The Gaze of the West
Strict and loose, weak and exact, such is the gaze of the West.
Us and them, we and they, why the battle is never over.
The gaze of the white face as incompleteness of the struggle.
The expressed cry, using the master’s tools.
Dismantling it, priestly and prophetic.
The Gaze of the West, what he did not say, what he could not say.
With the loosened grip of expression in the name of the voiceless.
Occidentale, Western wholes, unitary illusion.
In a very Western way, the real forgetting vergessen.
Destinies of Europe, the West and the Rest.
The surveillant gaze. Détourner les yeux.
Gaze and glance in the fabric of practice.
Á la façon de la mer qui s’étale.
Losing its pretention.
The Gaze, interrupted by touch.
That M. © Usura 2020
The titles of this new opus are in the spotlight today at a time of great global uncertainty caused by Covid-19.
In lieu of | Helm | Compactified | Sketch of proof | Victims over victors | Prédire n’est pas expliquer | Scattering time | Force de laisse | European grasses | Charged impurities
Available now CD & digital formats: https://wimmertens.lnk.to/thegazeofthewest
INESCAPABLE is out now
40th Anniversary Box Set.
A career spanning compilation including 61 Compositions, 5 Hours of Music,
49 pages booklet that collect a unique itinerary,
10 Revisited hits & 2 New Compositions.
Available as Box Set 4CD Limited Edition, and to download/stream everywhere.
Order it at:
OUT NOW – 1980 – 2020: 40th anniversary
4 CD box set – limited edition
61 compositions – 5 hours of music
48 pages booklet
10 revisited hits & 2 new compositions
Certain Nuances Excepted
The new Live album is out now!
Available on 2 CD + DVD and to download/stream everywhere.
Wim Mertens, solo piano and voice
Live in Bruges Stadsschouwburg, 19.02.2013
First full film of a solo concert Wim Mertens in 40 years, 1980-2020.
2-hour performance, 25 tracks.
2 Unreleased tracks: Fort van Varens and He cried no Cry.
Certain Nuances Excepted consists of two parts. In the first, Wim Mertens performs pieces from his albums A starry Wisdom (2012), Series of Ands/ImmediateGivens (2011), and The World tout Court (2009). In the second, Mertens plays his well-known pieces The Belly, Iris, Close cover, Struggle for Pleasure, Prudence, Not at Home and Watch ! among others.
Alive and well, the composer combines his typical double approach of praxis and theory, where the voice operates like a catalyzer, ‘sans appui’. With Certain Nuances Excepted, Mertens offers us ‘un pas de plus’ in his oeuvre, so avoiding a quasi-collapse, rather counting on the many nuances inherent in his doing.
His doing as doer, as performer.
That Which Is Not
The new album That Which Is Not is out now.
Mertens combines in his album the rational with the playful and the ‘for amusement only’ with the ‘after virtue’.
CD > bilbo records
Out 29.09 on digital and 2CD+DVD special edition
In January 2017 Wim Mertens has released the musi-fiction triptych Cran aux Oeufs, that questions the connections between song, poetry and truth. It combines ensemble work Charaktersketch and Dust of Truths with a solo album piano and voice, What are we, locks, to do?.
Nature’s Largess presents the live première of the last part Dust of truths at BOZAR in Brussels, 2016. The two hours concert with the Wim Mertens Ensemble also includes new arrangements of Maximizing the Audience, Often a Bird and Sidemen.
Out now digital and 2CD+DVD special edition > http://smarturl.it/WiMMertens-NL
The Tonality an excerpt of the upcoming Wim Mertens DVD Nature’s Largess.
The Wim Mertens Ensemble live at BOZAR, Brussels 21.10.2016
Cran aux Oeufs
Contemporary Brussels, ancient Rome and ancient Greece; composer Wim Mertens’ Cran aux Oeufs is a musi-fiction triptych that questions the connections between song, poetry and truth. It combines ensemble work with – for the first time since 2005’s Un Respiro – a solo album for his distinctive piano and voice.
The first part, Charaktersketch, takes Europe and Brussels 2015 as a central theme and refers to the changed position of the West as a bearer of cultural and economic values and power.
What are we, locks, to do? is the second part of the triptych and Mertens’ 10th solo album for piano and voice. It mixes myth and reality to consider the political and cultural influences in Egyptian Alexandria of the 3rd century BC. The compositions form a constellation to the poet Callimachus, the royal family Ptolemy and Queen Berenice II.
In Dust of Truths, the final part, Mertens refers to the navy Battle of Actium, Greece, 31 BC when the future emperor Augustus defeated the Egyptian warships of Cleopatra. Was this more a civil war dispute within the Roman Empire than a conflict between Rome and Egypt?
The 30 compositions suggest that man is no longer there for music but music is there for man. Cran aux Oeufs seeks out something more true than truth that renders this something untotalisable. Therefore, the concept of truth must be evacuated. Post-Truth. Feitenvrij. So it becomes more concrete, everted. Ratteketak.
Out now, available through your favourite retailer:
Wim Mertens – Dust of Truths
Below you can read some articles about the new album: Dust of Truths.
– Dust of Truths vu par T. Coljon, Le Soir, 19.10.16: click here to read
– Damusic: click here to read – dutch
– Portugal Tour, Centro Cultural de Bélém, Lisboa 7.11.16: click here to read – Portuguese
NEW ALBUM – DUST OF TRUTHS
With Dust of Truths Wim Mertens presents the final part 3 of his musi-fiction triptych Cran aux Oeufs (2015-2016).
