‘I love big, resonant spaces,’ avant-garde musician William Basinski told us ahead of premiering his latest work, A Shadow In Time, at London’s Neo-Gothic Union Chapel last month. ‘What you have to do is learn a space, you have to listen very carefully, and you have to merge with the space.’
The American artist has for more than 30 years been experimenting with tape loops and analogue hardware to craft his compositions. Fresh off his 2015 albums – The Deluge and Cascade, the latter of which featured in FACT’s top 50 albums of the year – Basinski wanted to hear how his new work would sound in the Grade I-listed Islington church, designed by architect James Cubitt.
Union Chapel in Islington is one of London’s most unusual music venues. Brought back to use after facing demolition more than 25 years ago, the 19th-century building is like a giant synthesiser, as Basinski puts it.
‘These [churches] are crystal resonators – they’re just so big.’