Episode #3243

Unintended Elegies

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Brooklyn composer William Basinski was finishing a project based on some very old tape-loops he’d made.  The tape itself was disintegrating, and Basinski allowed the loops to play continuously while he recorded them digitally, capturing the process of the music’s demise.  The sounds of the music dying accompanied Basinski as he watched the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks from his Brooklyn rooftop.  We’ll hear an excerpt from this extraordinary project, and speak with the composer.

Also, a recording of an old homeless man in London singing a fragment of a hymn tune in the 1970s packed an unexpected emotional punch when turned into a tape loop by Gavin Bryars.  The resulting piece, “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet,” remains his most famous piece, and a work of quiet consolation.

PROGRAM #3243 Unintended Elegies(First aired on 9/10/11)    






William Basinski

The Disintegration Loops Vol. III

Disintegration Loops 4 [15:00]

2062 CD Catalog #:2062 0304

The Disintegration Loops I

Disintegration Loops 1.1 [19:00]

2062 CD Catalog #:2062 0201

Gavin Bryars

The Sinking of the Titanic

Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Obscure #1, reissued on Virgin #45970, another recording with Tom Waits is on Point 438-823. Amazon.com* Also, visit www.gavinbryars.com for info.

William Basinski

Unintended Elegy

For this podcast edition of the program, listen to some of William Basinski's "Disintegration Loops." Finished in September of 2001, the whole series has now become an unintended elegy of sorts.


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