Jozef van Wissem, minimalist composer and exemplary, exploratory (custom-built) lute player, invites us to surrender to his strange musical world on his new solo record Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back, which will be released by Belgian label Consouling Sounds on November 10th (pre-order available here).
After the release of 2016’s When Shall This Bright Day Begin, Jozef van Wissem returns to Consouling Sounds for this follow-up album which is inspired by a vanitas painting by the Belgian artist Cindy Wright (also the cover of the album) about which Jozef remarks…”informed by renaissance visual art, and serves as a parallel to updated classical lute pieces. In 2008 I was commissioned by The National Gallery in London to write a soundtrack to the Ambassadors painting by Hans Holbein, famous for its anamorphic skull. This record is a follow up of sorts to that. The biblical song titles refer to the front cover as well.”
This inspiration is beautifully reflected in the music of the album: Jozef Van Wissem’s lute arrangements sound fragile, his sparse vocals delicate, as if the vanity, the temporality and senselessness of everything has been rendered audible. Each song title refers to the painting, making each track a memento mori on its own. This is counterbalanced by the intense, and deeply contemplative sounds of the album. Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back might very well be the purest, most expansive Van Wissem album to date.
Having performed over 800 solo lute concerts in churches and at concert venues around the world, including prestigious rock festivals like Primavera Sound, Van Wissem will play the forthcoming live performances throughout the Autumn and Winter period: