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Jozef Van Wissem - The Joy That Never Ends - LP/CD

Regular price $10.99


Brand new full length CD/LP from acclaimed contemporary composer & lutenist Jozef Van Wissem. Included among these palindromic trance pieces are new compositions and contributions from filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and vocalist Jeanne Madic. CD version includes a bonus track. A pair of pieces working in the theme of maternity/paternity are split between the respective CD & LP releases. The LP pressed in an edition of 500 and the first 100 LPs shipped are on white vinyl.

The Joy That Never Ends offers endless cinematic repetition of tortuously minimal beauty in five layered mirror image compositions from the "sublime master of the lute," Jozef Van Wissem. Unlike his last album, Ex Patris (IMPREC267), Wissem is not alone. Featured here are waves of subtle guitar feedback meandering from the amplifier of filmmaker Jim Jarmusch & vocals from Jeanne Madic.


1. The Joy That Never Ends

2. His Is the Ecstasy

3. Concerning the Beautiful Human Form After Death

4. Concerning the Precise Nature of Truth

5. The Hearts of the Daughters Are Returned To Their Mothers

6. The Great Joy (bonus track)

1. The Joy That Never Ends

2. His Is the Ecstasy

3. Concerning the Beautiful Human Form After Death

4. Concerning the Precise Nature of Truth

5. The Hearts of the Sons Are Returned To Their Fathers



Tiny Mix Tapes

The Wire


Musique Machine

"I'll state it bluntly: I haven't reviewed an album of instrumental music played on a Baroque 24-string lute before. If that disqualifies me, so be it. Yet in Van Wissem's hands it's a gorgeous instrument.  This is a solo recording, and the emphasis is on the instrument--you can hear clearly each pluck of a string. the instrument necessarily gives this music an old-world feeling, but his compositions are progressive. They are tuneful, but repeat and weave together melody lines in a mystical way, as the pieces move forward while walking in place. For example: 'Amor Fati (Love Is a Religion),' which keep starting over again where it left off.  All of the music is like this--powerful in the impact of each sound, but there's a compelling journey underway." ~ Big Takeover

"There are lots of composers out there, and more than a few lutenists, but very few people still alive today who are both, and even fewer who write contemporary music for that ancient instrument. Jozef Van  Wissem is one of those very few, and on this album he plays six original compositions on a thirteen-course baroque lute. In the past he has written and performed music for lute and electronics, but here he is accompanied only by the occasional electric guitar of filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and the mumbled vocals of Jeanne Madic. The titles of the pieces and the lyrics sung by Madic are taken or adapted from the Revelations of Divine Love of 14th-century mystic Julian of Norwich, and the music itself tends to be rather minimalist: lots of repetitive arpeggiated figures, sometimes consisting of overdubbed parts. This is the kind of music that treads a fine line: the longest track at over sixteen minutes, The Hearts of the Daughters Are Returned to Their Mothers is also the least interesting despite its attractive layering of lute parts. On the other hand, The Joy That Never Ends weaves a lovely tapestry of contrapuntal but harmonically static lines, underneath which Madic seems to be whispering 'Tout ira bien' (which would be a French translation of Julian's most famous aphorism, 'All shall be well'). His Is the Ecstasy is very pretty and would have been even prettier if the lute had been more carefully tuned. The album's final track, The Great Joy, is the most successful despite also being its most starkly minimalist. On this piece, chords fall in thick, dark dollops leavened by occasional single-line departures that crawl modally along unpredictable melodic paths. The Joy That Never Ends is an uneven pleasure, but a significant one." ~ All Music Guide