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Atlantic Waves 30nov10: Belgium

Griff Trio was formed by Rémi Decker and uses the skills of three virtuoso bagpipe players (either playing solo or in polyphony), arranged in a modern, though not superficial way. Their repertoire is a balance between new composition and traditional music, using different types of bagpipes, as well as whistles and singing. Griff Trio already blew away the dust of old myths concerning bagpipes; “Pipes but no kilt” is their motto… They play tunes in their particular own style using an army of windbags, tubes and pipes of each format plus the icy warm voice of Raphaël the Cock. With musical traditions as an inspirational source their playing regards harmony and virtuosity in both early and more contemporary music.

The next time you hear a Euro-sceptic politician question just what the EU has ever done for us, point them in the direction of Mec Yek. For the European Community’s value isn’t merely economic; the free and frank exchange of culture has been much welcome too. Twenty years ago, Mec Yek simply wouldn’t have existed – their personnel, spanning the continent’s western and eastern reaches, would have been unlikely to have crossed each others’ paths. Fronted by a pair of spirited Roma sisters, Mec Yek is the brainchild of Piet Maris, frontman with past WOMAD faves Jaune Toujours. His fascination with Eastern European gypsy culture has culminated in forming this tradition-savvy yet musically adventurous combo, one powered along by accordion, clarinet, double bass and drums. Along the way they’ve picked up an ever-increasing gaggle of admirers, including fRoots who praised the combination of “earthy traditionalism and hot jazz”. Exactly the kind of mongrel sound that the isolationist politicos would hate. (Nige Tassell, Womad 09)

La Panika is a Tzigano-coppered brass band. Brass band but not just that, La Panika is the fruit of one thousand meetings, one thousand tumults, one thousand madnesses, one thousand events. Panika became an inescapable brass band of the gypsy musics of the Balkans, strongly influenced by the roms musics of the Black Sea.

Since 1996, Dirk Swartenbroekx is making funky records under the name of Buscemi, one of his favorite actors. His style is deep. Difficult to categorise: nu bossa, nu lounge, house music, brazilian grooves, afrobeat, drum ‘n bass… Dancemusic with a latin feel is maybe the best description of the sound of Buscemi.

La Fanfare du Belgistan: The Belgistan, a small autonomous (and purely fictional) region of Eastern Belgium, proudly presents its Fanfare: an ensemble of five horns and two percussionists bringing the unique sounds of Belgistani music to the world audience… Its hellish dances, wild and mysterious rhythms, and hypnotic melodies will appeal to both lovers of Arab and Gypsy music and fans of jazz. The Fanfare’s extensive collection of classic and exotic musical instruments (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, trumpet, sousaphone, derbouka, tapan, karkabas, guembri and many more) produces the most eccentric sounds and eclectic experiences: from traditional Gypsy songs to original and modern compositions, as well as some Asian-inspired groove music and contemporary improvisation. The mood is happy, even dizzying. Trance and dance come together for an unforgettable experience.

Jaune Toujours: no linguistic or other borders (singing in French, English and Dutch), catchy songs, punky attitude, drum&brass, Balkan madness, accordion dub and Belgian ska.

Klezmic Zirkus finds its identity between tradition and modernity, structure and improvisation. Its unbridled rythms apeal to the body, its soulfull melodies to the heart, its sometimes elaborated structures to the mind.

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 26nov10: Wim Mertens

The Belgian composer Wim Mertens (born 1953) is an international recording and performing artist who has given several concerts, as a soloist and with his ensemble all over Europe, in North and Central America, Japan and in Russia. Mertens plays the piano and the classical guitar. He sings in a characteristically high-pitched voice, using a carefully crafted personal language. Since 1980 he has composed many pieces in different formats, from short, accessible songs or Lieder to magnanimous and complex three and four parts cycles, and for different settings: from piano solo to chamber music ensembles and symphonic orchestra. He often writes for unusual instrumentations: twelve piccolos, ten bass trombones, thirteen clarinets.

