The 1985 album, Maximizing the Audience, saw the introduction of vocals in Mertens’ music, an element that has grown on later albums.
Since 1980, Mertens has composed pieces in different formats, from short, accessible songs or Lieder to magnanimous and complex three- and four-part cycles, and for different settings: from solo piano to chamber music ensembles and symphony orchestra. He often writes for unusual instrumentations: twelve piccolos, ten bass trombones, thirteen clarinets. Since his recording debut in 1980, titled For Amusement Only, an electronic composition for pinball machines, Wim Mertens has released more than 70 albums.
More recent projects include the triptych Cran aux Oeufs (2015-2016), That Which Is Not (2018) and Inescapable, a 4CD Box set released on the 15th November 2019. This career-spanning compilation will include 10 unreleased tracks and 2 new compositions: Under Erasure and European Grasses. A tour of major venues in various countries is also foreseen in 2020.