William Basinski’s Arcadia curated series begins March 2014 in venues across London

In 1989 William Basinski founded Arcadia, a studio and performance space that defined Williamsburg as an arts community and became the seat of the cultural avant-garde in the 90’s. From 1989-97 Basinski wrote and produced his own and others work, as well as hosting underground music, cabaret and poetry performances by artists including Antony and Diamanda Galas. It was a place of experimentation for established as well as emerging artists, a nurturing space where young artists were encouraged to flourish.

From March 2014, Basinski and Art Assembly will co-curate a series of Arcadia inspired music and live art events in London.

Concert series line-up confirmed so far;

Michael Gira, solo performance + William Basinski + Guests – 12th March 2014, 7:30pm, St John at Hackney

Moving to NY in 1979 and creating his own live-in rehearsal space in a storefront downtown, Gira became a formidible force, kicking up stink with his band Swans within the music and art community until 1997. Reserecting the band in 2010, Swans were welcomed with eager and open arms. They have toured nationally since, playing three sold out shows in London’s Koko to date. The confrontational Swans frontman will perform a solo show including some new songs. As with all Swans/M.Gira shows, this will be a one off performance and wont be anything like you’ve heard on an album or at a previous gig. Intense, often brutal, beautiful and compelling, always vital. Expect to be wrung through the emotional mill. You wont leave the same. William Basinski will perform extracts from his forth coming album Cascade, yet to be performed live. Aino Tytti will play support, offering a unique blend of intricately layered microstructures and field recordings, fused with glimmering ethereal widescreen drones. Tickets £16

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Melancholia: The Short Films of James Elaine & William Basinski – 14th March 2014, 7pm, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch

Artist James Elaine and William Basinski present a beautiful series of short films shot in Super-8 at the World’s Fairgrounds in Flushing Meadows, Queens and NY. Elaine & Basinski’s Melancholia is a concise, darkly romantic psalm, an elegy, a love letter to a broken world. This is a free event but tickets are very limited. Please click through to the link to get yourself a ticket, max two per person. Tickets FREE



Paul Prudence – Live-cinematic Visual Music (talk and performance) 15th March, 3pm, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch

Paul Prudence is an audio-visual performer working with algorithmic and generative environments. His work, which had been shown and performed internationally, focuses on the ways in which sound, space and form can be cross-wired to create live-cinematic visual-music experiences – an overview of selected works can be found at here. Paul will give a talk about his practice, deconstructing his work and presenting his inter-media research, followed by a performance. Sign up via the link for free entry into this event.  Tickets FREE

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10000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid by Evelina Dominitch & Dmitry Gelfand – 15th March, 5pm, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch

In 10000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid, Domnitch and Gelfand use laser light to scan the surfaces of nucleating and dissipating soap bubble clusters. Unlike ordinary light, the laser’s focused beam is capable of crawling through the micro and nano structures within a bubble’s skin. When aimed at specific angles, this penetrating light generates a large-scale projection of molecular interactions as well as mind-boggling phenomena of non-linear optics. Bubble behaviors viewed in such proximity evoke the dynamics of living cells (the lipid membranes of which, are direct chemical descendants of soap film).

Dmitry Gelfand and Evelina Domnitch create sensory immersion environments that merge physics, chemistry and computer science with uncanny philosophical practices. Sign up via the link for free entry into this event.  Tickets FREE

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Aki Onda – Talk and performance as part of the Arcadia series –  16th March 2014, 3pm, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch

Aki Onda is an electronic musician, composer, and visual artist. He is particularly known for his Cassette Memories project – works compiled from a “sound diary” of field-recordings collected by Onda over a span of two decades. Onda’s musical instrument of choice is the cassette Walkman. Not only does he capture field recordings with the Walkman, he also physically manipulates multiple Walkmans with electronics in his performances. Aki Onda will perform a 35-40 minute piece and present a talk where he will discuss his art practice and how he developed as an artist in the cultural milieu of New York. Sign up via the link for free entry into this event. Tickets FREE

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Janek Schaefer performs Lay-by-Lullaby – an eyes closed concert – 16th March 2014, 5pm, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch

This will be the first UK performance of Janek Schaefer’s new album Lay-by-Lullaby out on 12k Feburary 2014. The composition is his calmest yet, and is based around location recordings made in the middle of the night above the M3 motorway. The album weaves these location recordings around a series of spacious sonorities, that shimmer with analogue textures and liminal melodies that burnout in the passing headlights. The speeding traffic dopplertrails reveal fleeting passages of soporific sounds that entice you to recline, drift and fade away. This is a performance to enjoy with your eyes closed.

The work invites you to take a break, pull over, and daydream as life speeds on by. The motorway signs above read – Tiredness can kill…

Sign up via the link for free entry into this concert. Tickets FREE

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Julia Kent + Guests – 18th March 2014, 7pm, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch

Julia Kent, a classically trained cellist, uses looped and layered cello, electronics, and field recordings to explore the intersections between the human world and the natural world, the melding of the technological and the organic, the patterns and repetitions that exist in nature and are mirrored in human creations, and the complexity and fragility of our relationships with one another and with the world that surrounds us. A regular performer at William Basinski’s Arcadia with her band mates in Rasputina and with Antony and the Johnsons, Julia Kent has gone on to compose music for film, dance and theatre, released two albums and has toured extensively as a solo artist. Kent will be supported by Nicolas Freeman who will develop a new work that responds to the resonances and reverberations of the physical space of the venue with a performance using prepared ¼inch tape loops, violin and cello.  Tickets £7 adv

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William Basinski in conversation with Rhys Chatham – 19th March 2014, 7pm, Café Oto

