(non titled)
William Basinski + Richard Chartier
57' 03"



text by William Basinski

Richard and I became friends after meeting at Tonic in NY when he and Taylor Deupree did a show with Carsten Nicolai. He contacted me about a possible collaboration and sent me a track which I thought was very rich and harmonically similar to something I had recently been working on, a very swampy, dark piece I was calling "The Garden of Brokenness" after a very beautiful new installation by James Elaine. I popped it into pro tools with my piece and something really special was happening, so I spent a few weeks weeding my track, trying different things...eventually I stripped it way down and we were both quite happy with the result. Richard came up to NY and we fine tuned it a bit together and it was done. Since the piece had changed quite a bit we decided not to use that title for this piece. He then sent me another one and again, it just worked with something else I had been working on...the second track came together very quickly, and there you have it! I love Richard's work...very elegant, like the man!

William Basinski + Richard Chartier interview ( interviewed by Nicola Catalano / z.e.l.l.e )

1. It seems that your collaboration for this album has been flowing very naturally. Please explain the whole process that brought up this project.

WB: I met Richard a while back when he and Taylor Deupree were doing a night at Tonic in NY with Carsten Nicolai and Steve Roden...I already knew Carsten and Steve...Carsten invited me and I was very impressed with all of the work. Richard and I hit it off and stayed in touch. He eventually contacted me last year about maybe us doing a collaboration...normally I don't do this very often anymore, but since I loved his work and him, i said..let's give it a try. Well, the gorgeous stuff he sent me just happened to pop right in to something I had been working on, and I tweaked it a bit for a few weeks...basically pulling out more and more of the stuff of mine that was cluttering up the piece, and it was done! He sent me the second track and again, same thing, just happened to be almost identical harmonically and in vibe with another new experiment...this one was very quick...like making a nice martini! yum!

RC: I think that although to some this pairing might seem odd it is one that has been very fruitful. our decision to work with each other has allowed me to present a different side of my sound again with someone whose work i truely admired. unlike working with Nosei Sakata on the 0/R projects or with Ivan Pavlov (COH) on "chessmachine" which both focus on more of a gritty, noisier disjointed side of me, working with William allowed me to sift through some of the work i had done in the past which perhaps is warmer more flowing that my released work to this date. (although everyone always assumes i do all the quiet stuff in a collaboration.. when often i am the rhythm guy or the noisey guy! :) i have always had an interest in this type of project. I think it was all about finding another "partner in crime" that i could mesh with stylistically and in the way we worked. After our initial work i then travelled to NY and we worked together finalizing things making adjustments at his studio. I then made a few more adjustments at my studio as well. and voila. I look forward to the next collaboration with William. its very hard for me to listen to my solo work but this collaboration is one of my favourite recordings. This collaboration also works quite well since we are both very serious and at the same time very very silly and goofy.

2. You're definitely interested in a precise aesthetic concept . space, time, void: Is it a way to face the the "symbolic power of absence" (baudrillard), which we're usually scared to face, so to speak?

WB: That's a wonderful thing isn't it? Richard really inspires me the way he's always taking away,leaving almost nothing to hold on to...that really grabs your attention, doesn't it? with so much chaos and noise in the world..i feel the need to hear a little harmony, a balm...a little silence, anyone?

RC: I think that this is a very interesting recording that really presents these concepts but mainly time. one thing i admire about william's work is the perceived suspension of time. His is a work that one can very much lose oneself in.

3. On the other hand there's a more marked presence of sound in this collaborative album, unlike your solo works. Am I wrong?

WB: Well it's rock and roll, darling! or as close to it as we get this week I guess! no really...I had seen this beautiful new installation by James Elaine last year when I was in LA, entitled "The Garden of Brokenness". and I was so moved by the piece and the title...I went back to NY and the war started and I was working on this really swampy ugly piece that I felt was neccessary at the time...this was the original first incarnation of the first piece with Richard, and I was thinking of Jamies' Garden of Brokenness as a possible title. Anyway, I ended up pulling out a lot of the stuff, but some of that feeling is still there...we decided against using the title for this one though...I may use it later on something else.

RC: With collaborations it is always a chance to do and learn something new. This was certainly a chance for me to show that more audible perhaps (dare i say) emotive side of my work. Any good collaboration is one that creates a merging of two artists, where the lines of individual aesthetics are no longer visible. working with William inspired me to go back and rework other older works as well released as "Archival1991" on Crouton in 2003.

WB:One of my favorite new pieces! when Richard played it for me I had chills...wonderful piece I would have loved to have done!

4. I also found some reference points to some classical minimalist works of the past. Have you been influenced by that or by some specific composer of the history of minimalistic music?

WB: I'm not sure I understand the question...could yoube more specific? I hope this is not a test! Certainly, in general, when I first heard Brian Eno's "Music For Airports" in music school, this was a great liberator for me as a melancholic and as a composer. there are many others, but I think anyone could see how I found a launching point there for subsequent studies and experiments. John Cage's ideas of chance interaction also gave me something very important to rely on...having an element of unknown parameters in the process can allow for exciting and unintended surprises which allow me to enjoy the most successful pieces over and over...which is the point. I make music I want to listen to.

RC: In regards to classical... I would be most inspired by Morton Feldman, Toru Takemitsu and the furniture music concepts of erik satie. I have always felt more inspired by visual work than music actually. i tend to perceive many sounds in visual terms and visual things in sound terms.