And Death Shall Have No Dominion

Nothing like singing in the streets. About death. Today I took part in what was called the first “synchronized headphone choir.” Each voice part started out at in a different part of the city, and we headed towards Battery Park, singing our part. It was a beautiful piece written by composer Pete M. Wyer, who also conceived of this whole thing.

Everyone downloaded an app and we counted down and hit play at the same time. Except I don’t have a smartphone, so I was using an old ipod which I actually had to abandon, because I wasn’t synced up with everyone else.

Pete Wyer, And Death Shall Have No Dominion

It was a little tricky singing and walking at the same time, because you couldn’t walk in rhythm to what you were singing. It felt great anyway.

Pete Wyer, And Death Shall Have No Dominion

We’re at Canal and Spring, waiting to cross the street. People took pictures of us as we passed by.

Pete Wyer, And Death Shall Have No Dominion

That’s the finished One World Trade Center in the distance.

Pete Wyer, And Death Shall Have No Dominion

When we met up with the other parts and sang together, it was glorious. I immediately moved from my spot within the sopranos and stood next to the altos. My choir sings with the voice parts all mixed up and that’s what I prefer now. It’s more fun to sing that way, with different voice parts all around you. You feel the harmony more, and you can also hear the piece as a whole.

I didn’t get a shot of the entire choir singing because it felt so good I didn’t want to sacrifice a single second of it to take a picture. That is Pete Wyer with the guitar though, afterwards.

Thank you Pete Wyer and company, and Make Music New York! I had a fabulous time.

Pete Wyer, And Death Shall Have No Dominion

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

6 thoughts on “And Death Shall Have No Dominion

  1. Sounds very cool! I would love to be someone on the street that just happens upon this.

  2. Hi Karen
    I am Gina, in the pinkish shirt. I ad to abandon my headphones too because the noise around me was too loud.
    It was really glorious.
    I wish we could have gotten to know each other. I am still singing the poem.

    Regina Kelly Houghteling
    Research, Reference & Instruction Librarian

  3. Karen, if you were in the city that day it would have happened to you all over the place. There was a festival called Make Music New York going on.

  4. Hi Gina. I think you were talking to me (this is Stacy)? Anyway, I’m sorry we didn’t get to know each other either! Research librarians are my favorite people on earth!!

  5. It makes me very happy to read this blog – and to read the comments too – thanks so much for coming along and helping to make the event what it was!


  6. Ohmygod, it’s the composer! Hello. I’m so glad you got around to setting that poem to music. For those who weren’t there, Wyer talked about the fact that he’d been meaning to do this for many years. I also wish I had noted the name of the person who read the poem. He did an amazing job. It was like I was hearing it for the first time, and I just got a deeper sense of it.

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