Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Artists: William Basinski


William Basinski is a musician, composer, auteur who has worked in experimental media for over twenty years in NYC, expanding the boundaries of the aural landscape.
A classically trained clarinetist, he studied jazz saxophone and composition at North Texas State University in the late 70’s.
In 1978, inspired by minimalists such as Steve Reich and Brian Eno, he began developing his own vocabulary using tape loops and old reel to reel tape decks.
He developed his meditative, melancholy style experimenting with short looped melodies played against themselves creating feedback loops.
His early studies with piano and tape, from 1980–82, Variations: A Movement in Chrome Primitive, will be released in September 2002 for the first time on David Tibet’s Durtro.

In 1982, he began experimenting with pulling sound from the airwaves. By sampling short melodies from Muzak radio onto tape loops of varying lengths, slowing them down, and mixing them together with a symphony of shortwave radio static in real time, he created his Shortwave Music series. A selection of these pieces was released to critical acclaim in 1998 by Carsten Nicolai’s German label, Raster-Noton.

The culmination of these studies, the 1983 masterwork, The River, a 90-minute "music of the spheres" was released on Raster-Noton in May 2002.
In August 2001 were created The Disintegration Loops. In the process of archiving and digitizing old loops, Basinski discovered a group of bucolic loops that began to disintegrate during the recording process. These pieces seem to portray the life and death of the American pastoral landscape. . The 6 pieces were released on 4 cd’s from 2002 to 2003.

A 63 minute video with Disintegration Loop 1.1 had its world premiere at the 2002 Rotterdam International Film Festival. It consists of one static shot of lower Manhattan shot from his roof in Brooklyn on the evening of September 11th, 2001, as that fateful day turned to night.

Discography:
  • Shortwavemusic (1998, Raster-Noton, vyr012)
  • Watermusic (2001, 2062, 2062 0102)
  • The Disintegration Loops (2002, 2062, 2062 0201)
  • The River (2002, Raster-Noton, cdr048)
  • A Red Score In Tile (2003, Three Poplars, 3P10)
  • Melancholia (2003, 2062, 2062 0301)
  • The Disintegration Loops II (2003, 2062, 2062 0202)
  • The Disintegration Loops III (2003, 2062, 2062 0304)
  • The Disintegration Loops IV (2003, 2062, 2062 0305)
  • Untitled (2003, Robot Records, RR-29) (w/ Andreas Martin, Christoph Heemann)
  • Watermusic II (2003, 2062, 2062 0302)
  • Disintegration Loop 1.1 (2004, Vectors /Headz, vector 3 / HEADZ 32)
  • Silent Night (2004, 2062, 2062 0401)
  • Untitled (2004, Spekk, KK:002) (w/ Richard Chartier)
  • Variations: A Movement In Chrome Primitive (2004, Die Stadt /Durtro, DS71 / DURTRO 071)
  • Melancholia (2005, 2062, 2062 0301)
  • The Garden Of Brokenness (2005, 2062, 2062 0501)
  • Watermusic (2005, 2062, 2062 0102)
  • Variations For Piano & Tape (2006, 2062, 2062.0601)
  • El Camino Real (2007, 2062, 2062.0703)
  • Shortwavemusic (2007, 2062, 2062.0701)
  • Untitled 1-3 (2008, Line, Line_034) (w/ Richard Chartier) (here)
  • The River (Alternative Mixes) (2008, 2062, 2062.0803)
  • 92982 (2009, 2062, 2062.0901)
  • Vivian & Ondine (2009, 2062, 2062.0902)
  • The Disintegration Loops (2012, Temporary Residence Limited, TRR194)
  • Aurora Liminalis (2013, Line, Line_060) (w/ Richard Chartier)
  • Nocturnes (2013, 2062, 2062.1201)
  • Cascade (2015, 2062, 2062.1501)
  • The Deluge Live At Issue Project Room (2015, 2062, 2062.1502DIG)
  • Divertissement (2015, Important Records, imprec417) (w/ Richard Chartier)
Tracks appear on:
  • Not Alone (2006, Durtro/Jnana Records, DURTRO/JNANA 1963) track: Because
  • Raster-Noton: Archiv 1.1 (2004, Asphodel, ASP 2025) track: River II
  • A1. Raster-Noton. Archiv 1 (2004, Raster-Noton, cdr056) track: Shortwavemusic
  • Weltecho Box (2003, Raster-Noton, cdr052) track: Shortwavemusic
  • Two Point Two (2003, 12k / Line, 12k1026 / Line_016) track: Worry
  • The Allegorical Power Series Volume I (2003, Antiopic, ANMP001-007) track: Despair
  • A1. Raster-Noton. Archiv 1 (2003, Wire Magazine, Issue 238) track: Shortwavemusic
  • 60 Sound Artists Protest The War (2003, Atak, --) track: A Moment Of Silence
  • Alienation Presents: International Compilation CDr_3 (2001, Alienation, su 23) tracks: Variation For Piano And Tape, The Saddest Melody Ever Heard
  • New Forms - Compilation (2000, Raster-Noton, ltd006) track: Tape Loop


William Basinski - Melancholia

Links:
William Basinski
Video: Disintegration Loop 1.1 (63:00) (pwd: interzona23)

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