Christina Vantzou is a composer and multi-media artist who creates long, slow-moving ambient soundscapes that blend electronics and sampled elements with orchestral arrangements.
Born in Kansas City, Vantzou studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and moved to Brussels, Belgium in 2003. She initially made her name as a video artist, creating animations for MTV Netherlands, as well as a music video for Interpol. Her videos caught the attention of Stars of the Lid's Adam Wiltzie, and the two formed an audio-visual collaboration called the Dead Texan. Vantzou contributed vocals and mellotron to the project's 2004 self-titled release, and she also made the videos included on the album's accompanying DVD. She played keyboards during the band's concerts, and they opened for Sparklehorse during some of their European tour dates in 2007. Vantzou credits Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous for inspiring her to create solo work.
She spent years experimenting with MIDI keyboards and samples, eventually sharing a demo of her music with composer Dustin O'Halloran, who directed her to Minna Choi of Magik*Magik Orchestra, and the two began orchestrating the material that Vantzou had composed. Following the appearance of Vantzou's composition "11 Generations of My Fathers" on Ghostly International's early 2011 compilation SMM: Context, her symphonic debut solo album No. 1 appeared on Kranky in October of that year, followed by a DVD of abstract films based on the album's pieces, as well as a remix album including contributions by Loscil, ISAN, Koen Holtkamp, and others. She performed concerts with a string quartet and composed her second album, in addition to working as a math tutor. No. 2, an extension of the sound of her debut, arrived on Kranky in early 2014, and was followed by an EP of remixes by Motion Sickness of Time Travel, Ken Camden, and others. No. 3, a slightly more structured album than her previous two, was released by Kranky in October of 2015. 3.5, another remix EP, followed in 2016.
Vantzou then collaborated with Forma's John Also Bennett on an improvised musical interpretation of a 90-meter panoramic wall drawing by French artist Zin Taylor. The resulting album, Thoughts of a Dot as It Travels a Surface, was released by Shelter Press in February of 2018. The following April, Vantzou's No. 4, featuring a guest appearance from Steve Hauschildt, was issued by Kranky. ~ Paul Simpson, Rovi