JOZEF VAN WISSEM at the Swedenborg Chapel
October 10, 2008

Non-Event presents an evening of avant lute and guitar with


with a special post-concert talk, “The Liberation of the Lute,” by Jozef Van Wissem

Swedenborg Chapel
50 Quincy Street
Cambridge (Harvard Square)
7:00 p.m. / $10

About the artists:

Dutch musician JOZEF VAN WISSEM probably plays and composes for the most unlikely instruments in the world of contemporary improvised music: the Renaissance and Baroque lute. He has accomplished the strange feat of bridging the idiom of seventeenth-century lute literature and twenty-first-century free improv of the near-silent type. Although Van Wissem uses subtle electronic sound manipulation, he has largely stayed faithful to the particular timbre, resonance and playing technique of the lute. Van Wissem first became known for his radical conceptual approach to Renaissance lute music. He also composed his own pieces for lute, using palindromes and mirrored structures. His music is quiet and not so much demands concentrated listening, as it will bring the listener in a state of concentrated listening—an aspect that makes Van Wissem a natural ally of the current post-reductionist improvising musicians. In addition to his solo work, he has long standing collaborations with guitarists James Blackshaw, Tetuzi Akiyama and Gary Lucas.

Since 1989, guitarist GLENN JONES has led Boston’s “avant -garage” instrumental rock band Cul de Sac, whose musical adventures are documented on nine albums to date, including a soundtrack for cult-director Roger Corman, and collaborations with guitarist John Fahey and former Can vocalist Damo Suzuki . A 30-plus-year devotee of the so-called “Takoma school,” Jones has written extensively on the steel-string guitar’s leading lights: John Fahey, with whom he was friends for nearly 25 years, and Robbie Basho, who befriended Jones during the five years before his untimely death in 1986. In 2001, Jones began playing acoustic guitar in earnest, which he hadn’t touched in more than a decade. Since then, Jones has kept busy performing with many leading lights of the guitar soli movement, both past and present. Jones’ latest solo release is the brilliant and critically acclaimedAgainst Which the Sea Continually Beats. The album’s 11 tunes run the gamut from Delta to Appalachia, from bastard classical to cinematic soundscapes. He is currently in the process of readying for release some previously unreleased recordings by Robbie Basho.

Non-Event concerts are supported in part by a grant from the LEF foundation.