American composer withdraws Twin Towers photograph from his tribute album.

Amid controversy and public protest, Steve Reich has removed an image of a plane flying into the World Trade Centre from the cover of the premiere recording of his memorial work WTC 9/11.

Reich composed the piece for three string quartets in remembrance of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York. The instrumental lines echo pitch fluctuations of pre-recorded vocals, sampled throughout, from air traffic controllers, interviews with locals who witnessed the fall of the towers and Jewish volunteers who guarded and prayed for the bodies of victims during the days and weeks that followed.

The album, featuring longtime Reich collaborators Kronos Quartet performing all three parts, was intended for release on September 6 to mark the ten-year anniversary of the cataclysmic event. It has been pushed back to September 20 to accommodate the altered design.

The original artwork for Nonesuch Records reproduced a photograph by Masatomo Kuriya capturing smoke billowing from the World Trade Centre, with the second plane on the skyline moments away from crashing into its target. The image had been treated with sepia tones and dark shadows, adding a patina of historical gravitas.

Reich, a New Yorker...

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