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William Basinski with the London Contemporary Orchestra

The Disintegration Loops

William Basinski performing. He is wearing sunglasses and a black jacket

Experimental composer, sound sculptor and video artist William Basinski celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the career-defining four-album series The Disintegration Loops.

Basinski is a relentless experimentalist, obsessed with reel-to-reel tape decks, the merging of splices of tape, loops and delay. The Disintegration Loops was born literally from disintegrating tape loops slowly deteriorating as they passed over a tape head – the unexpected result of Basinski's attempt to transfer his earlier recordings to digital format. These are ambient waves of sound, like heavy breath that washes through the listening body: deeply emotional sounds filled with multiple textures, tones, drones and shades that are as hauntingly beautiful as they are sombre.

This evening sees the London Contemporary Orchestra perform an orchestral arrangement of The Disintegration Loops 1.1 and 3 conducted by Robert Ames; and a solo performance by Basinski of 2020’s Lamentations.

Produced by the Barbican in association with Baba Yaga's Hut


Barbican Hall