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|Born||14 May 1953|
|Genres||New-age, avant-garde, contemporary classical|
Wim Mertens (born 14 May 1953) is a Flemish Belgian composer, countertenor vocalist, pianist, guitarist, and musicologist.
A countertenor (also contra tenor) is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range is equivalent to that of the female contralto or mezzo-soprano voice types, generally extending from around G3 to D5 or E5, although a sopranist (a specific kind of countertenor) may match the soprano's range of around C4 to C6. Countertenors often are baritones or tenors at core, but on rare occasions use this vocal range in performance.
Mertens was born in Neerpelt, Belgium. He 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 Ghent Conservatory and the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.
Neerpelt is a former municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg. In December 2012, it had a total population of 16,742, of which 3.090 were foreigners, mainly from neighbouring The Netherlands. The total area is 42.78 km² which gives a population density of 384 inhabitants per km².
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 square kilometres (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.
Ghent University is a public research university located in Ghent, Belgium. It was established in 1817 by King William I of the Netherlands. After the Belgian revolution of 1830, the newly formed Belgian state began to administer the university. In 1930, the university became the first Dutch-speaking university in Belgium, whereas French had previously been the standard academic language. In 1991,it was granted major autonomy and changed its name accordingly from State University of Ghent to its current designation.
In 1978, he became a producer at the then BRT (Belgian Radio and Television, now called Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroep). 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 (with whom he recorded the experimental album For Amusement Only).
Philip Glass is an American composer. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the late 20th century. Glass's work has been described as minimal music, having similar qualities to other "minimalist" composers such as La Monte Young, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley. Glass describes himself as a composer of "music with repetitive structures", which he has helped evolve stylistically.
Stephen Michael Reich is an American composer who, along with La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Philip Glass, pioneered minimal music in the mid to late 1960s.
Terrence Mitchell Riley is an American composer and performing musician associated with the minimalist school of 20th century music, of which he was a pioneer. Influenced by both jazz and Indian classical music, his music became notable for its innovative use of repetition, tape music techniques, and delay systems. He is best known for works such as his 1964 composition In C and 1969 album A Rainbow in Curved Air, both considered landmarks of minimalist music and important influences on subsequent electronic and rock music.
Known primarily as a composer since the early 1980s, Mertens began developing a reputation after releasing "Struggle for Pleasure", under the name of his early ensemble Soft Verdict, and for "Maximizing the Audience", which was composed for Jan Fabre's play The Power of Theatrical Madness, which premiered in 1984 in Venice, Italy.
"Struggle for Pleasure" is a musical piece released in 1983 by Belgian composer Wim Mertens. It is the theme music used by the Belgian phone operator Proximus. It was featured in the Peter Greenaway movie The Belly of an Architect. Energy 52's track "Café Del Mar" features a main melody based on "Struggle for Pleasure". It was also covered by Belgian dance music group Minimalistix in 2000 and reached dance charts across Europe.
Jan Fabre is a Belgian multidisciplinary artist, playwright, stage director, choreographer and designer.
Mertens' style has continually evolved during the course of his prolific career, starting from downright experimental and avant-garde, always gravitating around minimalism, usually, however, preserving a melodic foundation to the forays that he makes into the worlds that he is exploring. His compositional quality has often overweighted the "labelling issue" and reached wider audiences although stemming from a far-from-mainstream musical context (see section In popular culture). One can follow three separate threads of musical styles throughout his work: a) Compositions for ensemble, perhaps his most accessible and "commercial" material; b) Solo piano and voice compositions, which features haunting keyboard melodies accompanied by Mertens' unique high-pitched tenor voice singing in an invented, personal language; and c) Experimental minimalist "cycles" for single, dual, and sometimes more instruments.
The avant-garde are people or works that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox with respect to art, culture, or society. It may be characterized by nontraditional, aesthetic innovation and initial unacceptability, and it may offer a critique of the relationship between producer and consumer.
Mertens has released more than 60 albums to date, the majority of which were issued by Les Disques du Crépuscule from 1980 until 2004. Mertens also produced a number of Crépuscule releases and consulted with the label on its choice of works by contemporary composers such as Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars, and Glenn Branca. Mertens also curated a series of releases for a Crépuscle imprint, Lome Armé, that featured works from the classical era as well as contemporary jazz.
Michael Laurence Nyman, CBE is an English composer of minimalist music, pianist, librettist and musicologist, known for numerous film scores, and his multi-platinum soundtrack album to Jane Campion's The Piano. He has written a number of operas, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; Letters, Riddles and Writs; Noises, Sounds & Sweet Airs; Facing Goya; Man and Boy: Dada; Love Counts; and Sparkie: Cage and Beyond. He has written six concerti, five string quartets, and many other chamber works, many for his Michael Nyman Band. He is also a performing pianist. Nyman prefers to write opera rather than other forms of music.
Richard Gavin Bryars is an English composer and double bassist. He has worked in jazz, free improvisation, minimalism, historicism, avant-garde, and experimental music.
Glenn Branca was an American avant-garde composer and guitarist known for his use of volume, alternative guitar tunings, repetition, droning, and the harmonic series. Branca received a 2009 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.
In August 2007 Mertens signed a contract with EMI Classics (now Warner Classics) for his entire catalog.The label re-released his entire back-catalog beginning in January 2008. EMI Music Belgium also released Mertens' new work, beginning with the 9-track album Receptacle on 24 September 2007. For this album Mertens decided to work with an orchestra consisting of only women, 17 in total. It is not the first time that Mertens worked with EMI. Already in 1999, Mertens released the soundtrack to the Paul Cox film Molokai: The Story of Father Damien via EMI Classics.
