words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 07

Day 7 of the 30-Day Song Challenge asks the question what is “a song that reminds you of a certain event”?

http://youtu.be/98grG7l8qgk     William Basinski – The Disintegration Loops I

There is really no other event more profound than “911”. When I read the day 7 challenge, asking what song reminds you of a certain event, I immediately thought of New York City on September 11, 2001, and the music of William Basinski.

I remember vividly the moment and the hurt that ensued.

When the news broke, on the morning of 911, William Basinski was transferring some analog tape loops into digital format. It is perhaps a coincidence, that William Basinski was unknowingly creating a requiem for 911 with The Disintegration Loops series. The process of playing the tapes over and over and the instability of the magnetic tape were causing it to literally disintegrate. Each time he would play the loop it would fragment more and more. Over time, the entire 4 hour, segmented piece would disintegrate into entropy and finally silence. The Disintegration Loops I–heard here (14 minutes in length) is an excerpt of the 1 hour and 3 minute piece. I believe there is a melancholy feeling in the sound that provokes great sadness and lost.

day 01 – your favorite song – Stars of the Lid’s “Don’t Bother They’re Here”

day 02 – your least favorite song – Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”

day 03 – a song that makes you happy – Ivy’s – Edge of the Ocean

day 04 – a song that makes you sad – Trespassers Williams – Love You More

day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone – Trespassers Williams – Lie in the Sound

day 06 – a song that reminds you of somewhere – Isabelle Aubret – La Fanette

day 07 – a song that reminds you of  a certain event

10 responses

  1. jody

    what an incredible story behind the song, and your own experience. it reminds me of exactly where I was at that moment to read your post. such events freeze us in time and change our perspective forever. i look forward to listening to the excerpt when I can close my eyes and listen with all my senses

    June 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    • Hi Jody,
      Yes we all remember where we were on that day. It is hard not to. It was a life changing day for me, as I was going through yet another day of internal struggle. But 911, helped to put things in perspective and lift the need for hope in a better day to come.

      Peace and Light

      June 5, 2011 at 9:05 am

  2. Great blog, I really enjoyed looking at your photos, you area very good artist and a brilliant writer. Good Job !

    June 4, 2011 at 1:27 am

    • Thanks Penny, I really appreciate it. I love your work over at LifesaBeach as well. 🙂 I hope you are enjoying this 30-Day Song Challenge too. I am finding it quite a lot of fun, searching through my music catalog.


      June 5, 2011 at 8:52 am

  3. Remarkable story…. I will listen to it shortly. 🙂

    June 4, 2011 at 9:35 am

    • Thank you Liz, This is a shorter version of the entire piece which is more than hour. In total the suite is nearly four hours in length. Yes, there are days when I play only this piece in auto replay 🙂


      June 5, 2011 at 8:45 am

  4. Walter, thanks again for introducing another composer. It seems you like “experimental” music. We listen to a lot of that at our house, some is good and some I can’t bear to listen one more second. I’m quite familiar with the genre. I also have a lot of friends who are experimental musicians and I listen and support their talents, but the music has never quite spoke to me. Being an open minded little bunny, I’ve tried to make it speak to me to no avail.
    Listening to this song though, I can feel the melancholy and sadness. What a morning that morning was…how it changed the way we see the world.

    June 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    • Hi Bunny,
      I do enjoy experimental music, and I am glad you are familiar with the genre. I know avant garde music can be a little hard to digest at times. I have been listening to this style of music since the seventies. It has always seemed to be a perfect match for my digital art. The series of songs by William Basinski are quite melancholy indeed, as was the day of 911. But it does certainly convey the mood.
      You should do the 30-Day Song Challenge, I would love to hear the music that inspires you 🙂


      June 5, 2011 at 8:43 am

  5. I’d just got home from school at 4:30 and my dad was watching it on the news, television was covering it all night. I don’t think i was actually listening to any music that day

    June 7, 2011 at 10:29 pm

  6. It was a hard day for all of us. And unfortunately so much grieve and bad decision making came after 911.

    June 8, 2011 at 2:47 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s