Wim Mertens (b. Neerpelt, Belgium, May 14, 1953) 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 Ghent and Brussels. In 1978, he became a producer at the then BRT (Belgian Radio and Television).
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 Ghent 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 (with whom he recorded the experimental CD For Amusement Only).
Known primarily as a composer since the late 1970s, Mertens is best known for his opus "Struggle for Pleasure", which was chosen as an anthem in advertisements for the Belgian mobile phone operator Proximus. He is also well known for his piece "Maximizing the Audience", which was composed for Jan Fabre's play The Power of Theatrical Madness, which premiered in 1984 in Venice, Italy.
Mertens' style, while continually evolving during the course his prolific output, touches veins of minimalist, ambient and avant-garde, usually however preserving a melodic fundament to the forays that he makes into the worlds that he is exploring.
Mertens' music was used in the 1987 Peter Greenaway film The Belly of an Architect, along with that of Glenn Branca. It was also the soundtrack to "N?s Que Aqui Estamos por V?s Esperamos" (Here We Are Waiting for You) directed by Marcelo Masag?o, winning the Best Music category at the 2000 Miami Brazilian Film Festival.
Mertens also recorded under the name "Soft Verdict", and is the author of American Minimal Music, which looks at the school of American repetitive music.
In March 1998 Mertens became the Cultural Ambassador of Flanders.
For him language is a very important influence on musicians or artists in general. Born in Belgium only a few people would have understood his songs, so they do not contain any language spoken, he invented his own. So people who listen to his music feel his intentions and not his language