Since his recording debut in 1980, titled For Amusement Only, an electronic composition for pinball machines, Wim Mertens has released more than 50 albums. He wrote American Minimal Music, the first book which deals in depth with the school of American repetitive music. Early landmark albums are Vergessen (1982) and Struggle For Pleasure, which includes Close Cover, still one of his classics.

The 1985 album Maximizing The Audience, marks the introduction of the vocal element in Mertens’ music. Throughout the years the composer has expressed the increasing vocal inspiration of his music on piano and voice albums such as A man of no fortune, and with a name to come (1986), After virtue (1988) and Stratégie de la rupture (1991), Jérémiades (1995), Der heisse brei (2000) and Un respiro (2005).

Other special releases included the 1997?s guitar album Sin embargo and Moment (2003), a 13 albums box set covering the period 1980-1989 with 80 compositions.

In 2002, Wim Mertens started with the release of a live series entitled Years without history composed of live recordings completed since the 80?s. The series includes so far 7 albums: Moins de mètre, assez de rythme (2002), In the absence of hindrance (2002), Cave musicam (2002), Not yet, no longer (2004), With no need for seeds (2004), The promise kept in advance (2008, only included in the 6 cd’s box set Years without history vol. 1-6) and Nosotros (2008).

Wim Mertens also works for the theatre and the movies. He wrote several scores such as Jan Fabre’s performance’s The Power of theatrical madness (1984), Peter Greenaway’s film The belly of an architect (1987), Je pense à vous by the brothers Luc and Jean- Pierre Dardenne, Marion Hänsel’s film Li – Between the devil and the deep blue sea (1992), Paul Cox’s Father Damien (1999), among others.

Currently the artist is performing with different formations: Solo piano, Duo (violin, piano), Piano trio (violin, cello, piano) with different Ensembles and also with Symphonic Orchestra.

2009’s releases include the box set Music and film, composed of three cd’s covering a large selection of Mertens’ film music and the re-release of the 1999 soundtrack album Father Damien. In June 2009, EMI Classics gathers together for the first time the cycle Qua, started in 1990 avec Alle dinghe, followed by Gave van niets in 1994, Kere weerom in 1999 and Aren lezen in 2001. The 37 albums are now available in an elegant box set. At the same time, the new Wim Mertens ensemble studio album The world tout court is released. Wim Mertens discography is now available worldwide on EMI Classics, except in Spain where it is licensed to Warner Music Spain.

His latest studio album, Zee versus Zed, was released in April 2010. With Zee versus Zed Mertens releases 10 pieces for an ensemble composed of strings, brass, harp and guitar. With titles such as Zusammensetzen, Zing’up, Zoet’kemiesch and the vocal Z’s rival, the last letter of the alphabet serves as a fil conducteur for the new album.

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 19nov10: Wim Mertens

The Belgian composer Wim Mertens (born 1953) is an international recording and performing artist who has given several concerts, as a soloist and with his ensemble all over Europe, in North and Central America, Japan and in Russia. Mertens plays the piano and the classical guitar. He sings in a characteristically high-pitched voice, using a carefully crafted personal language. Since 1980 he has composed many pieces in different formats, from short, accessible songs or Lieder to magnanimous and complex three and four parts cycles, and for different settings: from piano solo to chamber music ensembles and symphonic orchestra. He often writes for unusual instrumentations: twelve piccolos, ten bass trombones, thirteen clarinets.

Since his recording debut in 1980, titled For Amusement Only, an electronic composition for pinball machines, Wim Mertens has released more than 50 albums. He wrote American Minimal Music, the first book which deals in depth with the school of American repetitive music. Early landmark albums are Vergessen (1982) and Struggle For Pleasure, which includes Close Cover, still one of his classics.

The 1985 album Maximizing The Audience, marks the introduction of the vocal element in Mertens’ music. Throughout the years the composer has expressed the increasing vocal inspiration of his music on piano and voice albums such as A man of no fortune, and with a name to come (1986), After virtue (1988) and Stratégie de la rupture (1991), Jérémiades (1995), Der heisse brei (2000) and Un respiro (2005).

Other special releases included the 1997?s guitar album Sin embargo and Moment (2003), a 13 albums box set covering the period 1980-1989 with 80 compositions.

