Christina Vantzou's excellent new album, No. 4, on the Kranky label,
has been called
“ambient classical minimalism”
but this characterization downplays
some of the organic, complex, and enigmatic beauties of the work.
Vantzou says that she used
“sleep and the loosening of time”
in her creative process, and her work clearly reflects
this way of doing things, with its emotionality
and global meditative atmospheres.
There are moments in this mesmerizing recording that resonate
with the music of Hildegard von Bingen,
with voices in a polyphonic ethereal space,
with the polyphony often implied rather than explicit, a neat trick indeed.
This engages the listener's mind
to such an extent
that the listener becomes part of the piece,
creating it in his or her own mind, which is what the best art must always do.
Vantzou's No. 4 has a surprising variety
of sound structures and modes,
which elevate it beyond what is usually thought of as “ambient” music.
In fact, the work has a strong narrative feel to it; and at the same time a “timeless”, outside-of-history feel.
This contrast between linear narration and atemporal space creates a fullness and balance to the work as a whole. No. 4 is also impressive for the number of collaborators involved in the project, and for the seamless quality of the sound and structure.
The collaborators (among them John Also Bennett, Angel Deradoorian, and members of Belgium's Echo Collective) were allowed considerable freedom of spontaneity within a structure of premeditated ideas and textures.
The result is a strong and cohesive
Vantzou's No. 4 is available as a download, and as a beautifully designed LP or CD.
John M. Bennett has published over 400 books and chapbooks of poetry and other materials. He has published, exhibited and performed his word art worldwide in thousands of publications and venues.
He was editor and publisher of LOST AND FOUND TIMES (1975-2005), and is Founding Curator of the Avant Writing Collection at The Ohio State University Libraries.
Richard Kostelanetz has called him “the seminal American poet of my generation”.
His work, publications, and papers are collected in several major institutions, including Washington University (St. Louis), SUNY Buffalo, The Ohio State University, The Museum of Modern Art, and other major libraries. His PhD (UCLA 1970) is in Latin American Literature.
His latest books are: - Select Poems, Poetry Hotel Press/Luna Bisonte Prods, 2016 - The World of Burning, Luna Bisonte Prods, 2017 - Poemas visuales, con movimientos con ruidos con combinaciones (with Osvaldo Cibils), Deep White Sound, 2017 - The Sweating Lake Luna Bisonte Prods, 2017 - Olas Cursis Luna Bisonte Prods, 2018