William Basinski has been working in experimental media for over 25 years and his concerts, installations and films have been presented internationally, most recently at The Venice Biennale of Music. His music explores the temporal nature of life, resounding with the reverberations of memory and the mystery of time. His albums, The Disintegration Loops (2004), The River (2003) and 92982 (2009) have been chosen as some of the top annual releases respectively by Pitchfork Media, Art Forum and The Wire.
"William Basinski's Disintegration Loops are a step toward that understanding: the music itself is not so much composed as it is this force of nature, this inevitable decay of all things, from memory to physical matter, made manifest in music."
Joe Tangari, Pitchfork, 2004 (read full article)
William Basinski was born in Houston, Texas. After classical training as a clarinetist, he studied jazz saxophone and composition at North Texas State University before, in the late 1970s, moving to create sound pieces using tape loops and reel-to-reel tape decks.
During the 80s Basinski was a member of several bands and went on to open a performance space: Arcadia. During the following decade, he performed and also produced records and gigs for various New York artists including Antony Hegarty, Rasputina and The Murmurs. In 2002 Basinski released The Disintegration Loops: recordings from old degraded magnetic tape loops. As the composer digitised the information the tapes crumpled and disintegrated and so in attempting to capture the recordings, he also destroyed them. Basinki finished this project the morning of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
More recently Basinski collaborated on a cover of John Lennon's Imagine released on Antony & the Johnson's Thank You for Your Love EP in 2010. He created the work Duet with Andrew Forster as part of the London Ontario Live Arts and has presented live audio visual performances with artist Charles Atlas in Portland and São Paulo.
Live performance with Charles Atlas
Further information for presenters of Forma projects
Back to top