It’s sort of an open secret in ambient/drone circles that William Basinski is a wizard, and in a recent interview with TMT’s Jakob Dorof, he sorta obliquely referenced that fact by way of a description of his legendary Arcadia studio/performance space/wizard coven. He said it was…
[…] just a beautiful, magical place. It was a place where everyone went, a home for all of my friends… crazy children. We did a lot of concerts there, over the years, records there, for different people. Antony’s first demo, we did there — Diamanda Galás performed there one Halloween, an amazing show. A lot of great memories.
Emphasis on the “magical,” am I right? Unfortunately, as a result of changes in zoning, not to mention the tanking economy, when the lease for the space ended back in 2008, Basinski left Arcadia, a process he describes as “a bitch.” However, not content to let his wizarding ways fall entirely to the wayside, Basinski has announced that he’ll be curating a new Arcadia-inspired performance series in the United Kingdom, which many of you may know as the place where Harry Potter lives, i.e. an obviously really great location for wizards like Basinski to hang out and talk about wizard stuff with like-minded folks. The series will be put on through Basinski’s partnership with the organizations Sound and Music and Art Assembly, both of which are committed to fostering new music and helping out young artists. This seems like a pretty swell idea as long as Voldemort doesn’t attack or that hairy giant fellah who tells Harry that he’s a wizard doesn’t set, like, a dragon or a horny goblin loose someplace stupid again.
Because one of the main points of this series is to nurture young artists (sorta like a Hogwarts-type deal) Basinski will work with Art Assembly and Sound and Music to put together an “artist call out” in order to recruit up-and-coming performers. These artists will have the opportunity to perform in support slots at the slew of concerts that the series will hold over the next year. As of right now, only two such concerts have been announced, both of which will be at St. John in Hackney in London. The first is a solo performance from Swans’ Michael Gira on March 12, and the second is a collaborative performance between Rhys Chatham and Charlemagne Palestine on March 20. The Chatham/Palestine collaboration will be the first time the two have shared a stage in nearly 30 years. Both shows will feature Basinski gallivanting around, probably casting music spells and futzing with tape loops, as is the fashion. You can grab tickets for the Gira performance here, and the Chatham/Palestine performance here.