Music from Ground Zero

No Music from Ground Zero this year – 44 Lights Tribute

As many of you may know, Hoboken resident Tim Tuttle created a non-profit music venture called Music From Ground Zero many years ago – which paid tribute to the losses on 9/11 for over a decade since. However, this year – the tribute will not happen. As Tim says:

“Friends and Family,

We will not perform “Music From Ground Zero” this year on September 11th. Unfortunately, a live musical memorial just wasn’t possible. It was a beautiful run. I made a website to stay as close to downtown NYC as possible: Please listen. And NEVER forget. Thank you for all the support and love over the years. It made all the difference.”

Below is the 44 Lights presentation for your convenience:

411 Note: Tributes like this fit the bill. To allow people to view them on their own time, and reflect on days past. Do you think organized public displays, memorial events and speeches every single year should eventually stop? Do some of you see them as publicity opportunities for politicians and other attention-seekers? Does regular “scheduled group sorrow” really help heal? Or is healing more an individual characteristic?

10th Annual 9/11 Musical Memorial

9/7/2011 Update: Hoboken resident (and dog owner) Tim Tuttle has been expressing his memories of September 11, 2001 through the sound of music for nearly a decade.

And from 6-9pm tomorrow night at The Mercury Lounge in NYC (Lower East Side – map) – you can catch the 10th Annual Musical Memorial dedicated to the victims of 9/11. Tim and his band “Music from Ground Zero” (or MFGZ) will play again in dedication to his friends who didn’t make it out alive.

Here are some songs for you to sample: (click song title to listen)

And here is Tim’s Story:

Letter to the World (7/18/2005)

September 11, 2001 changed our lives forever. The senseless attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City destroyed the dreams of thousands of families here in the United States and throughout the entire world. For those of us who witnessed the destruction firsthand in downtown Manhattan that fateful day it left an indelible impression in our minds that will never go away. It broke our hearts. Many of us lost friends and former co-workers. The most affected lost family members. We can try and share their pain but we will never fully understand their loss.

This musical website is my story of what I saw and felt that day just across the street from the WTC. My emotions during and after 9/11 have been conflicting. The natural ebb and flow of astonishment, grief, anger, disillusionment and acceptance has occurred. The days have moved forward with most of us in lower NYC getting back to work and the city and State attempting to figure out how to rebuild Ground Zero. The folks down here have tried to move on. Visitors look into the pit and take pictures but the locals walk quickly past the site trying their best not to relive the horrors that took place almost four years ago.

I wanted to translate my feelings into music. I wrote the lyrics to my first song on the ferry as I moved slowly across the Hudson river late that afternoon on 9/11. Very few were speaking then. Mostly we just stared at the rubble and the smoke. It was hell on earth. Confusion reigned. It took me nearly 9 hours to get to Hoboken. But at least I did. Many of my neighbors did not. Blessed perhaps? Maybe just lucky. Does it really matter? I wanted to record that song to play for friends when we got together hoping they might understand better through my music than what could ever be described in words. That simple tune morphed into 25 more as this project began to flourish with the help of several great musicians. With my friend Jeremy “ Music from Ground Zero” began to grow into something real, something almost spiritual . The music became my therapy and became my history of the most important day in my life (along with my marriage) and probably the most significant in modern America. It also became a way for me to honor the 35 guys I knew personally at the WTC that day whose lives were cut short so heinously.

This is a CD filled with pain, sadness, hope, celebration and fond memories of better days. It’s filled with songs for fallen heroes and for lost friends. It’s filled with the possibility of brighter days ahead. It’s not about politics nor about religion. I do hope somehow that our fine service people around the world can listen to it and maybe get a little closer to Ground Zero. Closer to what one man saw that day. As they defend us around the globe they should always know that we are thinking of them and wishing for a safe return. Perhaps these songs might just help bring them a tiny bit closer to what they are defending. We thank them profusely for their sacrifices.

This project is a nonprofit venture. We do a show each year at Ground Zero on (or around) 9/11 at Tribeca Rock (6 blocks from GZ). We sell a few tee shirts and hats (and even an occasional CD) so that I can pay the band a few bucks for performing and even buy them some dinner. To date I have put in hundreds of hours in the studio and over thirty five thousand dollars of my own money to bring this project to reality. It’s been a labor of love and can only hope that MGZ brings a few of you a bit closer to my world in NYC. If it eases just one persons pain who has lost someone in their life then I have succeeded somehow. Everyone who prays for a peaceful world and for tolerance is inextricably linked to Ground Zero. Every American – no, every caring person on this planet– has a connection. I hope this helps in some small but meaningful way. It is my small contribution to a world filled with chaos.

I want to thank Jeremy and Rich without whom there would never be any “Music from Ground Zero”. Their inspiration and amazing talent have made my musical dreams come true.

And to my wife Barbara – thanks for ALWAYS being there. You waited all day on 9/11 for me not knowing when I would return. These songs are as much you as they are me.

I am left with a simple quote from Anne Frank, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”.

We will never forget.

Tim Tuttle – New York City – July 18, 2005

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2 Comments on "Music from Ground Zero"

7 years 1 month ago

I know it’s tough to get into the city on a thursday night for a 9/11 event but this is a special evening of remembrance and hope–all in an Irish wake rock genre– we’ve been doing it for 8 years now and it has raised money for charity and provided a really cool evening to honor lost friends. Wud LOVE to see you all ! Peace, TT ( And I assure you it is NOT political!)

5 years 1 month ago

Tim, this is a really incredible thing to do and I appreciate the thoughts you shared about about the impact 9/11 has had on you (and us all). Best of luck with the show – one of these years I hope to make it there.[quote comment=”170975″]I know it’s tough to get into the city on a thursday night for a 9/11 event but this is a special evening of remembrance and hope–all in an Irish wake rock genre– we’ve been doing it for 8 years now and it has raised money for charity and provided a really cool evening to honor lost friends. Wud LOVE to see you all ! Peace, TT ( And I assure you it is NOT political!)[/quote]