The Dutch musician Jozef Van Wissem is one of the best-known lutenists in the world, a post-minimalist composer also known for adapting 400-year-old tablature. In a 2012 interview with Architects of Harmonic Rooms, he described how, when performing or writing music, he becomes very open to what’s around him, enabling him to channel melodies, a technique that has allowed him to continually explore new ground across the many albums he has released to date; something that is very evident on his new album, The Night Dwells in the Day, on which he also sings, something we don’t get to hear very often.
Talking about his deep relationship with the lute, he says:
“It’s like a part of my body; the complexity of it is what keeps me going because you can always find something new.”
‘The Night Dwells in the Day’ is set for release on January 19th on Incunabulum Records, and Van Wissem has shared his first single and video for The Call of the Deathbird; see below. He has also announced extensive European live dates for later this year.
The genesis for the album began during lockdown in Warsaw, where Van Wissem splits his time between Rotterdam. “The Call of the Deathbird” was the first song he wrote from the album and is the first to be shared, along with an accompanying video today. Over a hypnotic yet beautifully fluid and plucked melody – it captures scenes of deserted streets, death and the intense isolation that gripped us all. One of the relatively rare tracks that Van Wissem sings on – along with some stirring and enveloping guest vocals from Hilary Woods (who will tour with Van Wissem later this year – his towering voice circles above the music much like the swooping deathbird he sings of.