Café Oto will host William Basinski and Rhys Chatham in conversation. Rhys Chatham is a composer, guitarist and trumpet player from Manhattan, currently living in Paris, who altered the DNA of rock and created a new type of urban music by fusing the overtone-drenched minimalism of the early 60s with the relentless, elemental fury of the Ramones — the textural intricacies of the avant-garde colliding with the visceral punch of electric guitar-slinging punk rock. William Basinski is a classically trained musician and composer who has been working in experimental media for over 30 years in NYC and most recently, California. Employing obsolete technology and analogue tape loops, his haunting and melancholy soundscapes explore the temporal nature of life and resound with the reverberations of memory and the mystery of time. Doors 7pm Tickets £4 adv £5 door

WB interview  RC interview  oto


Valgeir Sigurðsson with Liam Byrne + Julia Kent – 19th March 2014, 8pm Village Underground

Bedroom Community founder, Valgeir Sigurðsson will perform alongside Liam Byrne on Wednesday 19th March at Village Underground, Shoreditch. Sigurðsson’s boundless approach to music informs his work as composer, musician, engineer and mixer. In high demand as a producer, Valgeir has spent over a decade cultivating projects by diverse international artists whilst developing his own particular magic brand of recording artistry – now with three solo albums to his name. His collaborators are great and numerous including Björk, Feist, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Camille, CocoRosie, The Magic Numbers, múm and many others. Sigurðsson collides organic with synthetic, acoustic with digital, connection with isolation, and domestic with ethereal – expect a performance ripe with emotion, curiosity, and humanity. Canadian born, New York based and regular at the original Williamsburg Arcadia, cellist Julia Kent will make a very special guest appearance at this concert. Presented by Village Underground.  Tickets £10 adv

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Charlemagne Palestine + Rhys Chatham – 20th March 2014, 7:30pm St John at Hackney

Charlemagne Palestine is a minimalist composer, performer and visual artist from New York. He performs epic, ritualistic and intense extended duration pieces for organ. A native New Yorker now living in Paris, composer Rhys Chatham helped define New York’s downtown aesthetic in the ’70s. Palestine and Chatham first met in the late 60′s in New York. Ever respectful and admiring of each others work, this performance sees two giants in modern composition perform on stage together 30 years after their initial collaboration. Plus, William Basinski will perform extracts from Vivian and Ondine, his intricate 45-minute piece in celebration of new life. They will be supported by Liverpool based ensemble, Ex-Easter Island Head, who compose and perform music for solid-body electric guitar, percussion and other instruments. Presented by St John’s Sessions.   Tickets £16

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Basinski fans will be able to buy an Arcadia Concert Package ticket for £35 enabling access into the following ticketed concert performances.

Michael Gira + William Basinski – 12 March St John at Hackney

Julia Kent – 18 March Ace Hotel London Shoreditch

Valgeir Sigurðsson with Liam Byrne – 19 March Village Underground, London

Charlemagne Palestine with Rhys Chatham + William Basinski – 20 March St John at Hackney

Arcadia Concert Package Tickets £35

Arcadia Concert Package conditions:

Please note this ticket does not enable access into William Basinski in conversation with Rhys Chatham (19 March Cafe Oto or ensure entry into the free ticketed activity taking place at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch from 14-16 March. For more details on how to obtain tickets for free activity at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch.

NB There is limited capacity for Julia Kent’s performance at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, 18 March. Arcadia Concert Package ticket holders will be let in on a first come first served basis for this performance. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Call to perform within William Basinski’s ‘Arcadia’ series

In order that the Arcadia series reflect the nurturing element of the original Williamsburg studio space and operate as a platform for new work, Art Assembly and Basinski are working in conjunction with Sound and Music who will help to facilitate an ‘artist call out’ to recruit young artists to perform support slots at selected concerts.

It’s a thrill to be curating the Arcadia series with William at this time of him organising the archive and a massive treat to see little snippets of it along the way. Over this next year the series will unpack themes within William’s work and we are excited to announce these first two concerts from Michael Gira and a collaboration between Charlemagne Palestine and Rhys Chatham. Arcadia was an artist run space, a place to experiment and show new work and so we are particularly keen that the project supports emerging practice. We are very grateful to Sound and Music for assising us with the search for new talent. I’m delighted to be working again with St John Sessions, who’ve put together one of the most solid programmes this year.

Julia Dempsey, Art Assembly

I’m honoured to have been invited by Julia Dempsey at Art Assembly to help curate a new Arcadia series at the wonderful St. John’s Hackney in London. Stay tuned for some very special cultural events in the coming months!

William Basinski

Sound and Music is excited to be working with William Basinski and Art Assembly on this project. It represents a great opportunity for the showcasing of emerging UK talent alongside some of the major figures of US underground music. Sound and Music is committed to providing open opportunities for the many, rather than just the well-connected few, and it’s great to be approached with such a progressive brief towards programming.

Richard Whitelaw, Head of Programmes, Sound and Music

Sound and Music and Art Assembly are offering an opportunity to composers or ensembles to perform a support slot at a concert within the William Basinski’s Arcadia series. So far, concerts, which will be held at St John-at-Hackney, include Michael Gira (12th March) and a collaboration between Charlemagne Palestine and Rhys Chatham (20th March), both events of which will include performances by William Basinski himself.

In 1989 William Basinski founded Arcadia, a studio and performance space that defined Williamsburg as an arts community from 1989-97. Here Basinski wrote and produced his own and others work and hosted underground music and art performances by artists including Diamanda Galas and Antony Hegarty. In March 2014, Arcadia will be re-imagined in London through a week-long exhibition and performance space celebrating Basinski’s unique approach to composition and his vast archive of work.


Please read the call documentation at Sound and Music. Deadline noon Monday 3 February 2014