Followers of the Chicago-based Kranky Records have surely heard of Stars of the Lid. And if you’re familiar with Stars of the Lid, chances are that you have at least a passing familiarity with the audio-visual project The Dead Texan, of which Stars of the Lid member Adam Wiltzie is a part. The other half of that enthralling, yet seemingly abandoned, ambient duo is Christina Vantzou, who will be releasing on October 24 her first (more or less) solo album, Nº1.
The story behind the creation of Nº1 appears on the surface to be extremely fascinating, though I admit I may have been unconsciously influenced by the dramatic and sometimes hyperbolic language that seems to accompany most press releases these days. In between her accomplished work as a visual artist specializing in a variety of mediums, Vantzou worked on Nº1 in isolation over a span of three years beginning in 2007. The result was a sprawling 45-minute single track that utilized an array of synthesizers, homemade orchestral samples and her own voice. Then, in a long distance collaboration with Minna Choi, director of the Magik*Magik Orchestra, the single piece was transformed in to a 10-track score for a seven-piece orchestra.
Comparisons between Vantzou’s work and Stars of the Lid’s appear inevitable (as was the case for A Winged Victory for the Sullen), but as the press release points out, the former’s compositions “are more grounded and concerned with the terrestrial as opposed to the extra-terrestrial…”. What we may have, then, is the emergence of a profoundly thought-inspiring voice in contemporary classical music.
01. Homemade Mountains
02. Prelude for Juan
03. Super Interlude Pt.1
04. Super Interlude Pt.2
05. Small Choir
07. Your Changes Have Been Submitted
08. And Instantly Take Effect