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   Heather Nicol photo by Brian Medina
September Song

Heather Nicol

ArtworxTO logo

Created 20 years after the events of 9/11, September Song is an immersive visual and sound installation based on Heather Nicol’s first-hand experience and lingering memories of that cataclysmic morning in Lower Manhattan. Haunting sounds, images and imagined scenarios distilled over many years are at the core of September Song.

A spatialized audio score for September Song is performed by absent, ghost players. Featuring a baby grand piano suspended overhead, captured as if in a photograph, the menacing object references Damocles’ sword, the origin story of the phrase “dangling by a thread.” Once a focal point in public and domestic gathering places, pianos are now being tossed away. Delicately cascading bits of paper flicker, and a lone figure sweeps the detritus.

The passage of time is gently embedded in the commemoration of 9/11 so many years later; there is a distant, frozen-moment aspect to the fall of the “Twin Towers.” Some are too young to remember that day at all. The installation is an invitation to the public to safely gather and collectively reflect on that disruptive event of 20 years ago, its links and resonance with our current pandemic times, and to remember those lost.


Heather Nicol  ▸

Eve Egoyan  ▸

Bonnie Beecher  ▸
Lighting Design

Duncan Morgan  ▸
Production Manager

The role of the “The Sweeper” alternates between Heather Nicol and Paula Engstrom  ▸

Neema Bickersteth  ▸
Solo Vocals

Stephen Michael Spencer  ▸
Solo Vocals

Neal Evans  ▸
Bowed Saw


Thom Allison
Rebecca Campbell
Howard J. “HAUI” Davis
Frank Evans
Peg Evans
David Fox
Martin Julien
David McCune
Heather Nicol
Nicola Protetch

Presented by
Harbourfront Centre
ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021–2022

Generous support for the development
of the artwork was provided by:

Canada Council for the Arts logo

Ontario Arts Council logo

Toronto Arts Council logo

Special Acknowledgment

The artist wishes to acknowledge her children and the elders in her family for their love during and since 9/11. Thanks also to Phil Strong, Kilby Smith-McGregor, Marvin Schlichting, Claire Hopkinson, Iris Nemani, Joe Sellors and, of course, Martin Julien.

Registration recommended
Walk-ins welcome

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