When it comes to filmmaker/musician collaborations, the new LP featuring Dutch minimalist composer/lute player Josef Van Wissem and Stranger than Paradise/Broken Flowers/Coffee & Cigarettes director Jim Jarmusch makes the David Lynch/Danger Mouse/Sparklehorse collabo album Dark Night of the Soul look positively mainstream. For, you see, Van Wissem is no run-of-the-mill, bawdy summer Renaissance Festival, LARPing lute player. No — he is an artist, in the most all-encompassing, artiest sense of the world.
Van Wissem makes Renaissance and Baroque lute jams not just contemporary, but straight-up experimental. His music combines field recordings, electronics, and No Wave influences. He has collaborated with avant-garde luminaries such as James Blackshaw and Keiji Haino, and was even commissioned by London’s National Gallery to write a composition based on the Hans Holbein painting “The Ambassadors.” Fun fact: he also wrote lute and vocal melodies for the new medieval version of the Sims computer games.
And now, with the release of The Joy that Never Ends, Van Wissem’s collabo with Jarmusch (who plays the guitar and amps up the feedback) and vocalist Jeanne Madic, you too can live every day accompanied by the music of Mr. Van Wissem and his lute. JUST LIKE THE MEDIEVAL SIMS!!!! (Except that you’re actually sentient and breathing, but you get it.) The new album will be available as a CD or LP on Important Records come June 28. The LP is part of a limited run of 500, and the CD includes a bonus track. Check out “His Is the Ecstasy” here.
The Joy that Never Ends tracklisting:
01. The Joy that Never Ends
02. His is the Ecstasy
03. Concerning the Beautiful Human Form After Death
04. Concerning the Precise Nature of Truth
05. The Hearts of the Daughters Are Returned to their Mothers
06. The Great Joy (CD-only bonus track)