cultuur in amsterdam oost watergraafsmeer
Jozef van Wissem
categoriecompositie (jazz), luit (jazz)
The work of Dutch born composer and lute player Jozef van Wissem's is based on application of mirror images in lute composition. The work is idiomatic to lute tablature of around 1600. Through study in New York City with Pat O' Brien he discovered that from the Middle Ages on, one of the variations on the Cantus Firmus ( the given melody) is the backwards performance of the melody. Hence, his first group of compositions, released as a cd " Retrograde. A Classical Deconstruction( Persephone 002) Van Wissem wroteout hundreds of classical lute tablature pieces bottom right corner to top left. To these inversions he added new themes, accents and rhythms. He applied the cut up technique of writer William Burroughs and cut, shifted, mixed and pasted the parts together so there has arisen a new entity. Instead of going back into history to seek out original conventions he moved backwards in search of something new. One critic has compared this collaged paradox to the works of German painter Baselitz, who paints upside down. The second installment in the application of mirror images is the cd " Narcissus Drowning " ( Persephone 003). This work is based on musical palindromes, structures which sound the same when played forward or backwards. To this cd of self composed pieces Jozef van Wissem added percussion and lute electronics. Another critic noted " Jozef van Wissem will have classical lute players foaming at the mouth.

On his third cd Diplopia (BVHaast 0103) Gary Lucas plays national steelguitar with van Wissem playing a renaissance lute with occasional electronics. Jozef van Wissem composed, arranged and produced this acoustic duo release. Van Wissem appropriated some original classical lute compositions as well on this cd. The fourth solo lute recording Simulacrum (Bvhaast 0104) consists of wolf notes and palindrome lute compositions. The lute electronics are achieved by inserting a microphone into the inside body of the lute. The sound is recorded while performing the palindromes.

The cd Proletarian Drift ( BVhaast 0404) is a live recording of Jozef van Wissem on lute and Tetuzi Akiyama on prepared guitar. The concert was completely improvised in a Tokyo gallery.

On " The Universe of Absense" ( BVhaast 0105), the second release by Lucas and Van Wissem, the duo perform more electronic works and add vocals as well. Van Wissem has toured Europe, The USA and Canada as well as Japan, doing solo lute and electronics concerts as well as duo concerts with Gary Lucas and Tetuzi Akiyama. Van Wissem's new cd " Objects in mirror are closer than they appear' is consisting of lute palindromes, airport field recordings, which are doubled in mirror image and electronics is out now (BVHaast 0905). Van Wissem has worked with a.o. Kramer (Shimmy Disc), visual artist Kathe Burkhart, Gary Lucas and Tetuzi Akiyama, producing six cd's to date. He has toured extensively through Europe, the USA, and Japan.