This Belgian composer is not well known among U.S. audiences, although he has made several highly regarded appearances at the New Music America festivals. In Spain, however, where he was the subject of a major television special, he is a new-music celebrity. Mertens's style employs mesmerizing minimalist techniques with a sense of the romantic that appeals to both serious music aficionados and more mainstream listeners. The keyboardist uses a certain amount of electronics along with some acoustic instruments like violin, flute, and saxophone.
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. Wim 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 basstrombones, 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.
One can imagine how a composer like Wim Mertens could appear on the Windham Hill label and – to some people's surprise – in the late '80s he appeared twice. Whisper Me is a compilation of tracks from his other Crepuscle releases, a mini-overview of his style, and a way of hearing some tracks from the then-impossible-to-find Maximizing the Audience. Mertens has more depth to him than other pianists on the label, and a darkness creeps in at the edges of these works.
Amazing recording meant to be in any respectable music collection, must have definitively, one of the best composers in this modern age. For many of the fans of Wim Mertens, one of the first things we did upon discovering the Internet was to search for him. I spent years unsuccessfully looking for his CDs in stores and catalogs before going online in 96, and was most gratified to find that I could now acquire them. And I have. His fans in the US are few but fierce, and releases like A Man Of No Fortune, And With A Name To Come, explain that ferocity.
With OPEN CONTINUUM Wim Mertens presents his second project with symphonic orchestra. In 2006 the composer recorded Partes extra partes, a studio production with the Brussels Philarmonic directed by the Argentinian conductor Dante Anzolini. Since then, Wim Mertens regularly performed with a piano/voice and symphonic orchestra setup, with among others Madrid, Murcia, Berlin and Brussels Philarmonic’s orchestras. The composer considers the production and the performing with symphonic orchestra as one of the facets of his musical activity.
Compiled from Mertens's solo and group projects recorded during the early to mid '80s, this Windham Hill collection offers an overview of his textural, multilayered style of minimalist composition.
Wim Mertens is a Belgian composer, countertenor vocalist, pianist, guitarist, and musicologist. Mertens studied social and political science at the University of Leuven (graduating in 1975) and musicology at Ghent University; he also studied music theory and piano at the Royal Conservatories of Gent and Brussels. In 1978, he became a producer at the then BRT (Belgian Radio and Television). For Radio 2 (Radio Brabant) he produced concerts by Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Meredith Monk, Urban Sax, and others, and hosted a program called Funky Town together with Gust De Meyer
There's perhaps a touch of irony in the title of Dutch pianist and composer Jeroen van Veen's box set Minimal Piano Collection because at nine discs, it's a pretty massive collection. The program booklet notes that he recorded the entire set, which includes more than ten hours of music, in only six days, an astounding feat. In the program notes, van Veen offers a remarkably clear and concise history of minimalism in music. He defines it broadly enough (following the lead of composer and critic Tom Johnson) to include works by Friedrich Nietzsche and Satie. Philip Glass is the composer most widely represented, with three of the set's nine CDs devoted to his music originally for piano, as well as transcriptions from his film scores and operas. Two discs are given to van Veen's mammoth 24 Préludes, organized according to the framework of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. Other composers range from the very well known, such as Michael Nyman, John Adams, Terry Riley, Arvo Pärt, and John Cage, to the familiar-to-specialists, like Tom Johnson, Wim Mertens, and Jacob ter Veldhuis, to those little-known to American audiences, like Klaas de Vries, Simeon ten Holt, John Borstlap, Yann Tiersen, and Carlos Micháns.
Café del Mar was opened on Ibiza on the 20th of June 1980. The concept was quite simple: Music for the fantastic sunset view. In its early days Café del Mar has been a well-known meeting point for the locals and an inspiration for artists and writers. In the 90s it has developed into one of the most famous spots on Ibiza, which often was chosen for big media-events of MTV, BBC Radio 1 or Channel 4. But most of all Café del Mar is well-known worldwide for their annual chillout compilations. The first official Café del Mar CD was released in 1994, based on the big amount of requests by the fans of the Café. It was a worldwide success and became the starting point to a range, which has gained a great reputation and millions of sales. Café del Mar 35th Anniversary now delivers a wide musical overview on the previous 35 years of this great location. Here you'll find contributions from fantastic acts like Art Of Noise, John Williams, Nightmares On Wax, Moby and M83.