After the events of 9/11, everything changed. The whole world changed. The context of Disintegration Loops changed. And I felt, with my experience being in New York at that time, and what I went through and what I saw my friends go through, I wanted to create an elegy. Yes, there’s that tie to 9/11. But the thing that moved me so profoundly in my studio right after this music happened was the redemptive quality. The music isn’t just decaying — it does, it dies — but the entire life and death of each of these unique melodies was recorded to another medium for eternity. So that blew my mind, as someone who grew up Catholic, to see that that is a possibility.
— William Basinski on reconciling art and context in his ambient masterpiece, The Disintegration Loops
Photo: James Elaine