Jozef Van Wissem / Robbie Lee & Che Chen – October 24th

Jozef Van Wissem

Jozef Van Wissem

“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.

Van Wissem runs the Incunabulum record label, and performs extensively around the world. He has worked with Tetuzi Akiyama, Maurizio Bianchi and James Blackshaw. With Blackshaw he has formed Brethren of the Free Spirit ( Important Records) His solo CD entitled “It is all that is made” was released by Important Records in March 2009. He has lectured a.o. at Wesleyan Universtity, Mills College and Cambridge University on ‘the liberation of the lute”.

Van Wissem has received numerous commissions and grants, most recently from National Gallery, London Van Wissem performs around 80 lute concerts per year and has performed at prestigious festivals and venues like Expo Zaragoza 2008, Spain, Kr-aa-k Festival , Belgium, ZXZW Festival, Holland, Sonorités Festival, France, Serralves em festa Festival, Portugal, Seattle Improvised Music Festival, Suono Per Il Popolo Festival, Montreal, Sintra Music and Dance Festival, Portugal, Byzantine Fresco Museum, Texas, I.C.A, London, and Glasgow, Schindler House, Hollywood.

Some press clippings: “In “The Mirror of Eternal Light,” the Dutch lutist Jozef van Wissem catches his own reflection in tender, minimalist picking and gold-spray overdubs.”- – ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE


“Jozef van Wissem has been slowly reinventing the lute for the last three decades. Among the slew of fast-picking, fancy-fretting guitar players so prevalent today, his lute’s voice is a quiet oasis, and Stations of the Cross a small masterpiece”. The Wire “The way Van Wissem traces and retraces denying the listener any resolution or catharsis, is also pretty contemporary in its attitude of refusal; has there ever been a time besides now when more musicians refuted the expectations of audiences and authorities? The lack of pay-off makes the music potentially maddening; it actually stymies linear thought On an even more symbolic level, by constructing pieces that begin where they end and are therefore potentially endless, he subverts the march of time” – Dusted Magazine

Robbie Lee/Che Chen use a constellation of instruments that includes bass clarinets, baroque recorders, flutes, reed and pipe organs, renaissance keyboard instruments, bowed and plucked strings, bells, shakers, rattles, drums, blocks and the occasional electrical device,  make (mostly) acoustic, improvised music that unfolds slowly, guided principally by a sense of listening in the moment and by placing precedence in attention over technique. They have two cd-rs, “Live at EAT” and “Live on Triangulations” available on their own TELEGRAPH HARP imprint. LP’s are forthcoming.

Robbie Lee has released a solo album (cd/lp) of songs and instrumentals entitled, “Sleep, Memory” on his own I and Ear records as well as several cd-r’s of improvisations and compositions for Renaissance instruments, originally on his now-defunct cd-r label, “No Cat.” These albums, “New Sounds for Old Winds” and “Creatures Alone” will soon be re-released by Telegraph Harp in the near future. In addition to his own music, Robbie has also spent time recording and/or touring with: Neil Michael Haggerty’s Howling Hex, Baby Dee, Love as Laughter, Talibam! and others. Che Chen is also a member of True Primes, a duo with Rolyn Hu. True Primes have two releases out on Locust, “We Have Won” and a split LP with Black Vatican.

Che also edits a periodical anthology of experimental music, film and culture called “O Sirhan, O Sirhan”. Now in its second issue, O.S.O.S. has featured articles about, interviews with, and writings, drawings, films and ephemera Henry Flynt, Bruce McClure, Sir Richard Bishop, Sublime Frequencies, Jessica Rylan (Can’t), Jorge Boehringer (Core of the Coalman), Animal C.

$5-$10 Donation

Show starts @ 8pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: