Jozef van Wissem

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Jozef van Wissem
Jozef van Wissem 2009.jpg
van Wissem performing at the Mills Gallery in 2009
Background information
Born1962 (age 56–57)
Maastricht, Netherlands
GenresClassical, minimal
Years active2000–present
LabelsThe Spring Press
Amish Records
Sacred Bones Records
Important Records
Incunabulum Records
BVHaast Records
Persephone Records

Jozef van Wissem (born 22nov 1962) is a Dutch minimalist composer and lute player[1] based in Brooklyn.[2] In 2013 van Wissem won the Cannes Soundtrack Award for the score of Only Lovers Left Alive at the Cannes Film Festival.


Jozef van Wissem was born in Maastricht. An incessantly touring musician, van Wissem studied lute in New York with Patrick O'Brien in 1990s.

Jozef van Wissem's solo albums, It Is All That Is Made (2009) and Ex Patris (2010), were both released on Important Records.[3][4] He released The Joy That Never Ends, an album with Jim Jarmusch on the label in 2011.[5] He also wrote a score for the video game The Sims Medieval.[6]

Concerning the Entrance into Eternity, his first collaborative album with Jim Jarmusch, was released on Important Records in early 2012.[7] The Mystery of Heaven, his second collaborative album with Jarmusch, was released on Sacred Bones Records later that year.[8] "The More She Burns the More Beautifully She Glows", a track off the album, featured a guest appearance from Tilda Swinton.[9] Van Wissem scored Jarmusch's 2013 film Only Lovers Left Alive .[10]

Style and influences[edit]

According to NPR's All Songs Considered, "his compositions are heavy and set in hypnotic darkness".[11]


Solo albums[edit]

  • Retrograde: A Classical Deconstruction (2000, Persephone)
  • Narcissus Drowning (2002, Persephone)
  • Simulacrum (2003, BVHaast)
  • Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear (2005, BVHaast)
  • A Rose by Any Other Name: Anonymous Lute Solos of the Golden Age (2006, Incunabulum)
  • Stations of the Cross (2007, Incunabulum)
  • A Priori (2008, Incunabulum)
  • It Is All That Is Made (2009, Important Records)
  • Ex Patris (2010, Important Records)
  • The Joy That Never Ends (2011, Important Records)
  • Arcana Coelestia (2012, The Spring Press)
  • Nihil Obstat (2013, Important Records)
  • It Is Time For You To Return (2014, Crammed Discs)
  • Partir to Live (2015, Sacred Bones)
  • When Shall This Bright Day Begin (2016, Consouling Sounds)
  • New Lute Music For Film (2017, Incunabulum)
  • Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back (2017, Consouling Sounds)
  • We Adore You, You Have No Name (2018, Consouling Sounds)

Collaborative albums[edit]

  • Diplopia (2003, BVHaast) with Gary Lucas
  • Proletarian Drift (2004, BVHaast) with Tetuzi Akiyama
  • The Universe of Absence (2004, BVHaast) with Gary Lucas
  • Das Platinzeitalter (2007, Incunabulum) with Maurizio Bianchi
  • Hymn for a Fallen Angel (2007, Incunabulum) with Tetuzi Akiyama
  • All Things Are from Him, Through Him and in Him (2008, Audiomer) as Brethren of the Free Spirit
  • The Wolf Also Shall Dwell with the Lamb (2008, Important Records) as Brethren of the Free Spirit
  • Suite the Hen's Teeth (2010, Incunabulum) with Smegma
  • Downland (2010, Incunabulum) with United Bible Studies
  • A Prayer for Light (2010, Incunabulum) with Heresy of the Free Spirit
  • Concerning the Entrance into Eternity (2012, Important Records) with Jim Jarmusch
  • The Mystery of Heaven (2012, Sacred Bones Records) with Jim Jarmusch and Tilda Swinton
  • Apokatastasis (2012, Incunabulum) featuring Jim Jarmusch
  • Only Lovers Left Alive (2014, Atp Recordings) with Zola Jesus and Sqürl
  • An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil (2019, Sacred Bones Records) with Jim Jarmusch

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • "The Mirror of Eternal Light" on The Garden of Forking Paths (2007, Important Records)
  • "This Is How We Sing" on New Music for Old Instruments (2012, Incunabulum) with Jon Mueller and Robbie Lee
  • "Prayer Of Quiet" on New Music For Old Instruments (2012, Incunabulum) with Keiji Haino


  1. ^ Dollar, Steve (May 6, 2011). "Gods, Monsters and Guitars". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
  2. ^ Meyer, Bill (September 29, 2008). "Jozef Van Wissem - A Priori". Dusted Magazine.
  3. ^ Spicer, Justin (May 29, 2009). "Agitated Atmosphere: Jozef Van Wissem - It Is All That Is Made". KEXP-FM.
  4. ^ Martin-McCormick, Daniel (November 12, 2010). "Jozef Van Wissem - Ex Patris". Dusted Magazine.
  5. ^ Meyer, Bill (June 10, 2011). "Jozef Van Wissem - The Joy That Never Ends". Dusted Magazine.
  6. ^ Meyer, Bill (May 4, 2012). "Jozef Van Wissem and Jim Jarmusch - Concerning the Entrance into Eternity". Dusted Magazine.
  7. ^ Masters, Marc (February 22, 2012). "Jim Jarmusch: Concerning the Entrance Into Eternity". Pitchfork Media.
  8. ^ Kivel, Adam (November 15, 2012). "Album Review: Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch – The Mystery of Heaven". Consequence of Sound.
  9. ^ Strohm, Adam (November 13, 2012). "Jozef Van Wissem and Jim Jarmusch - The Mystery of Heaven". Dusted Magazine.
  10. ^ Cronk, Jordan (May 25, 2013). "Cannes Film Festival 2013: Only Lovers Left Alive Review". Slant Magazine.
  11. ^ Gotrich, Lars (February 1, 2013). "Song Premiere: Jozef Van Wissem, 'Where You Lived And What You Lived For". NPR..

External links[edit]