The first part, Charaktersketch, was situated in central Europe Brussels anno 2015. The composer questions the position of culture in a larger mondial context.
The second part, What are we, locks, to do? for piano and voice is inspired by the Library of Alexandria in Egypt (300 B.C.). Central figures are the poet Callimachus and Queen Berenice II. Mertens music reads here as a commentary on the golden age of Ptolemaic Egypt.
For part 3, Dust of Truths, Wim Mertens refers to the navy Battle of Actium, which happened in Greece in 31 B.C. Opponents here were the (future) Emperor August who defeated the Egyptian warships of Cleopatra. Mertens considers this battle rather as a civil war dispute within the Roman Empire then a explicit conflict between Rome and Egypt.
Brussels, Belgium, 2015; Alexandria, Egypt, 300 B.C.; and the Battle of Actium, Greece, 31 b.Chr. together they form the triptych Cran aux Oeufs, a musi-fiction in which Wim Mertens questions the multiple connections between music, poetry and truth.
Out now, available through your favourite retailer:
iTunes > Buy here on Appel
Première Dust of Truths > 21.10.2016 at Bozar, Brussels
- daMusic review
What are we, locks, to do?
With What are we, locks, to do?, Wim Mertens releases his 10th solo album for piano and voice.
What are we, locks, to do? is the second part in the triptych Cran aux Œufs (2015-2016)
Part I, Charaktersketch (2015), takes Europe and Brussels anno 2015 as a central theme and refers to the changed position of Central Europe as a carrier of culture and economical power.
Mertens situates the second part in Egyptian Alexandria in the third century B.C.
The composer links his compositions among other things to the poet Callimachus, the royal family Ptolemy and the figure of Queen Berenice II, who promises to cut her hair if her husband returns safe from war.
What are we, locks, to do? mixes myth and reality and investigates the political power and the cultural influence in the Egypt of the third century B.C.
Out now, available through your favourite retailer:
CD > http://bilborecords.be/mertens-wim-what-are-we-locks-to-do-…
iTunes > https://itun.es/be/kD_iab
Spotify > https://open.spotify.com/album/3RHZdjGUYxAmKO5zVaCuui
Deezer > http://www.deezer.com/album/12197432
Amazon > http://amzn.to/1pq2R6i
Musique 3 présente “What are we, locks, to do ?” de Wim Mertens
Music on vinyl
Now available on vinyl: Struggle for Pleasure, Maximizing the Audience and The Belly of an Architect.
Purchase at Music on Vinyl.
Struggle for Pleasure
Precisely 30 years after the release of Struggle for pleasure from the composer Wim Mertens he releases a double CD with, alongside the original titles, a selection of 10 previously unreleased tracks from his archives. This material date from the early 80’s and has been complemented with 2 new recordings of the tracks Salernes and Gentleman of leisure. Mertens composed those pieces principally in Salernes (south of France) at the beginning of the 80’s.
On 15th and 16th March those titles will be entirely performed by the Wim Mertens Ensemble – 8 musicians – for the concerts series Rewind at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. www.abconcerts.be
2011 has been a special year for Wim Mertens.
For the ‘Festival van Vlaanderen’ in Gent Mertens composed ‘A Starry Wisdom’ and performed two sold out concerts in the Cathedral St Baafs (solo piano) and with his Ensemble in the Capitol.
For the opening of the new building for the laboratory Education and Research 4, on 8th December 2011, Wim Mertens presented with a large ensemble the title ‘Telles Quelles’, a work that Mertens – himself a former student of the university KU Leuven – has composed especially for this occasion. He has been inspired by, among others, the scientific literature by the researchers Bart Destrooper, Peter Carmeliet and Catherine Verfaillie. The Spanish video artist Cristóbal Vila has been asked to create a 3D video for the track.
Wim Mertens has also been commissioned to write and present live a composition by the city of Guimarães, Portugal, Capital of Culture 2012. He will perform on March 7th with the Fundação Orquestra Estúdio directed by Rui Massena at the CC Vila Flor in Guimarães for the world premiere of ‘When Tool met Wood’. http://www.ccvf.pt/
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. Since his first recordings At home-Not at home (1980); Vergessen and Struggle for pleasure (1982) and Maximizing the audience (1984), Mertens alternates the solo concerts (Epic that never was, Lisbon 1993), with brass quartets (Not yet, no longer, Gdansk 2003) or with brass sextet, accompanied or not by a vocal sextet (What you see is what you hear, Antwerpen 2006). But Mertens performs and has performed also for numerous concerts in more than twenty countries with various setups : duo (violin or clarinet and soprano sax, Moins de mètre, assez de rythme, Paris 2002) and in trio for piano, violin and cello.
With the solo record In the absence of hindrance (Gdansk, 2002) and numerous solo studio recordings (i.e. After Virtue (1988), Der heisse Brei (2000) and Un respiro (2004) Mertens associates the practice of making music as a soloist (piano and voice) with his activities as a composer for the most varied setups as in Skopos, (Gaasbeek, 2002), for an ensemble of 14 musicians.
OPEN CONTINUUM treats about the continuum – vocal ? – which doesn’t stop but is only interrupted given its open character ! This opening aspect allows to open disruptions and distortions of all kinds, without having to close and naively conclude. This new turbulence between Practice and Theory is visible and audible in Wim Mertens’ double CD and DVD OPEN CONTINUUM.
OPEN CONTINUUM: Wim Mertens, piano/voice with the Tenerife symphonic orchestra directed by Dirk Brossé.