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, is scheduled for release for the first time on David Tibet's London label, Durtro in September 2003. 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 avant-garde label, Noton. The culmination of these studies, the 1983 masterwork, The River, a 90-minute "music of the spheres" was released on Raster-Noton in Dec 2002. Using current available cheap technology, Basinski created an "instant" 90 minute video for The River, by running the music through the audio-visualizer program, ArKaos that came with his Apple Powerbook, videotaping the animation off the screen and editing in I-movie. This was shown at Voxxx Galerie in Chemnitz, Germany (home of raster-noton) from May 26-June 17,2002 to launch the release of the 2 CD box set. Basinski's Watermusic, was released on his own label, 2062, in February 2001. A 60-minute, tranquil, shimmering ambient piece created on the Voyetra Synthesizer over a period of months spanning the turn of the century, Watermusic has received critical acclaim and is available through distributors in America, Europe and Japan. His new pieces, The Disintegration Loops, were created in August 2001. 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 are being released in sequence on 4 CD's, starting in June 2002. As of April 2003, Disintegration Loops 1 and 2 have been released to rave reviews as well as Watermusic II, and a compilation of loop pieces from the early eighties, Melancholia. 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. His collaboration with artist, James Elaine, a thirty minute ambient film study Variations, was previewed at Tribeca Temporary Gallery in November 2001 and its world premiere at Rotterdam. These two films are currently touring the festival circuit. Another very early tape loop piece from 1979, A Red Score in Tile, was released on Christoph Heeman's 3 Poplars in limited edition LP in May 2003.

selected discography

  1. Shortwavemusic / Raster-Noton / LP 1998
  2. Watermusic / 2062 / CDR 2001
  3. The River / Raster-Noton / 2CD 2002
  4. A Red Score In Tile / Three Poplars / LP 2003
  5. Watermusic II / 2062 / CD 2003
  6. The Disintegration Loops I / 2062 / CD 2003
  7. The Disintegration Loops Il / 2062 / CD 2003
  8. The Disintegration Loops lll / 2062 / CD 2003
  9. The Disintegration Loops lv / 2062 / CD 2003