Jozef Van Wissem

Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

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Jozef Van Wissem may have chosen a trite title for this album, but the subtitle "Solo Lute Palindromes, Airfield Recordings and Electronics" sure delivers the menu. Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear is the follow-up to the 2003 CD Simulacrum. Here, Van Wissem continues to explore the complex simplicity of palindromic composition (see the review of Simulacrum for more on that topic), while adding a new element: field recordings. Several pieces feature airport sounds used as a backdrop for the more stripped-down pieces, efficiently giving more weight to the Spartan lute parts by drawing attention away from them (particularly in "Analogon," a highlight). For "Stichomythy," Van Wissem called in percussionist Arnold Marinissen to perform a gamelan-like part that, together with the repetitive lute phrases, strangely evokes the universe of Harry Partch. The other tracks only feature the lute, its sound possibly enhanced by electronics as for the previous album. Again, Van Wissem's pieces are obtained from rigorous sets of rules, yet sound delightfully elegant and simple. Tracks like "At Night the Silence Seems to Flow" and "Gods Own Country" are timeless compositions, and that, much more than the field recordings, is what makes this album -- and Van Wissem's music in general -- so different.

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