But time has slowly killed these loops and the pastoral (and ambient) ideals they once represented. What we hear on The Disintegration Loops are not poetic images of nature or beauty but nature and beauty as they truly exist in this world: always fleeting, slowly dying. What makes these works so memorable is not the fact that the loops are slowly disintegrating but the fact that we get to hear their deaths. In a very real way, we experience the muddled, ugly, brutal realities of life. What’s more, these muddled, ugly, brutal realities of life are, in their own way, incredibly beautiful, perhaps more beautiful than the original, pristine loops ever could have been.
As with any natural occurrence, these individual loops all die very individual deaths. “D|P 3,” for example, begins as a bright, bold, orchestral melody that, over the course of 42 minutes, is slowly reduced to a sputtering, churning blob of its former self. The melody disintegrates slowly, until, by the end, only portions are audible; the rest is silence and noise.
–William Basinski, The Disintegration Loops I-IV (Haunted Ink)
What makes this album review especially blogworthy:
William Basinski lives in Brooklyn, less than a nautical mile from the World Trade Centers. On September 11, 2001, as he was completing The Disintegration Loops, he watched these towers disintegrate.
I didn’t have quite as dramatic an experience, but I do from time to time look back at the page of literary quotes about the Twin Towers and urban technology that I collected the afternoon the towers fell.