In 2002, Wim Mertens started with the release of a live series entitled Years without history composed of live recordings completed since the 80?s. The series includes so far 7 albums: Moins de mètre, assez de rythme (2002), In the absence of hindrance (2002), Cave musicam (2002), Not yet, no longer (2004), With no need for seeds (2004), The promise kept in advance (2008, only included in the 6 cd’s box set Years without history vol. 1-6) and Nosotros (2008).

Wim Mertens also works for the theatre and the movies. He wrote several scores such as Jan Fabre’s performance’s The Power of theatrical madness (1984), Peter Greenaway’s film The belly of an architect (1987), Je pense à vous by the brothers Luc and Jean- Pierre Dardenne, Marion Hänsel’s film Li – Between the devil and the deep blue sea (1992), Paul Cox’s Father Damien (1999), among others.

Currently the artist is performing with different formations: Solo piano, Duo (violin, piano), Piano trio (violin, cello, piano) with different Ensembles and also with Symphonic Orchestra.

2009’s releases include the box set Music and film, composed of three cd’s covering a large selection of Mertens’ film music and the re-release of the 1999 soundtrack album Father Damien. In June 2009, EMI Classics gathers together for the first time the cycle Qua, started in 1990 avec Alle dinghe, followed by Gave van niets in 1994, Kere weerom in 1999 and Aren lezen in 2001. The 37 albums are now available in an elegant box set. At the same time, the new Wim Mertens ensemble studio album The world tout court is released. Wim Mertens discography is now available worldwide on EMI Classics, except in Spain where it is licensed to Warner Music Spain.

His latest studio album, Zee versus Zed, was released in April 2010. With Zee versus Zed Mertens releases 10 pieces for an ensemble composed of strings, brass, harp and guitar. With titles such as Zusammensetzen, Zing’up, Zoet’kemiesch and the vocal Z’s rival, the last letter of the alphabet serves as a fil conducteur for the new album.

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 12nov10: Wim Mertens

The Belgian composer Wim Mertens (born 1953) is an international recording and performing artist who has given several concerts, as a soloist and with his ensemble all over Europe, in North and Central America, Japan and in Russia. Mertens plays the piano and the classical guitar. He sings in a characteristically high-pitched voice, using a carefully crafted personal language. Since 1980 he has composed many pieces in different formats, from short, accessible songs or Lieder to magnanimous and complex three and four parts cycles, and for different settings: from piano solo to chamber music ensembles and symphonic orchestra. He often writes for unusual instrumentations: twelve piccolos, ten bass trombones, thirteen clarinets.

Since his recording debut in 1980, titled For Amusement Only, an electronic composition for pinball machines, Wim Mertens has released more than 50 albums. He wrote American Minimal Music, the first book which deals in depth with the school of American repetitive music. Early landmark albums are Vergessen (1982) and Struggle For Pleasure, which includes Close Cover, still one of his classics.

The 1985 album Maximizing The Audience, marks the introduction of the vocal element in Mertens’ music. Throughout the years the composer has expressed the increasing vocal inspiration of his music on piano and voice albums such as A man of no fortune, and with a name to come (1986), After virtue (1988) and Stratégie de la rupture (1991), Jérémiades (1995), Der heisse brei (2000) and Un respiro (2005).

Other special releases included the 1997?s guitar album Sin embargo and Moment (2003), a 13 albums box set covering the period 1980-1989 with 80 compositions.

In 2002, Wim Mertens started with the release of a live series entitled Years without history composed of live recordings completed since the 80?s. The series includes so far 7 albums: Moins de mètre, assez de rythme (2002), In the absence of hindrance (2002), Cave musicam (2002), Not yet, no longer (2004), With no need for seeds (2004), The promise kept in advance (2008, only included in the 6 cd’s box set Years without history vol. 1-6) and Nosotros (2008).

