New Music
11.09.2011, Words by Zara Wladawsky

Stream William Basinski's 9/11 memorial concert live from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

There are many events scheduled in New York City on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and fortunately this one was broadcast and then archived for those that couldn’t be there. The avant-garde composer, William Basinski is best known for his epic work The Disintegration Loops. The four disk piece was created from tape loops that Basinski recorded in the early 1980s and the sounds of their decay as he transferred, recorded, and played them over and over again. The recordings happened in August and September of 2001 and, as the story goes, he went onto the roof of his Brooklyn home with a friend and played the recently completed The Disintegration Loops as he watched his New York, his home, disintegrate from across the river.

Ten years on from this day the piece was performed live in an orchestral premiere arranged by the violinist and composer Maxim Moston. This, and other memorial works were performed by the Wordless Music Orchestra. These renowned musicians were also present to perform original arrangements of three pieces by composers Ingram Marshall, Osvaldo Golijov, and Alfred Schnittke. Each piece was picked for its themes of memory, loss, and remembrance.

The concert was also be a visual masterpiece as it was set in the majestic atrium of the Temple of Dendur within The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The temple dates back to 15 B.C. and was a gift from Egypt to the United States in 1956. Make sure you tune into the link below and experience what was an incredibly powerful memorial as it unfolds and then fades away, the sound disintegrating one last time within the atrium’s soaring walls, to a most moving few minutes of silence.

Stream the concert here

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