2013 : Jozef Van Wissem

2013 : Jozef Van Wissem

2013 : Jozef Van Wissem

Publicerad: fre, 2013-12-20 08:07

2013 kicked off with the American black lute tour, touring the midwest and south. it was so cold people were fishing through the ice on the lakes. At the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit i shoved the chairs by way of percussion while walking through the audience. Back home in New York one day before the Europe tour our cat Larry (female, named after Larry David) had 4 kittens. We gave them away. Europe gave something back however. We played the Barcelona Primavera festival in May but my acoustic set with Jim Jarmusch was interrupted by a spanish bar band called the Jesus and Mary Chain. So we plugged in our electric guitars and flew to the Cannes Film Festival in the morning.

I won the Cannes Soundtrack award for best film score for "Only Lovers Left Alive" ,jim's vampire romance. At the after party actor Tom Hiddleston ( Loki in the Avengers) told me he had based the role of the vampire Adam on me. And John Hurt said he loved the classical renaissance lute piece under his role of Marlowe (Shakespeare's ghostwriter) in the film. Shakespeare talks about the piece " Sick, Sick and very Sick" in "Much Ado About Nothing". After Cannes I had to play a lot of venues connected to the movie, the american film festival in Wroclaw was at a beautiful gothic church where i climbed on the altar with the black lute and then walked into the audience.

As far as audiences go i am enthralled by eastern european audiences. People in the east are so hungry for exciting cutting edge music still. For instance I use intentional low end lute feedback so the concert becomes about the room it's held in, rather about architecture. I let the open bass strings resonate through subwoofers so there's this drone taking shape in which the size and build of the room plays a great part. People manning the mixing tables think it's a technical mistake however. Having to tell sound guys at venues not to turn down the low end feedback became the mantra of the year. Like one German PA owner put it bluntly " we were told in school to eliminate all feedback.

In June we played ATP Iceland. We had practiced our set as a trio, Jim, Carter and myself (SQURL) . The show was in a former Nato base- the only place in Iceland where grass grew. Suddenly Tilda Swinton showed up ( she was visiting Bjork) and quickly in the dressing room we improvised a piece with guitar harmonics and a modulating drum pattern. Hypnotic Tilda jumped on stage and read a sensual poem by Rumi to the improv piece. You can't plan these things.

A define momentum of the year for me was in December at Tresor in Berlin at a presentation for Only Lovers Left Alive. A black lute solo set was concluded by a duo with Zola Jesus, a song i wrote for her ( In Templum Dei) which concludes the film. It's a lute piece based on a classical prelude which turns backwards midway. On top of that i wrote a Pseudo-Gregorian vocal melody which Zola sang, mesmerizing the audience and making time stand still in the process.

Best shows i saw were Mind over Mirrors in Chicago, Eleh, Iceage and Lower in New York. The greatest show of the year to me was Follakzoid from Chili at the last Camber Sands ATP. Honorable mention to Nick Cave who dropped of the stage and had to be taken to the hospital and the Fall (the band), both at ATP Iceland. To me this year personally musically was also about playing electric guitar ( modified 12 string) live on stage and in the studio after a break of 15 years. It's a pleasure to be loud again.

Jozef Van Wissem

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