Wim Mertens also works for the theatre and the movies. He wrote several scores such as Jan Fabre’s performance’s The Power of theatrical madness (1984), Peter Greenaway’s film The belly of an architect (1987), Je pense à vous by the brothers Luc and Jean- Pierre Dardenne, Marion Hänsel’s film Li – Between the devil and the deep blue sea (1992), Paul Cox’s Father Damien (1999), among others.

Currently the artist is performing with different formations: Solo piano, Duo (violin, piano), Piano trio (violin, cello, piano) with different Ensembles and also with Symphonic Orchestra.

2009?s releases include the box set Music and film, composed of three cd’s covering a large selection of Mertens’ film music and the re-release of the 1999 soundtrack album Father Damien. In June 2009, EMI Classics gathers together for the first time the cycle Qua, started in 1990 avec Alle dinghe, followed by Gave van niets in 1994, Kere weerom in 1999 and Aren lezen in 2001. The 37 albums are now available in an elegant box set. At the same time, the new Wim Mertens ensemble studio album The world tout court is released. Wim Mertens discography is now available worldwide on EMI Classics, except in Spain where it is licensed to Warner Music Spain.

His latest studio album, Zee versus Zed, was released in April 2010. With Zee versus Zed Mertens releases 10 pieces for an ensemble composed of strings, brass, harp and guitar. With titles such as Zusammensetzen, Zing’up, Zoet’kemiesch and the vocal Z’s rival, the last letter of the alphabet serves as a fil conducteur for the new album.

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 29oct10: Wim Mertens

The Belgian composer Wim Mertens (born 1953) is an international recording and performing artist who has given several concerts, as a soloist and with his ensemble all over Europe, in North and Central America, Japan and in Russia. Mertens plays the piano and the classical guitar. He sings in a characteristically high-pitched voice, using a carefully crafted personal language. Since 1980 he has composed many pieces in different formats, from short, accessible songs or Lieder to magnanimous and complex three and four parts cycles, and for different settings: from piano solo to chamber music ensembles and symphonic orchestra. He often writes for unusual instrumentations: twelve piccolos, ten bass trombones, thirteen clarinets.

Since his recording debut in 1980, titled For Amusement Only, an electronic composition for pinball machines, Wim Mertens has released more than 50 albums. He wrote American Minimal Music, the first book which deals in depth with the school of American repetitive music. Early landmark albums are Vergessen (1982) and Struggle For Pleasure, which includes Close Cover, still one of his classics.

The 1985 album Maximizing The Audience, marks the introduction of the vocal element in Mertens’ music. Throughout the years the composer has expressed the increasing vocal inspiration of his music on piano and voice albums such as A man of no fortune, and with a name to come (1986), After virtue (1988) and Stratégie de la rupture (1991), Jérémiades (1995), Der heisse brei (2000) and Un respiro (2005).

Other special releases included the 1997?s guitar album Sin embargo and Moment (2003), a 13 albums box set covering the period 1980-1989 with 80 compositions.

In 2002, Wim Mertens started with the release of a live series entitled Years without history composed of live recordings completed since the 80?s. The series includes so far 7 albums: Moins de mètre, assez de rythme (2002), In the absence of hindrance (2002), Cave musicam (2002), Not yet, no longer (2004), With no need for seeds (2004), The promise kept in advance (2008, only included in the 6 cd’s box set Years without history vol. 1-6) and Nosotros (2008).

Wim Mertens also works for the theatre and the movies. He wrote several scores such as Jan Fabre’s performance’s The Power of theatrical madness (1984), Peter Greenaway’s film The belly of an architect (1987), Je pense à vous by the brothers Luc and Jean- Pierre Dardenne, Marion Hänsel’s film Li – Between the devil and the deep blue sea (1992), Paul Cox’s Father Damien (1999), among others.

Currently the artist is performing with different formations: Solo piano, Duo (violin, piano), Piano trio (violin, cello, piano) with different Ensembles and also with Symphonic Orchestra.

