News

SMM:Context - Interview with Christina Vantzou

March 2, 2011

SMM:Context - Interview with Christina Vantzou

Christina Vantzou is an artist/designer/musician based in Brussels. Over the past decade Christina has developed a unique and distinctive esthetic in motion graphics design, animation, video and most recently, sound. Her self-taught style is delicate, sophisticated in it’s simplicity, and lulls the viewer into a strange and beautiful world. Christina honed her skills with The Dead Texan, in collaboration with Sparklehorse, and with commissions from Interpol, Tokion magazine, MTV, Christopher Willits, and Fovea Hex. Christina’s live set consist of ambient tones and drawn out instrumental samples cut and assembled digitally with warm hints of piano, distant strings, and abstract vocals against a backdrop of multi-channel video. With a background in Fine Art, Christina’s visual style reflects her interest in illustration, graphic design, film, and printmaking. Her live projections combine carefully selected found footage with original footage and glacially paced animations ranging from figurative to abstract. Somehow it all holds together with the magical glue of her spacious, somberly angelic sounds.

(Bio courtesy of dbfestival.com)

You can check out more of Christina’s work at her site http://christinavantzou.com

Christina Vantzou – 11 Generations Of My Fathers by ghostly

1. This is the first track released under your own name. Tell us what other musical projects you have been involved with in the past?

Yes, this is the first ever official release in my name. I’ve collaborated a lot over the years… I started making videos for friends’ bands, mostly abstract live projections and I toyed around with sounds here and there on the side. The main project I became involved in musically was The Dead Texan. The music on our first record is all Adam Wiltzie, he used snippets of my voice for a few tracks, but he directed everything. When it came time for touring he told me I was going to play keyboards on stage. I thought he was crazy.

2. Aside from your musical background, what other art forms do you partake in?

I’ve taken the multi-disciplinary route, for better or worse. My background is in visual art but my drawings mostly stay in boxes. I make videos, animations, and video installations…I’ve done some graphic design and illustration work..I make silk screen prints and later this month I’ll be in a contemporary dance piece.

3. You’ve worked with Sparklehorse and Interpol in some capacity. Tell us how these projects came about.

With Interpol, I submitted a proposal to an open call from the band and their label. They wanted artist-made videos to promote Antics. I was picked and got a fee to make the video for “Not Even Jail”. I received $1,000. It was the second time I got paid for making a video and 5 times what I was paid the first time around. With Sparklehorse, Adam was working with Mark Linkous as Sparklehorse’s sound engineer and through their friendship The Dead Texan got invited to open some European shows. One thing led to another and my jack-of-all-trades skills were made use of. I ended up making tour videos and playing on stage. It was heaven.

4. What are your plans for 2011 and beyond (releases, projects, touring, etc)?

I’m finishing up my first full length record. It’s a mix of lots of synthesizers and recordings I made with the Magik*Magik orchestra in San Francisco…strings, horns, clarinet, flute… I’m working on videos and animations and figuring out how to perform the music live. I’d like to travel with a 16 person orchestra, but it turns out that would cost a small fortune. So unless I find a pot of gold I’ll figure out a way to scale it down for touring. I’m still working on setting up at least one grand scale performance with the orchestra in 2011. The record is titled NÂș1 and it’ll be the first in a series of recordings with an orchestra component. That’s the plan anyways. I also wanted to make a synthesizers-only record on zero budget.