Mertens is the author of American Minimal Music,which looks at the school of American repetitive music and the work of LaMonte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass.
Several of these were also released under the band name "Soft Verdict" (years 1980-1985 ?)
Ultramarine are an English electronic music duo, formed in 1989 by Ian Cooper and Paul Hammond. They are best known for their 1991 debut album Every Man and Woman is a Star. Their work blended elements of techno and ambient music with folk instrumentation and other eclectic sources.
Over the Rhine is an American, Ohio-based folk music band, the core of which is the husband-and-wife team of pianist/guitarist/bassist Linford Detweiler and vocalist/guitarist Karin Bergquist. The band began as a quartet with guitarist Ric Hordinski and drummer Brian Kelley. Hordinski left the band in December 1996, and Kelley continued to play into 1997 before departing. The original foursome reunited in December 2008 at The Taft Theatre to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the formation of the band, and again in the summer of 2010 at Ric's studio, "the Monastery", to play the album "Good Dog Bad Dog" live, in its entirety.
Hip-O Records is a record label that specializes in reissues and compilations. It is part of Universal Music Group. Established in 1996, the label has distributed releases from 'out of style' genres such as disco and early hip-hop music as well as publishing film soundtracks. The label's name is a pun on the name 'hippo'.
't Hof van Commerce is a Belgian hip hop crew from Izegem in the province West Flanders in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. Their name means 'commercial court' in their local dialect. Almost all their raps/lyrics are in West Flemish, the Dutch dialect of the province of West Flanders, with the exception of some lines sung in Limburgish by DJ 4T4 or a mix between those two dialects.
Margrethe Blossom Dearie was an American jazz singer and pianist. She was physically petite, with a recognizably light and girlish voice. One of the last supper club/cabaret performers, she performed regular engagements in London and New York City over many years. She collaborated with many musicians, including Johnny Mercer, Miles Davis, Jack Segal, Johnny Mandel, Duncan Lamont, Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg and Jay Berliner.
Raining Pleasure is an indie/rock band originating from Patras, Greece, often credited with spearheading the newest wave of Greek bands with English lyrics. The band was formed in September 1990 under the name "Rest in Peace". A year after their formation the band started appearing live locally. In 1992, they changed their name to Raining Pleasure and started touring Greece. In 1994, the band self-recorded and released a demo of their work ; since then, most of its songs have been rerecorded and included in their studio albums. For two more years, the band continued touring Greece and, in 1996, had three of its songs released through Pop & Rock 's magazine compilation Dytiki Akti '96.
Music for Pleasure and Classics for Pleasure (CFP) were British record labels that issued budget-priced albums of popular and classical music respectively. Albums were subsequently released under the MFP label in Australia (MFP-A) and South Africa.
Les Disques du Crépuscule is an independent record label founded in Belgium. The label was founded in 1980 by Michel Duval and Annik Honoré. It also had a prominent associated sublabel, Factory Benelux. Both are now run by former employee James Nice.
Isabelle Antena is a French singer and songwriter, notable both as a founder of electro-samba pioneers Antena and also as a prolific and successful solo artist.
Machiavel, named after Niccolò Machiavelli, is a Belgian rock group founded in 1974 and still recording and touring today. Its first few albums are typical of the progressive rock movement while the later albums are harder.
Peter Vermeersch is a Belgian composer, clarinet player and producer.
Noordkaap was a Belgian rock band with Stijn Meuris as singer. They had several well-known songs such as "Ik Hou Van U" and "Satelliet S.U.Z.Y."
Minimalistix was a progressive trance music project from Belgium, consisting of members Dave Lambrechts, Janus De Decker, Johan Casters, Peter Bellaert and Steve Sidewinder Poison Ivy voice and performance on stage and existing from 2000 to 2010.
Josina van de Wijdeven, known as José Hoebee, is a Dutch pop singer. She is a member of Luv', a famous Dutch girl group in the late 1970s and early 1980s that scored hits in more than 15 countries. In late 1981, she went solo and was successful in her homeland and in the Flanders region of Belgium between 1982 and 1985. She formed an occasional duo known as Bonnie & José with Bonnie St. Claire to record Dutch cover versions of ABBA's songs. She currently performs solo and with Luv'.
Liliane Saint-Pierre is a Belgian (Flemish) singer who sings mainly in Dutch.
This discography includes albums by guitarist Marc Ribot, and significant recordings to which he has contributed. The year in brackets indicates the date of first release.
Bernthøler is a Pop/Avant Garde band formed in Brussels, Belgium, and was active between 1981 and 1985. They were favourites of British radio DJ John Peel.
Bassey – The EMI/UA Years 1959–1979 is a 5-CD boxset compilation from Shirley Bassey issued in 1994, this set features 94 studio recordings on four CDs, recorded for EMI/United Artists between 1959 and 1979. Disc five features a previously unreleased live recording from Carnegie Hall. The boxset was reissued by EMI in 2010 in a standard jewel case set.
Laura Tesoro is a Belgian singer and actress. She represented Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with the song "What's the Pressure". Tesoro is also known for portraying Charlotte on the Flemish soap opera Familie, and placing second on season three of The Voice van Vlaanderen.