2009?s releases include the box set Music and film, composed of three cd’s covering a large selection of Mertens’ film music and the re-release of the 1999 soundtrack album Father Damien. In June 2009, EMI Classics gathers together for the first time the cycle Qua, started in 1990 avec Alle dinghe, followed by Gave van niets in 1994, Kere weerom in 1999 and Aren lezen in 2001. The 37 albums are now available in an elegant box set. At the same time, the new Wim Mertens ensemble studio album The world tout court is released. Wim Mertens discography is now available worldwide on EMI Classics, except in Spain where it is licensed to Warner Music Spain.

His latest studio album, Zee versus Zed, was released in April 2010. With Zee versus Zed Mertens releases 10 pieces for an ensemble composed of strings, brass, harp and guitar. With titles such as Zusammensetzen, Zing’up, Zoet’kemiesch and the vocal Z’s rival, the last letter of the alphabet serves as a fil conducteur for the new album.

Wim Mertens will be playing as a duo (piano/violin) for the first time in the UK on Thursday, 04 November 2010, at Kings Place, as part of the London International Festival of Exploratory Music (LIFEM). Buy tickets here

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 01oct10: Wim Mertens

The Belgian composer Wim Mertens (born 1953) is an international recording and performing artist who has given several concerts, as a soloist and with his ensemble all over Europe, in North and Central America, Japan and in Russia. Mertens plays the piano and the classical guitar. He sings in a characteristically high-pitched voice, using a carefully crafted personal language. Since 1980 he has composed many pieces in different formats, from short, accessible songs or Lieder to magnanimous and complex three and four parts cycles, and for different settings: from piano solo to chamber music ensembles and symphonic orchestra. He often writes for unusual instrumentations: twelve piccolos, ten bass trombones, thirteen clarinets.

Since his recording debut in 1980, titled For Amusement Only, an electronic composition for pinball machines, Wim Mertens has released more than 50 albums. He wrote American Minimal Music, the first book which deals in depth with the school of American repetitive music. Early landmark albums are Vergessen (1982) and Struggle For Pleasure, which includes Close Cover, still one of his classics.

The 1985 album Maximizing The Audience, marks the introduction of the vocal element in Mertens’ music. Throughout the years the composer has expressed the increasing vocal inspiration of his music on piano and voice albums such as A man of no fortune, and with a name to come (1986), After virtue (1988) and Stratégie de la rupture (1991), Jérémiades (1995), Der heisse brei (2000) and Un respiro (2005).

Other special releases included the 1997?s guitar album Sin embargo and Moment (2003), a 13 albums box set covering the period 1980-1989 with 80 compositions.

In 2002, Wim Mertens started with the release of a live series entitled Years without history composed of live recordings completed since the 80?s. The series includes so far 7 albums: Moins de mètre, assez de rythme (2002), In the absence of hindrance (2002), Cave musicam (2002), Not yet, no longer (2004), With no need for seeds (2004), The promise kept in advance (2008, only included in the 6 cd’s box set Years without history vol. 1-6) and Nosotros (2008).

Wim Mertens also works for the theatre and the movies. He wrote several scores such as Jan Fabre’s performance’s The Power of theatrical madness (1984), Peter Greenaway’s film The belly of an architect (1987), Je pense à vous by the brothers Luc and Jean- Pierre Dardenne, Marion Hänsel’s film Li – Between the devil and the deep blue sea (1992), Paul Cox’s Father Damien (1999), among others.

Currently the artist is performing with different formations: Solo piano, Duo (violin, piano), Piano trio (violin, cello, piano) with different Ensembles and also with Symphonic Orchestra.

2009?s releases include the box set Music and film, composed of three cd’s covering a large selection of Mertens’ film music and the re-release of the 1999 soundtrack album Father Damien. In June 2009, EMI Classics gathers together for the first time the cycle Qua, started in 1990 avec Alle dinghe, followed by Gave van niets in 1994, Kere weerom in 1999 and Aren lezen in 2001. The 37 albums are now available in an elegant box set. At the same time, the new Wim Mertens ensemble studio album The world tout court is released. Wim Mertens discography is now available worldwide on EMI Classics, except in Spain where it is licensed to Warner Music Spain.

