Illustrated: William Basinski

Text by Cem Kayıran – Illustration by Burak Dak

Born in Houston, Texas, William Basinski’s first musical interactions were through wind instruments. As well as being a classically trained clarinetist, Basinski studied jazz saxophone in the late 1970s.

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Minimalist composers like Steve Reich and Brian Eno had a huge impact on him and William Basinski started to make sound experiments with tape loops and reel-to-reel tape decks. The dazzling result of this process was a significant musical vocabulary.

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Along with his discography full of many cornerstone experimental records, William Basinski brought out many different projects in visual arts. With the creative companionship of James Elaine, the duo created a lot of audio visual experiences, exhibitions and short films. Basinski and Elaine has been working pretty closely since 1978.

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After releasing three records in 2015, William Basinski came back last January with a captivating record called A Shadow In Time. Consisted of two 20 minutes long tracks, the album features a Voyetra-8 synthesizer, that had been used in his 2001 release Watermusic for the last time. Also the second track “For David Robert Jones” is constructed as a mournful homage to David Bowie.

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