The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


Watch a video for a track from the artist and composer's new album

Maya Kelev writes in The Wire 380: "It’s impossible to discuss composer Christina Vantzou’s music without considering its relationship to visual art. Having studied video at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, her formative experience with music was the audiovisual project The Dead Texan, which she formed with Adam Wiltzie of Stars Of The Lid in the mid-2000s. Though The Dead Texan released their first and only album on Kranky in 2004, it would be some seven years before Vantzou struck out on her own as a musician.

Prior to her work with Wiltzie, she says, “I hadn’t done anything with music before. I had done a little bit of fumbling around for soundtracks to animations and videos I was making, but I’d never sat down and composed music.” Working with Reason software and MIDI instruments for The Dead Texan piqued Vantzou’s curiosity, and she began “geeking out listening to sample libraries and getting into different virtual instruments”. Finding the sound library that came with her simple software too limited, she widened her search. “I got obsessed with collecting sounds to get just the right thing, and without realising I amassed a customised sound library that I started composing with in my free time – but I wasn’t thinking of it as composing. It was all very intuitive, one step to the next.”

Christina Vantzou’s No 3 is released by Kranky