His latest studio album, Zee versus Zed, was released in April 2010. With Zee versus Zed Mertens releases 10 pieces for an ensemble composed of strings, brass, harp and guitar. With titles such as Zusammensetzen, Zing’up, Zoet’kemiesch and the vocal Z’s rival, the last letter of the alphabet serves as a fil conducteur for the new album.

Wim Mertens will be playing solo for the first time in the UK on Thursday, 04 November 2010, at Kings Place, as part of the London International Festival of Exploratory Music. Buy tickets here

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 17sep10: Wim Mertens

The Belgian composer Wim Mertens (born 1953) is an international recording and performing artist who has given several concerts, as a soloist and with his ensemble all over Europe, in North and Central America, Japan and in Russia. Mertens plays the piano and the classical guitar. He sings in a characteristically high-pitched voice, using a carefully crafted personal language. Since 1980 he has composed many pieces in different formats, from short, accessible songs or Lieder to magnanimous and complex three and four parts cycles, and for different settings: from piano solo to chamber music ensembles and symphonic orchestra. He often writes for unusual instrumentations: twelve piccolos, ten bass trombones, thirteen clarinets.

Since his recording debut in 1980, titled For Amusement Only, an electronic composition for pinball machines, Wim Mertens has released more than 50 albums. He wrote American Minimal Music, the first book which deals in depth with the school of American repetitive music. Early landmark albums are Vergessen (1982) and Struggle For Pleasure, which includes Close Cover, still one of his classics.

The 1985 album Maximizing The Audience, marks the introduction of the vocal element in Mertens’ music. Throughout the years the composer has expressed the increasing vocal inspiration of his music on piano and voice albums such as A man of no fortune, and with a name to come (1986), After virtue (1988) and Stratégie de la rupture (1991), Jérémiades (1995), Der heisse brei (2000) and Un respiro (2005).

Other special releases included the 1997?s guitar album Sin embargo and Moment (2003), a 13 albums box set covering the period 1980-1989 with 80 compositions.

In 2002, Wim Mertens started with the release of a live series entitled Years without history composed of live recordings completed since the 80?s. The series includes so far 7 albums: Moins de mètre, assez de rythme (2002), In the absence of hindrance (2002), Cave musicam (2002), Not yet, no longer (2004), With no need for seeds (2004), The promise kept in advance (2008, only included in the 6 cd’s box set Years without history vol. 1-6) and Nosotros (2008).

Wim Mertens also works for the theatre and the movies. He wrote several scores such as Jan Fabre’s performance’s The Power of theatrical madness (1984), Peter Greenaway’s film The belly of an architect (1987), Je pense à vous by the brothers Luc and Jean- Pierre Dardenne, Marion Hänsel’s film Li – Between the devil and the deep blue sea (1992), Paul Cox’s Father Damien (1999), among others.

Currently the artist is performing with different formations: Solo piano, Duo (violin, piano), Piano trio (violin, cello, piano) with different Ensembles and also with Symphonic Orchestra.

2009?s releases include the box set Music and film, composed of three cd’s covering a large selection of Mertens’ film music and the re-release of the 1999 soundtrack album Father Damien. In June 2009, EMI Classics gathers together for the first time the cycle Qua, started in 1990 avec Alle dinghe, followed by Gave van niets in 1994, Kere weerom in 1999 and Aren lezen in 2001. The 37 albums are now available in an elegant box set. At the same time, the new Wim Mertens ensemble studio album The world tout court is released. Wim Mertens discography is now available worldwide on EMI Classics, except in Spain where it is licensed to Warner Music Spain.

His latest studio album, Zee versus Zed, was released in April 2010. With Zee versus Zed Mertens releases 10 pieces for an ensemble composed of strings, brass, harp and guitar. With titles such as Zusammensetzen, Zing’up, Zoet’kemiesch and the vocal Z’s rival, the last letter of the alphabet serves as a fil conducteur for the new album.

