September 11, 2008

William Basinski: "The Disintegration Loops".

On September 11th, 2001, William Basinski was completing a recording of a number of old tape loops that had curiously begun to disintegrate and disassemble when the first plane, in what would soon become the most horrific act of terrorism in human history, foreign or domestic, hit the World Trade Center North Tower, ripping out a hole nearly half the width of the building. Basinski looked on in terror, like every other American eye that dark day, from his residence overlooking Manhattan, although I'm sure he didn't realize at the time that his dying, self-destructing loops would become the most eerily appropriate, and awe-inspiringly coincidental, soundtrack to that fateful day in early September, when any normal day would include simply the refreshing hint of a cool fall breeze and the golden glow of the impending autumn sun. This day remains a day of mourning, a day of unraveling, a day of slow, torturous demise - and the unconventional beauty and frailty of the life and death cycle that every living thing on the face of the earth inevitably succumbs to.

On this 7th anniversary of 9/11, Basinski's The Disintegration Loops series graces my speakers, as I try to remember the events of what seemed like just yesterday. It's as if I am awakening from a terrible dream to find myself in a complete state of disorientation; the memory of the terror that had so recently plagued my slumber is vanishing bit by bit, leaving only small traces of itself behind for my tired mind to attempt to reassemble. All the other 364 days of the year may pass inconsequentially, but this day needs to be remembered. The memory will never be an uplifting one, but it's those men and women who choose to bury the past that fall asleep in the midst of the return of the enemy. Allow yourself to contemplate even a moment of hesitance or careless self-absorption, and you may wake up one day at the bottom of the well and wonder why you can't remember the fall.

God bless, and keep, the 2,974+ souls lost to the same nameless evil, regardless the nation or ethnicity officially to blame, that has always existed and will continue to exist as long as we inhabit this earth. Be silent, and reflect with intent.



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