JoeMc on 02/10/2010 at 02:00PM
Last year on a short trip to London, I had the good fortune of catching a gig by the duo Brethren of the Free Spirit, a collaboration between guitarist James Blackshaw and lutenist Jozef Van Wissem. As I listened to the players interact, I remember feeling that the music was somehow modern and ancient at the same time. Shades of art music, classical music, and folk music colored what I heard, but none of those terms adequately described the hypnotic, gauzy yet focused sounds coming from the stage. James Blackshaw's circular guitar playing anchored the duo, but what really got to me was that lute player, whose brightly plucked instrument added something almost spiritual to the music.
That was my introduction to Jozef Van Wissem, the lutenist whose records under his own name are among the most satisfying acoustic records around. His record on Important from last year, It Is All That Is Made, is a sublime piece of work that I can't seem to get tired of. I soon found out that the prolific gentleman has been recording since 2000, and he has made a bunch of records. Listen below to a track from his 2008 album, A priori. It's a beautiful track that captures a lot of what is special about his sound. And, if you like this track, the whole album can be downloaded from the FMA for free here.