Tuesday 15 September 2015, 8pm

Photo by James Elaine

Saisonscape Decay : William Basinski + Howlround + Kepla

No Longer Available

After his conversation with Rhys Chatham here as part of his curated ‘Arcadia’ series in London last year, American composer William Basinski returns to OTO for a full performance. Universally lauded for his epic 4-disc 2004 masterwork, The Disintegration Loops, Basinski's subsequent work has taken in opera, orchestral works, numerous festival appearances, collaborations with the likes of Antony Hegarty and much more besides.

“In essence, Basinski is improvising using nothing so much as the passage of time as his instrument, and the result is the most amazing piece of process music I've ever heard, an encompassing soundworld as lulling as it is apocalyptic.” – Pitchfork

Saisonscape: Decay will be the third installment of Art Assembly’s Saisonscape - a quarterly series that investigates the seasons through experimental music and sonic art.


Taking place in autumn, Decay reflects on the natural cycle of the season. Leaf litter and organic material dropping to the ground and breaking down into one. Renewing the soil with a rich and nourishing composition. For this edition of the series we focus on artists who use archives of field recordings, tape loop, folk story and who layer instrumentation, objects and found sound without hierarchy. Sounds, ideas and material mulching into new combinations, providing fertile ground for unexpected work and inspiring performance.

William Basinski takes us on a hauntingly melancholic journey into autumn through the theme of Decay with his latest compositions Cascade and The Deluge. Basinski’s headlining tour will run over three consecutive nights in September in Cafe OTO London (15 Sept), Islington Mill Salford (16 Sept) and The Kazimier Liverpool (17 Sept). Cascade features an old and simple lilting piano tape loop set to repeat endlessly on a re-imagined landscape echoing the lapsing of time, whilst in The Deluge, Basinski's enduring motifs flow more fiercely much like the abrasiveness of time passing until the final moments, when the pianos temporal existence fades and breaks, to be replaced by a brief crackling orchestra eclipsing and re-orientating the piece, revealing the decomposition of time that has passed.

8:15–8:35: Kepla
8:50–9:10: Howlround
9:30: William Basinski


Art Assembly and Cafe Oto are offering a unique and valuable opportunity for composers, ensembles and emerging artists to submit proposals to perform paid support slots at the Saisonscape: Decay series, providing them with a professional platform for exposure of their work. For more information please click through to the brief here: http://www.artassembly.org.uk/perform-at-decay

William Basinski

William Basinski is a classically trained musician and composer who has been working in experimental media for over 30 years in NYC and most recently, California. Employing obsolete technology and analogue tape loops, his haunting and melancholy soundscapes explore the temporal nature of life and resound with the reverberations of memory and the mystery of time. His epic 4-disc masterwork, The Disintegration Loops received international critical acclaim and was chosen as one of the top 50 albums of 2004 by Pitchfork Media. The Temporary Residence deluxe LP box-set reissue from 2012 was awarded best re-issue of the year and a score of 10 on Pitchfork. Installations and films made in collaboration with artist-filmmaker, James Elaine have been presented in festivals and museums internationally, and his concerts are presented to sold out crowds around the world. Most recently, Basinski was chosen by Music Director, Antony Hegarty to create music for the new Robert Wilson opera, The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic which had its world premiere at the Manchester International Festival in July 2011 and toured Europe in 2012 and North America in 2013. Orchestral transcriptions of The Disintegration Loops by Maxim Moston have been performed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Queen Elizabeth Hall and La Batie Festival in Geneva, Switzerland. Basinski is currently touring the world in support of Cascade and The Deluge, his latest works which will be released in Spring 2015 on 2062/USA.