Sounds Of A Tired City #70: Christina Vantzou & Clarice Jensen

May 22, 2018

Kranky’s Christina Vantzou and Miasmah’s Clarice Jensen teamed up to bring you a very special mix. They both selected tracks they wanted to include, weaving together personal bits and fragments, classical and experimental. They also walk us through the thought process of which one of them and why picked a particular piece in this eclectic selection that brings these two brilliant musicians together. 

Clarice Jensen is the artistic director of the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME). Her debut album ‘For this from that will be filled‘ was released on Miasmah in April, and it explores the variable differences between acoustic and electronic sound as well as depiction of the simulated and the unconscious. Self-taught composer Christina Vantzou released her latest full-length album ‘No. 4‘ on Kranky last month as well. With every album she experiments with alternative recording processes, and this time she allowed the ensemble players involved to have equal hierarchy in the ideas and creation of the album.

Sounds Of A Tired City #70: Christina Vantzou & Clarice Jensen



1. Gavin Bryars and Juan Muñoz – A Man in a Room, Gambling (Excerpt / Christina Vantzou Edit)


Christina: “A Man in a Room, Gambling” is a track that keeps popping up in my mind. There’s been a nice re-emergence of spoken word + spacious instrumentation music lately…makes me think of this piece of music. I added a filter on the voice for fun.


2. Yvonne Loriod – Preludes: Chant d’extase Dans un Paysage Triste


Clarice: I chose five tracks that I love, that range, in my mind, from abstract beauty to simple overt beauty. The Messiaen “Song of Ecstasy in a Sad Landscape” inhabits this same kind of world to me, but using a much different language. 


3. Wetware – Ode to Joe


Christina: I saw Wetware perform in New York last summer – a durational 4 hour set. I was mesmerized by the physicality and presence of the duo. I bought their new record last month and “Ode to Joe” stood out to me.


4. Eberhard Weber – T. On A White Horse


Christina: Eberhart Weber was introduced to me by my friend Rossano – we made a mix together earlier this year and we continue to share tracks back and forth. I like the laid back tempo, arrangements and playing style on this one.


5. John Cage: The Arditti String Quartet – String Quartet in Four Parts I. Quietly Flowing Along


Clarice: Cage’s String Quartet in Four Parts is a piece I’ve performed often, and so, quite close to me. This more than any other chamber work to me feels like a ritual to be practiced rather than a piece to be performed; I think there is magic in these combinations of notes.


6. (Overlay) Flusser talks photography – 1990 Budapest


Christina: Flusser talks photography is a video my friend Thomas Depas shared. The day I was working on this mix I listened to it and then immediately audio hijacked it. It’s a passionate critique about the abuse of the photographic image among other things. 


7. (Overlay) Robin Guthrie and Harold Budd – The Belles of Saint Andrew


Clarice: The Harold Budd and Robin Guthrie track from their album Bordeaux is just plain and manifest beauty, I wish it could last forever.


8. Fief – III


Christina: Fief III is an excellent Dungeon Synth album that my friend Piper turned me onto. He loaded me up with Dungeon Synth tracks at the beginning of the year, all of which I studied intently. Been a while since I’ve been so blown away by a genre.  


9. Ingram Marshall – Entrada (At The River)


Clarice: Ingram Marshall writes incredibly beautiful music that never fails to evoke a distinct world or atmosphere. Many of his works become quite complex in counterpoint or sonority; however Entrada is different and simple. I love how melancholy but content it sounds, it’s brief moments of anxiety or confusion, and if you listen carefully there is a hymn melody buried in the viola line. 


10. Joseph Byrd: ACME – Animals


Clarice: Animals was recorded by my ensemble and it is for open instrumentation and prepared piano, written by a lesser known fluxus era composer Joseph Byrd. I love how the changing rhythmic pulses in each instrument interact with each other, to me sounds a bit like a gamelan. 


11. Labradford – (by Chris Johnston, Craig Markva, Jamie Evans)


Christina: That Labradford track is from their fifth studio album and it was also used recently in the tv series The Young Pope. I love that the track titles for that whole record are the album credits – super smart.


Christina Vantzou

Clarice Jensen


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