Boomkat Product Review:
In a strikingly solemn work for six cellos, Christina Vantzou chases up her quietly brilliant JAB collab for Shelter Press and 'No. 4' album for Kranky with a rare shortform release paying tribute to the minimalist structures of seminal artist Sol LeWitt for the impeccable Sonic Pieces label.
An admirer of LeWitt’s crisp geometric designs since she viewed them as a child in her home town, Kansas City, Missouri, Christina was invited to perform at M-Museum in Leuven, Belgium in 2012 and naturally elected to perform in the same room decorated with LeWitt’s wall drawings. She prepared for the performance by revisiting LeWitt’s artist books, and ended up creating a graphic score six inspired by LeWitt’s pieces.
Recorded, edited and mixed by Christina, and deftly spatialized by John Also Bennett (JAB), the piece is broken down and presented in two extracts on this 7”. Intended to be played at 33 or 45rpm, depending your preference, the piece proceeds with a slow, stately air, where long, unbroken lines form hypnotic drones, while other cellists follow the score’s jagged dashes, surging and receding from he sound stage in gracefully dramatic cadence. It’s by the 2nd part however that we become more aware of that canny spatial sound design, as the whispers of the crowd and incidental sounds are beautifully highlighted in the ether, creating a sublime etheric tension with the strings.
It’s typically spellbinding stuff from Sonic Pieces, and suitably, beautifully mounted in custom packaging.