William Basinski at ISSUE by Ian Crowther
Composer William Basinski has been active for over three decades, creating a vast body of haunting and melancholic soundscapes that have secured his place as an icon of contemporary ambient music. Tonight he performs solo as part of Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain. Aki Onda and Raha Raissnia return to ISSUE for their second duo, performing with black oil paintings, film and slide projectors, tape recorders and tube amps and synthesizer. Projecting 16mm footage with 35mm slides onto a white wall and dark surface of oil paints, Raissnia creates a deepened sense of immersion in an alien landscape, while Onda's soundscape of field recordings challenge the boundaries of the picture plane, and explore the power of imagination.
Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain– a two-month festival celebrating ISSUE Project Room's 10th anniversary– revisits seminal past projects and initiates new relationships with over 60 artists working across disciplines of sound, dance, performance, and literature. Presented as a series of 24 evenings of provocative double billings, Ten Years Alive blurs the boundaries between divergent disciplines and practices and celebrating the vibrancy of the Brooklyn experimental arts community.
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 melancholic 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 (in collaboration with ISSUE Project Room), Queen Elizabeth Hall and will tour Europe with various orchestras in 2013. Basinski last performed at ISSUE in 2010.
Aki Onda is an electronic musician, composer, and visual artist. He is particularly known for his Cassette Memories project – works compiled from a “sound diary” of field-recordings collected by Onda over a span of two decades. Onda’s musical instrument of choice is the cassette Walkman. Not only does he capture field recordings with the Walkman, he also physically manipulates multiple Walkmans with electronics in his performances. In another of his projects, Cinemage, Onda shows slide projections of still photo images, shot by himself, as a performance or installation. Onda has collaborated with artists such as Michael Snow, Ken Jacobs, Paul Clipson, Alan Licht, Loren Connors, MV Carbon, Oren Ambarchi, Noël Akchoté, Jean-François Pauvros, Jac Berrocal, Lionel Marchetti, Linda Sharrock, and Blixa Bargeld.
Raha Raissnia emigrated from Iran to the United States in 1983. She received her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1992 and her M.F.A. from Pratt institute in 2002. From 1992 to 1995, between her two degrees, Raissnia worked as an intern and a full time employee at Anthology Film Archives in New York, a time that she describes as being “directly formative years” for her exposure and knowledge of avant-garde cinema as well as for the paintings she made during this period. In all of her gallery exhibitions and in various configurations she has presented elements of all three areas of her practice; that is painting, drawing, and filmmaking. She is represented by Miguel Abreu Gallery in NY, and Galerie Xippas in Paris.
Ten Years Alive on the Infinite Plain is made possible, in part, by “Lead Presenter” support from Robert Bielecki and HBO; “Festival Sponsor” support from Robert Longo, Margo Somma & John Hamilton, and Sixpoint Brewery; with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and with the support of ISSUE Project Room’s Members.