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INTERVIEW: Christine Ott

Pic by Benoit Lesieux

Hi Christine, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you to take this time for the interview. I’m doing well.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Disaster”?

The idea of the single “Disaster” came first from a live-improvisation. I was working on a new musical performance called “24 heures de La Vie d’Une Femme” (24 hours of a woman’s life). I wrote the scenario, and it was very clear for me that “Disaster” would be the last piece of the show.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Yes, in fact it’s also an awareness of the world around us, of what we are doing and how we behave with the nature. But not in a moralising way! Just to keep our conscious and our eyes open…

At the same time, I also had in my mind very strong images of the movie “Blade Runner“… More for the sense and the reflexion to the world than the images.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes, I would love to, but have to find some financing (funding) for it. But, on the other hand, sometimes i think that maybe the music is strong enough and don’t need any short, so that people who listen to this track can be free and let their imagination build their own story.

The single comes off your new album Only Silence Remains – what’s the story behind the title?

Only Silence Remains is one sentence taking in the text I wrote for “Disaster”

(…) Like in a nightmare,

A sad dream,

After the breaking of earth

Only silence remains

No birds, no leaves,

No signs of life

No human beings

Only silence of death (…)


This means, a world without the beautiful sounds of birds, of wind, of… breath.

At the same time, sometimes, after playing “Disaster” on stage, at the end of some gigs, the audience kept silent… Not in a bad way, not at all. Just a suspended in mid-air moment. I like to create this feeling, as i sometimes thinking we’re in need of silences.

How was the recording and writing process?

I worked essentially with a very good sound engineer, Benoît Burger, here in Strasbourg.Most of the piano tracks had been recording in Conservatoire, and for the Ondes Martenot, we did it at my home. For me, composing is always coming very spontaneously from the improvisation first. After that, we recorded the piano tracks first. I worked again about the architecture of the piece and write down the musical sheets. After this first step, I usually hear the arrangements in my head, and, or I’m able to record it, or I ask some musicians to record with me.But, on “ Only silence remains “, some tracks like “Raintrain“ had been recorded in live, in trio, and the musicians had a part of freedom, maybe more jazz. Almost the same for “Szczecin”, in a romantic way. In fact it really depends of the energy of the piece I want.

So tell us more about this instrument you play, I believe is something more than just a piano?

The Ondes Martenot is one of the first electronic instrument. It was created by Maurice Martenot in 1928 in Paris and gives incredible possibilities of sounds and an emotive play…


Did any film get to inspire the music on this material?

Some tracks for sure. For example, Tempête is a re-work on my live soundtrack for Murnau & Flaherty’s Tabu. The song is connected to the end of the movie… Sometimes there are nice connections as for Raintrain, linked to a short movie of Artavazd Pelechian, or as a said before Disaster linked to Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.

In fact, that’s true I often had images in my mind when i’m writing music. And sometimes people are describing my music as a visual music, which could be great for a lot of movie soundtracks.

Would you call this a departure from your previous musical background or a follow up?

For me, it’s a constant evolution, but I’m still composing and working for arrangements for a new album. The compositions I’m working on had been recording at the same time as “ Only silence remains.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, some concerts plans in Paris in July, Bruxelles and Strasbourg this summer, and in a jazz festival in autumn with a new project in Duet “Snowdrops“. I also had very nice dates of concerts with my album, in support act for Tindersticks last months in Europe.

What else is happening next in Christine Ott’s world?

So, I’m mixing the music of “ Tabu”, the live soundtrack for the silent movie of F.W Murnau and Robert Flaherty. Some composition works for different projects this summer. A collaboration with the band “Oiseaux-Tempête » on another album with them, that was released also in May. Other creations and other ciné-concerts as well. And maybe in the future some compositions for chamber music and orchestral…



About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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