Wim Mertens will be playing solo for the first time in the UK on Thursday, 04 November 2010, at Kings Place, as part of the London International Festival of Exploratory Music. Buy tickets here

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 10sep10: Wim Mertens

The Belgian composer Wim Mertens (born 1953) is an international recording and performing artist who has given several concerts, as a soloist and with his ensemble all over Europe, in North and Central America, Japan and in Russia. Mertens plays the piano and the classical guitar. He sings in a characteristically high-pitched voice, using a carefully crafted personal language. Since 1980 he has composed many pieces in different formats, from short, accessible songs or Lieder to magnanimous and complex three and four parts cycles, and for different settings: from piano solo to chamber music ensembles and symphonic orchestra. He often writes for unusual instrumentations: twelve piccolos, ten bass trombones, thirteen clarinets.

Since his recording debut in 1980, titled For Amusement Only, an electronic composition for pinball machines, Wim Mertens has released more than 50 albums. He wrote American Minimal Music, the first book which deals in depth with the school of American repetitive music. Early landmark albums are Vergessen (1982) and Struggle For Pleasure, which includes Close Cover, still one of his classics.

The 1985 album Maximizing The Audience, marks the introduction of the vocal element in Mertens’ music. Throughout the years the composer has expressed the increasing vocal inspiration of his music on piano and voice albums such as A man of no fortune, and with a name to come (1986), After virtue (1988) and Stratégie de la rupture (1991), Jérémiades (1995), Der heisse brei (2000) and Un respiro (2005).

Other special releases included the 1997’s guitar album Sin embargo and Moment (2003), a 13 albums box set covering the period 1980-1989 with 80 compositions.

In 2002, Wim Mertens started with the release of a live series entitled Years without history composed of live recordings completed since the 80’s. The series includes so far 7 albums: Moins de mètre, assez de rythme (2002), In the absence of hindrance (2002), Cave musicam (2002), Not yet, no longer (2004), With no need for seeds (2004), The promise kept in advance (2008, only included in the 6 cd’s box set Years without history vol. 1-6) and Nosotros (2008).

Wim Mertens also works for the theatre and the movies. He wrote several scores such as Jan Fabre’s performance’s The Power of theatrical madness (1984), Peter Greenaway’s film The belly of an architect (1987), Je pense à vous by the brothers Luc and Jean- Pierre Dardenne, Marion Hänsel’s film Li – Between the devil and the deep blue sea (1992), Paul Cox’s Father Damien (1999), among others.

Currently the artist is performing with different formations: Solo piano, Duo (violin, piano), Piano trio (violin, cello, piano) with different Ensembles and also with Symphonic Orchestra.

2009’s releases include the box set Music and film, composed of three cd’s covering a large selection of Mertens’ film music and the re-release of the 1999 soundtrack album Father Damien. In June 2009, EMI Classics gathers together for the first time the cycle Qua, started in 1990 avec Alle dinghe, followed by Gave van niets in 1994, Kere weerom in 1999 and Aren lezen in 2001. The 37 albums are now available in an elegant box set. At the same time, the new Wim Mertens ensemble studio album The world tout court is released. Wim Mertens discography is now available worldwide on EMI Classics, except in Spain where it is licensed to Warner Music Spain.

His latest studio album, Zee versus Zed, was released in April 2010. With Zee versus Zed Mertens releases 10 pieces for an ensemble composed of strings, brass, harp and guitar. With titles such as Zusammensetzen, Zing’up, Zoet’kemiesch and the vocal Z’s rival, the last letter of the alphabet serves as a fil conducteur for the new album.

Wim Mertens will be playing solo for the first time in the UK on Thursday, 04 November 2010, at Kings Place, as part of the London International Festival of Exploratory Music. Buy tickets here

01. Wim Mertens: “Mystik” (11:25) from “For Amusement Only – The Sound of Pinball Machines” (1980)
02. Wim Mertens: “C·Ntentu Melodiae” (2:30) from “Ver Veranderingen” (1981)
03. Wim Mertens: “That Strange Attractor” (8:12) from “At Home / Not At Home” (1982)
04. Wim Mertens: “Not At Home (Reprise)” (5:14) from “At Home / Not At Home” (1982)
05. Wim Mertens: “Inergys” (3:08) from “Vergessen” (1982)
06. Wim Mertens: “Circular Breathing” (3:47) from “Vergessen” (1982)
07. Wim Mertens: “4 Mains” (3:11) from “Vergessen” (1982)
08. Wim Mertens: “Inergys (Reprise)” (7:00) from “Vergessen” (1982)
09. Wim Mertens: “Tourtour” (2:35) from “Struggle For Pleasure” (1983)
10. Wim Mertens: “Struggle For Pleasure” (3:57) from “Struggle For Pleasure” (1983)
11. Wim Mertens: “Close Cover” (3:21) from “Struggle For Pleasure” (1983)
12. Wim Mertens: “Bresque” (2:38) from “Struggle For Pleasure” (1983)

