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.
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.
Here is ‘going backwards to recover that which was left behind’ as a taster for the album which is released on 24th February.