“As both an avant-garde composer and a baroque lutenist, the Dutch musician Mr van Wissem is no stranger to dichotomy.”
The New York Times
His music is uncluttered and direct, with a viscerally hypnotic and emotional impact and delivered with an ascetic intensity reflected in his catholic titles. Long form graceful melodies create a transcendental pastoral world.
An incessantly touring musician, his intense live shows have taken him all over the world, and he has performed at prestigious festivals like All Tomorrow’s Parties and Primavera Sound.
Van Wissem studied lute in New York City with Pat O’Brien and he gives lectures on “The Liberation of the Lute”. He was commissioned by London’s National Gallery to compose a sound piece to Hans Holbein’s painting The Ambassadors, and he performed lute and voice pieces for the Sims Medieval video game. In 2013 he won the Cannes Soundtrack award for "Only Lovers Left Alive".
He collaborates with Jim Jarmusch, Tilda Swinton and Zola Jesus. Currently he is composing several soundtracks for cinema. An all black, one-of-a-kind baroque lute was custom built for him and according to NPR’s All Songs Considered, “his compositions are heavy and set in hypnotic darkness”.
Graduated in Electroacoustic Composition, violinist Agathe Max, besides her solo project and her different collaborations ( Max Turner, Farewell Poetry, Hell & High Water, Sathönay, Duane Pitre, Rhys Chatham, Chris Garneau…), works on different projects including music and sound design for documentaries, animated movies, short movies, theater, contemporary danse and art exhibition.
Trained in classical music for 1O years, she graduated at the Bourgoin-Jallieu School of Music, France, in 1995. Later on, she got exposed to improvised music and to the experimental scene. Inspired by a world both enchanting and draped in darkness, she has developed a wide range of sound textures, unique and melodious, creating unconventional and magnetic musical pieces reflecting a personality in constant search of rareness in music. Her concerts are a musical gift to many festivals in France and abroad, with enchanting and fascinating performances.
She released a first album, self-produced, in 2006, entitled Solace the Grizzly.
In 2007, the independant record label Angry Ballerina released a live album, Sonic Live, recorded at Sonic, a prestigious musical venue in Lyon, France.
The same year, her encounter with the drummer and composer Jonathan Kane was crucial and led her to collaborate with the record label TABLE OF THE ELEMENTS with whom she released her third album This Silver String in October 2008. It was widely acclaimed by the press and presented in tours throughout US and Europe.
Dangerous Days, her first LP, was released on February 2013, on the french label Inglorious Records. More orchestrated and deep, the 6 tracks of this album have in common soundscapes leading to reverie and contemplation with hypnotic rhythms and surprising tunes.
Her last album Ambiance 2 was released in april 2014 by BoxBedroomRebels, label from Manchester. It is an hommage to Brian Eno’s Ambient , including one EP with two tracks and a CD long play with a 75 minutes of meditative piece.
Her recent collaboration with the two artists Mathieu Copeland and Philippe Decrauzat has conducted her to compose an original soundtrack for a 16mm movie. This will be the first part of an ensemble which will turn into a new album coming out this year.
She also started a new project called OFIELD, electronic project mixing environmental sounds with effects and loops, creating a new kind of soundscapes for an imaginary land. This project was born after a residency in french area of Lozere on summer 2015 with the interdisciplinary artistic collectif Prisma. OFIELD is linked with the tradition of electroacoustic composition, it is therfore the continuity of Agathe Max’s work.