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William Basinski

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Birthplace: Houston, Texas, USA

Renowned for his four-volume elegy to 9/11, The Disintegration Loops, William Basinski was a video artist, multi-instrumentalist and avant-garde composer whose experimental output saw him hailed as the natural successor to Brian Eno. Born in Houston, TX in 1958, William Basinski first displayed his musical talents at high school as a clarinettist but studied jazz saxophone at North Texas State University. After immersing himself in the sounds of John Cage, Brian Eno and Steve Reich, Basinski began to compose his own ambient music, experimenting with reel-to-reel tape decks, tape loops and delays. Alongside his artist partner James Elaine, Basinski then moved to San Francisco where he set up Arcadia, a venue and studio space that would become the focal point of the city's artistic community. As well as composing a prolific array of melodic and meditative works regarded as more emotive than those of his heroes throughout the '80s and '90s, Basinski also performed in several bands including House Afire, Gretchen Langheld Ensemble, Life on Mars and Antony and the Johnsons. The first official release from this period, Shortwavemusic, only hit the shelves in 1998 and was followed two years later by Watermusic, which he issued via his own 2062 label. Basinski's masterpiece took shape in the summer of 2001 when he began mastering various archival pieces from old tapes which then started to disintegrate. Basinski's decision to record these decaying sounds, which were released a year later as The Disintegration Loops, took on new significance when he set them to images of the New York skyline on the evening of 9/11. This haunting elegy, which he added to with a new annual volume over the next three years, sparked interest in both Basinski's back catalog and future works. This included A Red Score in Tile, Variations: A Movement in Chrome Primitive and Melancholia alongside the four further LPs he released between 2002 and 2004. Basinski later composed Vivian and Ondine in honor of two impending family births, dug into his archive again for The Brokenness of Garden and 92892, and received rave reviews for El Camino Real. Basinski remained just as prolific during the following decade, collaborating with installation artist Richard Chartier on both Aurora Liminalis and Divertissement, paying tribute to David Bowie on A Shadow in Time and experimental director Paul Clipson on Selva Oscura, respectively, and performing his magnum opus with the Wordless Music Orchestra at a ten-year commemoration concert at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Having previously sampled everything from deteriorating cassettes to droning Muzak, Basinski then used the sound of two massive black holes colliding when he worked with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory on 2019's On Time Out of Time.

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Deep Cuts: Motorcycle Drive By & Disintegration Loops Self,
Original Music
- 2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet Full Time Original Music - 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet Bob Wilson's Life and Death of Marina Abramovic Original Music - 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet Pursuit of Loneliness Original Music - 2011
No Score Yet No Score Yet Detroit Wild City Original Music - 2010