Q&A SERIES - CHRISTINE OTT
In celebration of the label's 100th release we put together a Q&A for some of the artists involved to give an insight into their artistic world and how they connected with Gizeh.
GZH100 - We Hovered With Short Wings is a compilation album celebrating Gizeh's 100th release. It features 21 exclusive tracks from artists who have been involved with the label over the past 18 years.
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GZH66 - Christine Ott - Only Silence Remains
GZH69DP - Christine Ott - Tabu
GZH80 - Snowdrops - Live at the Archaeological Crypt of Paris
GZH87 - Snowdrops - Manta Ray (ost)
GZH93DP - Christine Ott - Nanook of the North
Can you remember how you ended up first getting involved with Gizeh
Christine: I met Frederic D. Oberland during a recording session for the french band Valparaiso. At the end of the rehearsal, we took time to discuss and then he listened to the demo of "Only Silence Remains", for which I was searching for a label. I told Frederic that I didn't know which label to contact for this album. I felt that he was touched by my music, I think particularly by the piece "Tempête" and he said that I shouldn't give up! And he introduced me to Rich...
During this time, I also had some connection to the label as a listener and record lover. I think I discovered thanks to Frederic a nice home, with a certain kind of freedom, a 'do it yourself' approach, with delicatessen and vision, to promote elegant music from here to there. I bought several discs, whether for music or for visuals, graphics and artworks. I have here some nice copies of LP's by Shield Patterns, A Sun-Amissa, Charles Eric Charrier and Brave Timbers... Also have this incredible vinyl and piece of art of Farewell Poetry…
I also like very much the art works by Richard and Claire..... For the Dark Peak series, or for Gizeh... Claire made this lighthouse silkscreen, accompanying the release of a vinyl. I'm glad I put it in a frame. I am very impressed with their capacity for work, being able to manage everything by themselves “home and hand made”, the artwork, the press, etc... It's really fantastic to receive at home a handmade numbered album, made with love.
What are you currently finding inspiring?
Unlike some artists who find these periods of confinement as an opportunity to create, where they also have more time, for me, it's totally the opposite. I have trouble concentrating, projecting myself, working on new projects, not easy to imagine a future. The fact also that with all these COVID restrictions, the world seems to shrink like a skin of sorrow, we are cut off from the essential, in any case, which is essential in my eyes, Nature and Art..
By the way, my inspiration is clearly intuitive, the spontaneity of the moment, the relationship with musicians, instruments or spaces. It’s the music itself, spontaneous, visual, digital, and unconscious. By the way, there are undoubtedly unconscious inspirations; nature and cinema especially.
Since none of us have been able to tour this year, what have you been occupying yourself with?
This very particular time allowed me to immerse myself in listening to recordings that I had not the time to listen to. I have a lot of 'rushes' of recording sessions to work on, for the writing of new piano solo pieces especially. We have a similar job to do with our Snowdrops project with Mathieu, a little bit like we did for 'Volutes' and that we finalised during the first lockdown here in France. Then, I work on a new trio project, and I begin to think of making another Ondes Martenot work, in a bit different way than 'Chimères' released last spring on NAHAL.
I also worked remotely for the Ondes Martenot Class and Music & Cinema workshops that I'm teaching usually in the Conservatoire of Strasbourg. And I started a classification of my scores linked to the different albums or to the scene, and also preparing a new live soundtrack after 'Tabu' and 'Nanook of the North'.
I was recently talking and describing my workspace for the magazine Headphone Commute. So maybe you would like to have a look at this page.
What does a regular day look like for you? Do you have routines or habitual ways you work?
The days are linked and are not alike. No time to be bored, never! A journey could be house-work, emails, cooking, gardening, teaching, composing, practicing yoga, walking in the forest, reading, watching movies...
What would be your dream collaboration?
A few years ago, I would have suggested Thom Yorke, Björk or Bill Callahan...
Now, I would rather say that it would be glad to have the opportunity to have my compositions played by a small chamber orchestra, to be with them for a residence, or to work with the Black Sea Sirens, a choir of Bulgarian singers I briefly met in Cluj-Napoca during the Transylvania International Film Festival.
What was your entry point into playing music?
My daddy was the entry point into playing music. Music was his passion and he used to play violin and mandolin and conducted a gypsy orchestra in his free time.
How do you know when a record's finished?
It depends. About some pieces, it's pretty crazy, but I have a real physical feeling or sensation, like an inner feeling that tells me that this is the end of the composition process. But for others, it's sometimes as it is constantly evolving, so difficult to fix. About the record, it's so a bit like this. The frame of a moment. The capture of a movement of creation, at a D day, but which is subject to continue to live..
How do you balance health and productivity?
Do you have a favourite Gizeh release or one that particularly resonates with you?
I have a few albums in mind. For sure The Rustle of Stars is one of my favourites so far. But I could also mention the Foudre! 'Earth' or the last A-Sun Amissa.... Here are some playlist, "From Gizeh with love", in ten tracks. But there are still a lot to discover certainly :
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