Country : The Netherlands / United States Label : Incunabulum Genres and styles : Experimental / Contemporary / Soundtrack Year : 2023

Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch – American Landscapes

· by Louise Jaunet

When entwined entities are separated at opposite ends of the universe, if one is altered or affected, the other will be in the same way. The light of a full moon often reveals the invisible veils of hidden meaning. The moon of this March release captures an echo, the picture of a funeral eve, an American life on the edge of the abyss of final judgment. Just before tears shed what a heart must bleed. An omen of death.

After The Mystery of Heaven (2012), Apokatastasis (2012), Concerning the Entrance Into Eternity (2014) and An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil (2019), Dutch avant-garde lutenist, composer and Cannes Soundtrack-Award winner Jozef Van Wissem (lute, condensator drones and electronics) and acclaimed American director Jim Jarmusch (acoustic and electric guitar) present their sixth collaboration American Landscapes, released on the Incunabulum label, as an offering to March 7’th full moon. Recorded in 2022 with a cryptic and contemplative approach, and illustrated by American photographer Robert Longo, “CLEVELAND” and “AKRON'”s hypnotic drone sounds depict the current bleak backdrop of America’s declining society. Produced in 2019 for choreographer Stephen Petronio’s New York contemporary dance company, the final 22-minute track, “AMERICAN LANDSCAPES,” ingeniously brings together the contrast of two voices, one more industrial, harsh and death-like and the other softer, more cavernous and luminous, as an attempt to offer a response to this world on the verge of catastrophe.

Beautiful, hysterical and divided at the same time, men and women dance endlessly, as if the world would come to a complete halt if they were no longer able to find the strength within themselves to carry on. Born in an absurd moment, the disempowerment of populations by the industry is infecting us: power, futility, brutality in the transition of the presidential administration, rising racial tensions, protest, destruction, aggression. The legacy of the creation of Adam and Eve is dying in pain and distress. Only the lovers are really still alive, the zombies prefer to shoot the fears of their own imagination.

The cinemas of the 1920s are now transformed into car parks for the contradictions of contemporary life. Yet this outdated language can still give rhythm to the distorted present. To address the unknown, rebelling against the argument that it is necessary to compete allows one to found a new kind of society. By connecting it to the foundations of the past, the agony of a suicidal survivor can sometimes feel bold, even provocative. A woman who rebels against power makes the facets of a diamond shine. A man who bravely gets up has the gracefulness of a butterfly. The sun rises.

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