Spirit in the Wind composed by Eric Turnnessen

Spirit in the Wind

Duration: 4' 30"

Composed: September 2001

Nicolò Braghiroli, orchestrator


2 Flutes (2nd doubles piccolo)

2 Oboes

2 Bb Clarinets

2 Bassoons

4 Horns in F

3 Trumpets in Bb

2 Trombones

Bass Trombone



Percussion (3 players)



Violin I (10)

Violin II (8)

Viola (6)

Cello (6)

Contrabass (3)

Composition Notes

Two weeks before the tragedy of 9/11, I was working at the World Trade Center for a summer internship. When I heard about some of my colleagues not making it out alive, I was deeply shaken. At that time in my life, I didn't know how to access and process my emotions, so music helped me do just that.

I wrote Spirit in the Wind as a result of that experience. It's one of those compositions that emerged from within, without having to think and ponder about thematic or structural ideas - it all came naturally over the course of a few hours. What stayed with me most is that while writing this piece, I could feel tears streaming down my face as if to connect me with the grief inside me.

Performance Video

Melvin Tay, conductor

First performed on July 25, 2022 by the Northern Film Orchestra

Original Mockup

Here's the original mockup I made using sounds from a Roland XP-80 synthesizer.