Steve Reich emphasizes smoke, not terrorism with updated album cover

Steve Reich emphasizes smoke, not terrorism with updated album cover

As we recently mentioned, Steve Reich’s WTC 9/11 is due out September 20 on Nonesuch Records and has been an item of great controversy ever since its cover image was unveiled. The image, which previously featured a grim portrayal of the infamous second plane headed for the already smoking towers, disturbed, upset, and repulsed many onlookers (Phil Kline even commented that the artwork was “the first truly despicable classical album cover” that he had ever seen). Shame on you, Steve Reich! Too soon! And it was a bright, clear day on 9/11; those post-apocalyptic murky clouds are just inaccurate. Bah.

After long and tireless debate, Reich hoisted a white rag in his announcement to change the image so that the controversy did not overshadow the music itself. It may be too late for that, however.

The replacement image has now been released to the public’s eyes and features a less-metal photograph of smoke, which I believe is also the cover of this week’s New York Magazine. NPR decided to go the mature route and feature a full stream of the album accompanied by the new artwork without mentioning the previous cover art debacle. Republicans are now attempting to cut government funding for NPR because of their cooperation with anti-patriot Reich.

• Steve Reich:
• Nonesuch: