They’re Trying to Save Themselves

Darren Copeland

Programme notes

They’re Trying to Save Themselves was commissioned for a commemorative radio broadcast of the first anniversary of 9/11. The sounds are all taken from an eyewitness account aired on CNN immediately following the tragedy. The spoken words undergo a number of textural metamorphoses in the piece that evoke different sound images relating to the events of September 11th, such as low-flying aircraft, panicking voices, and other sonorities.


They’re Trying to Save Themselves was realized in 2002 at the composer’s studio and premiered on September 11, 2002 on CBC Radio One. The piece was commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for the commemorative broadcast “Loss and Legacy.”


  • September 11, 2002, Loss and Legacy, Radio One — CBC, Canada
  • Composer(s): Darren Copeland
  • Year of composition: 2002
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • Commission: CBC
  • ISWC: T0728363845
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Duration: 3:53
  • ISRC: CAD500620100