Jozef Van Wissem

A new offering from Dutch Lutenist Van Wissem, this time without the accompaniment of Jim Jarmsch, sees the classical veteran return to a soft grey palette of bittersweet instrumentals. The album is clouded with the weighted emotional clout that Van Wissem seems to invariably convey in a way that his fingerpicked contemporaries in the guitar circles never seem to quite reach; the tonality of his medieval instrument adding a special bit of somber color to each of his compositions. And though the instrument itself seems like a bit of a novelty in 2013, the instrument's origins never make his compositions feel less modern, they're never weighed down with the kind of traveling bard associations that one usually jumps to when the word lute is mentioned. Instead Van Wissem drafts a soundtrack of heartstrings and long sighs that crash and dissolve beautifully between his plucks. You'd be hard pressed to find another player who wields the instrument with as much grace and virtuosity balancing on a delicate edge.


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posted by dissensous at 9:14:00 AM


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