Christina Vantzou releases music from her brand new album, No2 – released via Kranky in February‏

January 26, 2014



LISTEN TO: ‘Going backwards to recover what was left behind’

Developed over a four year period, and entirely funded by a part time job working as a SAT university entrance exam mathematics tutor, No2 was composed using synthesizers and a variety of unidentified samples that were manipulated beyond recognition.

Christina Vantzou then collaborated with Minna Choi of the San Francisco based Magik*Magik Orchestra. Vantzou and Choi worked on the notation and arrangements and recorded the compositions with a 15-piece ensemble at Tiny Telephone studios in San Francisco. The chamber layer on No2 follows a similar pattern as her first record with the addition of bassoon, oboe, and an enhanced string section.
Vantzou spent four months premixing the album before Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid / A Winged Victory for the Sullen) engineered the final mixes, as well as added some of his signature sound texture, at his studio in Brussels, Belgium.

Perhaps a better title for the album would be “Symphony No2” as it was composed as a cohesive whole, much like her first album No1. Dense layers of strings are augmented by angelic voices, piano, woodwinds, & various synthesizers. Instrumental music, especially that which is scored with strings & horns, is invariably described as “filmic”. This is even more likely when the composer is a filmmaker such as Christina Vantzou.

Welcome to the future, which luckily for us is filled by a womanʼs voice with a beautiful narrative. A recording that is a meeting of personalities is like the contact of chemical substances: if there is any reaction, all are transformed.


Christina Vantzou is a composer, artist, and filmmaker born in Kansas, based in Brussels Belgium, she has travelled a long way from home – both geographically and creatively.  With a background in visual art, she ventured into music first as a video artist / animator / keyboardist as half of The Dead Texan (with Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid).  Later she joined Sparklehorse on a European tour (2007) and Christina credits the introduction to Mark Linkous as a catalyst for creating her first full length album of minimal ambient classical music.
“There’s a real sense of nostalgia within the graceful orchestral swells but equally, there’s an overwhelming grandeur that could comfortably soundtrack a planetary orbit. It’s this juxtaposition that makes this record so compelling. No.1 is like a deep space voyage played out within the intimate constraints of the human imagination, or the most delicate dreams cast in spectacular glows of Aurora Borealis…it’s a gorgeous listen.” – ROCK A ROLLA

Beautiful music.”DROWNED IN SOUND

Despite generally being known as half of the Adam Wiltzie-helmed audio-visual exploration The Dead Texan, it seems Christina Vantzou has been harbouring aspirations towards an understated brilliance of her own; her solo debut is filled with the kind of lush symphonies and gentle rushes of ambience that make the average Stars of the Lid performance seem like an exercise in exuberance. It’s beautifully controlled and quite, quite mesmerising.” – SKINNY

A truly beautiful piece of music.” – LOUDER THAN WAR

“…an achingly lovely collection of postclassical chamber music.” – TIME OUT NY

“Itʼs a tautly constructed, tightly played work, and a fine re-introduction to a talented composer.”  – DUSTED
“…the through-line of slow, beautiful, and seemingly effortless melancholic elegance is a constant.” – ALL MUSIC

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