William Basinski headlines Olana’s Groundswell

Composer William Basinski (photo by James Elaine)

Composer William Basinski (photo by James Elaine)

The paths of Olana will pulsate with music on Saturday when the Groundswell festival returns to the State Historic Site. Groundswell was conceived in 2013 by Paul Miller, a trip-hop musician going by the name DJ Spooky, as a fundraiser for the site. The 2014 edition of this award-winning exhibition event will also benefit local community radio station and arts organization Wave Farm WGXC 90.7-FM, based out of Acra and Hudson. This year’s Groundswell will feature multimedia installations from artist Kenseth Armstead as well as other experimental music performances. The installations and performances are set at various points along Olana’s Ridge Road.

Composer William Basinski is the most prominent of the musicians involved. Most widely known for his Disintegration Loops, a series of tape loops that, as the title implies, physically disintegrated as they were transferred to digital sources, Basinski makes “durational music,” stretching simple ideas out to great lengths in order to extract deeper meaning from them. He will bring his tape decks and laptop from his home in California for this special event, as well as a later performance at the Second Ward Foundation in Hudson on Sunday.

The piece that he will likely perform, Cascadia, can change significantly according to where Basinski is performing it. The version at Olana, he said, will take advantage of the wide-open space of Frederic Church’s property. Other artists involved at Groundswell include percussion project Man Forever, sound artist Michael Garofalo and “mixed-media technology artist” Steve Bull.

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Groundswell is unofficially linked with other concerts for a packed weekend of events in Hudson. The Basilica Soundscape festival will run from Friday, September 12 to Sunday the 14th, with performances from Swans, Tim Hecker, Julia Holter and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry. 440 Hz is a $15 suggested-donation event at 7 p.m. Sunday, headlined by Basinski in Second Ward’s newly renovated auditorium. Basinski seems as excited as anyone for these events, and plans to attend Soundscape on at least one of the nights. “Lots of great music this weekend,” he said.

Groundswell, Saturday, September 13, 2-6 p.m., $30/$20/$10, Olana State Historic Site, 5270 Route 9G, Hudson; https://olana.org.

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