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mwalker on 06/23/2010 at 09:00AM

William Basinski's Vivian and Ondine

William Basinski at ISSUE Project Room's future home at 110 Livingston. Photo by Lori Baily.

On the evening of Friday June 11th, William Basinski graced the beautiful future home of ISSUE Project Room with two absolutely transcendent performances of his work Vivian and Ondine, marking only the second pre-renovation concert held in the space. We were overwhelmed by the incredible audience turnout and support, and are thrilled that Mr. Basinski has generously offered to share the recording from the entire first set. Please enjoy this enchanting glimpse into what was a truly resplendent experience.

Basinski’s stunningly gorgeous loops emerge as uncontainable, gauzy strains of primeval elegance -- arrestingly affecting in a manner entirely separate from classifiable feeling, beyond quantifiable emotion, and wholly independent of the graspable thought-world. Left to disperse, expand, and dissipate around the marble columns and up into the canopy of the vaulted ceilings, the sounds and reverberations filled the space as if inextricably embedded into the fabric of their natural environment.

The performance connected me deeply to past memories, evoking kindred forms of indescribable emotion. I was reminded of what I found as a child to be the most profound experience possible – watching the sunset in isolation on the beach.  Waiting in the decaying light to be the only body left on the long stretch of sand, I would revel in the cascading shivers that would crawl down my back as water evaporated from my skin and I wrapped myself more tightly in a towel. Facing the sublime extension of the sea, I remember becoming enveloped in a comforting and serene form of abstract loneliness, an empowering type of isolation devoid of any tinge of yearning or melancholy.

ISSUE’s visionary founder Suzanne Fiol found immense peace in Vivian and Ondine, the work serving as her constant soundscape during the last few months of her life. After experiencing the work on Friday, I cannot imagine a more natural, more powerful form of solace and preparation.

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amp_recs on 06/15/2010 at 12:47AM

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