From Metropolis Underground in Syracuse.
Composer-lute player Jozef Van Wissem is renowned for his unusual approach of the Renaissance and Baroque lute. He cuts and pastes classical pieces, reverses melodies, adds electronics and processed field recordings made at airport lounges and train stations. The unusual wedlock of composition and improvisation creates an unheard amalgam of contemporary folk and late Renaissance music. He has accomplished the strange feat of bridging the idiom of seventeenth century lute literature and twenty-first century composition. Although Van Wissem uses subtle electronic sound manipulation, he has largely stayed faithful to the particular timbre, resonance and playing technique of the lute. Van Wissem first came to be noticed a few years ago because of his radical conceptual approach to Renaissance lute music: he deconstructed existing compositions, for instance by playing them backwards. He also composes his own pieces for lute, using palindromes and mirrored structures. His music therefore does not have a traditional linear progression, nor leads to a climax, it rather stays on the same level of intensity. His music is quiet and not so much demands concentrated listening, as it will bring the listener in a state of concentrated listening.