Christina Vantzou unveils new record, “No. 5”, out on November 11th via Kranky
Composer and experimental filmmaker Christina Vantzou as just unveiled her fifth record, No. 5! While on the island of Syros in the Aegean Sea for a film festival performance, Vantzou experienced what she characterised as “a moment of focus” – a specific vision for the sprawl of raw recordings she’d been amassing for her fifth record. Upon relocating to the Cycladic island of Ano Koufonisi, she situated herself outside at a patio table with a laptop and headphones, taking brief breaks to swim, and began the “reductive process” of shaving and shaping the source material into uneasy but lyrical movements, alternately austere and adorned with strange inflections – glottal groaning, cavernous water, glittering eddies of modular synth, languorous silences. Mixing the pieces herself without outsourcing to an engineer compounded the intimacy and autobiographical dimension of the music, as she refers to No. 5 as “almost like a first album”. Below this article you can listen to the record’s first advance and closer, the hauntingly beautiful piece “Surreal Presence for SH and FM”.
Drawing on sessions staged in February 2020, Vantzou’s editing instincts emphasise process and isolation, spotlighting resonance and restraint, liquidity and long tails. Fleeting configurations of piano, wind, strings, synthetics and field recordings, these are spaces as much as compositions, surreal grottos of shifting light, suffused with a sense of invisible divinity. Although a total of seventeen musicians appear on the record, the proceedings feel minimalist and malleable, sculpted from interstitial moments and oblique synchronicities. The definition of a composer as “one who joins things” is here both plumbed and proven, as Vantzou describes No. 5 as “a letting go”, a place of “soft borders”, unfixed and undefinable.
No. 5 will be released on November 11th via Kranky. Physical and digital pre-orders are now available here.
Photo credit: Julie Calbert