The New Sun Newspaper

Kristina Con Vita - Going It Alone Together

"Obsessions and Ghosts"
In the recording studio, Vita's precociousness reveals itself full force. Subtleties lost in the din of a pub room performance come alive for her. "I have an idea!" is her constant refrain. An idealist as well as technical perfectionist, she is always pushing herself, her voice, and her partner.

Kristina finishes the first take of "Friend of the Devil," the rock classic from the Grateful Dead's 1970 album, American Beauty. The studio goes silent. Vita, sunk deep in the plush leather sofa in front of the glass recording booth, flips on the intercom to the booth. "Well," she says to her partner," You sang all the notes. It was in key. It was nice." Her earphones still on, Kristina smiles tentatively. "You want me to do it again," she says. There's no question in her voice, because she already knows the answer. "This time," Vita admonishes, "interpret the song."

Though it is late on a Sunday night (God offers no Sabbaths for struggling musicians), they energize each other. When Kristina sings it this time, her whole body sings. Her hips, arms and feet become a kind of internal percussions section. This time, she really sounds as if she were "trailed by twenty hounds" as she lit out from Reno. And Vita is on her feet, jumping up and down and clapping like a fan with a front row ticket, pleased as punch that her favorite singer has just shown her stuff. "Look at her!" she says, "Will you look at her! She is so talented!"

Each one so admires the other, and it's fun just to watch them together. For her part, Kristina is a big fan of Vita's voice. "You should hear the way she does 'Wild Horses,'" Kristina says, referring to old rock classic from The Rolling Stones' 1971 Sticky Fingers Album. "People just stop. They stop talking. They stop drinking. They just listen. A voice like hers can do that."

As much fun as it may be, these ladies didn't get together just to cover other people's music. True to their indie spirit, they have begun writing songs together for a first album with the working title, Obsessions and Ghosts. "We have been working feverishly, creating new songs, and working and re-working existing ones," says Vita.

Sidebars: Kristina Marie and Vita Izabella.
The obsessions include the retro-styled "Seduction," where a very sexy Kristina and a driving back beat beckons a hesitant lover to her room to show him "skills so fine tuned." Says Kristina, "The lyrics for 'Seduction' were written to entertain myself during a long, boring car ride. It was a movie in my mind about a woman trying to seduce an 'ex' after a period of separation, during which she had become strong, confident and, as the double entendres imply, 'newly talented.'" It also includes Vita's "Obsidian," where Vita sings of cutting her lips on kisses as beautiful and dangerous as a shard of this volcanic glass. The Ghosts include "The Best Way to Learn," about daring to live and love and fail, and "Ghost of Mary," where Vita sings about growing up and loss, her voice as awesome and heart-stopping as Kristina recalls.

Toward the end of the session, there is a moment when they are both standing behind the console listening to themselves, their eyes fixed on the oscilloscope dancing to the sound of their own voices. They are smiling, as if listening to the voices of some lovely pneumae who possessed them for a few minutes to create this sweet new sound.

Will this sound endure? The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Says Gail, their booking agent and matchmaker, "They're so busy now, there aren't enough days in a year to book them anymore." To see their busy schedule and check them out for yourself, visit You should also find tracks from their first album there, which will be available free to anyone willing to download the MP3s.

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by Eugene Melino
Other stories by Mr. Melino: "Mel Flannery: A Movable Feast," and "Erin and Her Cello: Making Us Laugh All By Her Lonesome."