"It's like a part of my body," says Dutch lute player and composer Jozef Van Wissem of the relationship he has to his chosen instrument, the lute. "The complexity of it is what keeps me going because you can always find something new." The ability to constantly extract something different and explore fresh terrain is evident throughout Van Wissem's sprawling back catalogue and up to his latest album, 'The Night Dwells in the Day'. Over the years he's released countless solo albums stretching into double figures, there's been collaborations with Jim Jarmusch and Tilda Swinton, award-winning computer game soundtracks, along with award-winning film soundtracks, from Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive to Pierre Creton's 2023 film A Prince. Since studying the lute in New York with Patrick O'Brien in the 1990s, Van Wissem has gone on to create works equally as rooted in classical Renaissance and Baroque forms of lute music, as contemporary sounds spanning drones, electronics and field recordings. Throw in some of his formative influences from the no wave and industrial scenes, alongside a dedicated approach to minimalism and this has resulted in Van Wissem producing distinct and singular work whose sound is often a marriage of opposites; meditative and intense, forward thinking but with a sense of the arcane. The Quietus has called him "probably the most famous lutenist in the world".
The genesis for his latest album began during lockdown in Warsaw, where Van Wissem splits his time between Rotterdam. "The Call of the Deathbird" was the first song he wrote from the album. One of the relatively rare tracks that Van Wissem sings on Over a hypnotic yet beautifully fluid and plucked melody - along with some stirring and enveloping guest vocals from Hilary Woods (who will tour with Van Wissem later this year - details below) - his towering voice circles above the music much like the swooping deathbird he sings of. Normally Van Wissem writes all the music for one a....... więcej