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Atlantic Waves 13oct09: LIFEM 09

The very first London International Festival of Exploratory Music unites the myspace generation of musical explorers from the four corners of the globe.

Produced by Red Orange and presented in the perfect acoustics of Kings Place, LIFEM has truly exploited the incredible potential of the world-wide-web to seek the most exciting finds from the far East, the middle East, the Arctic Circle, south America and East and West Europe. LIFEM shows just what the internet can do for world music.

LIFEM has curated evenings which bring together a selection of artists from shared continents to reveal the commonality and differences between them.

The Old and New worlds touch on Friday 6 November. Opening with the raw intensity of sean-nós singer Lorcán Mac Mathúna. This young singer makes his first appearance outside Ireland, bringing with him the ancient language of sean-nós and its songs of lament and hardship. Formed by three members of the group Melike, Tri a Tolia brings together Turkish voice, an Iraqi qanun (lap-harp) and a Belgian cello to create spellbinding music that defies easy categorisation. Their debut album Zumurrude received critical acclaim and attracted an international fan base, with this UK debut their live shows should go the same way. Lonely China Day break out of the clichés of Chinese music (traditional, plastic pop or tacky karaoke) and bring to London a taste of China’s growing experimental rock scene.

Friday, 06 November 09

Old and new world music touching approaches
18:30 – 19:15 Lorcán Mac Mathúna (Ireland) [UK premiere] Kings Place – Hall 1 Buy Tickets Here
19:45 – 20:30 Tri a Tolia (Turkey/Iraq/Belgium) [UK premiere] Kings Place – Hall 1 Buy Tickets Here
21:00 – 21:45 Lonely China Day (China) [European premiere] Kings Place – Hall 1 Buy Tickets Here

86 Atlantic Waves 13oct09

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Atlantic Waves 11nov08: Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Belgium

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Sleeping Dogs Lie 19: Vidna Obmana

A beautifully packaged three-disc set from the Projekt label, The Trilogy represents some of the best work of Belgian ambient composer Vidna Obmana. The albums–Passage in Beauty, Shadowing in Sorrow, and Ending Mirage–were all recorded between 1990 and 1992 and showcase Obmana’s more serene, percussionless compositions. Long stretches of ethereal keyboard wax and wane, overlapping one another in smooth succession. Peaceful echoes of distant chimes weave themselves into the mix, adding a touch of melancholy. It’s a perfect blend of goth and new age–relaxing yet darkly contemplative. The Trilogy also serves as a kind of stopping point for Obmana, a transition from the postindustrial soundscapes of 1989’s Monument of Empty Colours to the tribal rhythms of 1993’s Echoing Delight and his later collaborations with ethno-ambient maestro Steve Roach. Three hours of pure, medicative bliss.

01. Vidna Obmana: “Awaken In Floating Colors – composition 1 (opening)” (from “The Trilogy – CD1: Passage in Beauty”, Projekt, 1995)
02. Vidna Obmana: “Of Great Constancy” (from “The Trilogy – CD2: Shadowing in Sorrow”, Projekt, 1995)
03. Vidna Obmana: “Over Angels Grief” (from “The Trilogy – CD2: Shadowing in Sorrow”, Projekt, 1995)
04. Vidna Obmana: “Luxurious” (from “The Trilogy – CD3: Ending Mirage”, Projekt, 1995)
05. Vidna Obmana: “Ending Mirage” (from “The Trilogy – CD3: Ending Mirage”, Projekt, 1995)

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