Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Music as a universal language

This weekend I was part of putting on a conference entitled BlogHer. (About women and blogging natch.)

At one point I was sitting with another blogger and somehow the topic of 9/11 came up. Surprising how often 9/11 still comes up in conversations. How often people still end up comparing notes.

Well, as it turned out I was in NYC on business that week (I told my whole 9/11 story on my Personal blog this past September day by day by day), and while she lived in Boston at the time, she had plans (and kept them) to go to NYC the weekend after 9/11.

She told me a story: she was into this hard-core industrial trance dance scene at the time and they used to go to a club mainly frequented by Israelis. The Saturday after 9/11 the scheduled DJ was a Palestinian Muslim, and the atmosphere was a little strained as people wondered how he and the crowd would handle it. But he threw on a version of John Lennon's Give Peace a Chance and the crowd lit their lighters swayed, cried, and sang along, and felt like one world.

I, on the other hand, decided to show my support by going to the theatre the first night Broadway went live again, Thursday night. I decided to stand on the cancellations line for that season's impossible ticket, The Producers. At the end of the show the cast, looking drained from the strain of being so upbeat, so relentlessly full of positive energy, led the audience in singing God Bless America. We all stood, swayed, cried and sang along...and again felt like one world.

The scene may have been so very different, but the foundation was the same. Creating beauty and art together is a powerful force. And music, whether 60s protest rock or Broadway show tunes can be the universal language that we all can understand.

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