“I believe music speaks to deep levels of our subconscious and that is why we are so attracted to it” – Christina Vantzou im Interview

Staunen und schweben – zwei sehr wohl passende Vokabeln um sich den Arbeiten Christina Vantzous zu nähern. Musik, wie eine leise Eruption, vulkanisch ohne zu verglühen. Sie fordert den innere Überstieg nahezu ein. Ihre Arrangements pendeln vom Orchestralen zum Elektronischen – vom Kammermusikalischen zum Soundtracklastigen. Nach ihrem Beitrag für Adam Wiltzies THE DEAD TEXAN legt sie nun mit “Nº2” ihr bereits zweites eigenes Album vor. Grund genug, um die in Brüssel heimische Musikerin zu einem Gespräch zu bitten…

? What can you tell us about how “Nº2” came into being? Are there specific moments that are stuck in your mind?

It came into being slowly. I spent a lot of time composing, and I made more material than was needed for one album. I then spent a lot of time deciding what to develop further for “Nº2”. After I decided on a bunch of tracks, I listened and wrote as much as possible on paper to communicate how I heard the ensemble parts. I then passed all this material, plus a folder of visual images that I felt were connected to the music, to Minna Choi of Magik*Magik orchestra. Minna eventually sent me mp3 midi mock ups of the material – processed and translated through her – with the intention of writing parts for a real ensemble to play. This was the first transformation of the material and it was very exciting. There were several more transformations before the final mixes…

? How would you describe “Nº2” to a first time listener?

It’s the second part is a series of semi-electronic semi-classical music constructed together with a film or video.

? How would you compare your new album to your previous album?

“Nº2” has a bigger string section and a bigger wind section. There’s oboe and bassoon on the second album…”Nº2” continues in the line of “Nº1” but the chamber sound is more present.

? Can you describe the process of composing new tracks in general? Have you got definite sounds in your head before you start composing?

I have a feeling of where I want the track to go. I usually listen to a lot of music before I start composing new material and I have images in mind, maybe a film, and then I fumble around. I work on one layer at a time. I rarely make a whole song in one sitting. I usually play a part on the midi keyboard and I may come back to it days later with a second layer. I work on several pieces at once so I can rotate what pieces I’m focusing on. Then the layers increase and the tracks complexity. I usually add and take things away until it’s in a state that I’m happy with. I don’t get attached at this stage because things change a lot in the notation and recording process.

? Are there certain fixed points within the project when a piece of music is considered to be ready?

Not at all. The tempo might change and the midi instruments might be replaced by new instruments. After the recording session there is still a lot of editing and collaging. Even though the music might sound minimal, it can be very chaotic in process.

? What made you release your albums on Kranky? What do you appreciate about that label?

I was already connected to Kranky from my work with The Dead Texan, my previous project.

? You are also a visual artist. What role does the visual aspect play in your work in general?

I have made drawings, videos, animation, film and installations for years so visual things are very much in mind when working on sound.

? Do you believe that “music sleeps in all things”?

I believe music speaks to deep levels of our subconscious and that is why we are so attracted to it.

? How do you get the impressions that are expressed in/on your releases?

Inspiration from the world around me, looking at a lot of film and photography and listening to a lot of music.

? What music or art is inspiring you at the moment?

Ann Veronica Janssens, Jordan Belson, Johann Johannsson, Lars Von Trier, Deer Hunter, James Turrell, Sarah Wilmer..

? What kind of elements must a song have so that you like it?

A pulse, some expression, something rare.

? In western societies there seem to be only battles of retreat. The status quo seems to be the maximum thing that is possible. Do you feel anything of this ubiquitous depression in your surroundings?

I would stay at home and not do anything creative if I were controlled by this force.

? Are there any plans for playing live in Germany?

I hope so!

? What projects are you currently working on?

“Nº3”

Fotos: http://christinavantzou.com/

Vielen Dank an Ed von Dense Promotion für die Unterstützung.

(D.L., S.L.)

 

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