif of the alphabet.  

The song alludes to the longstanding promotion of New York:  I Love New York and I New York:

And the song reminds us that the true heart of New York is not to be found in any advertising campaign, or in any building or monument.  

The heart of New York is the people.  That became so very apparent in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and it has been crystal clear ever since.  And I want to say, thank you John, for reminding us of that.

John Watts is a recording artist with 20+ albums under his belt going back to the 80s with the band Fischer-Z, and then solo.  Some of you may remember that he joined us for the 2009 IGS conference, and treated us to an outstanding one-man performance.

Simply put, John is a great guy whose work deserves more recognition than it gets, and this video especially ought to be seen far and wide.  If you can, please let others know about it.

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