Photo by Brian Rose
Playing with Suzanne Vega: from
late 1985 to 1990
and classical guitar
Anton Sanko was born and raised in New
York City. He attended NYU, where he studied music theory
and composition by day and played in downtown Manhattan's
new wave clubs at night, majoring in music theory and
composition in 1983, and in addition studying guitar
and composition with Ralph Towner. He played with avant-garde
acts such as Shox Lumania and Our Daughter's Wedding.
After his work with Suzanne Vega, he produced and played
for artists like Anna Domino, Jim Carroll, Lucy Kaplansky
and Skeleton Key, appearing in works by Percy Jones,
Kashif, and Sonny Okosun.
After working with Suzanne Anton Sanko decided then
to pursue a lifelong passion - scoring for film. He
has since scored over 25 films. Amongst them are "Saving
Face", "Party Girl" and cult favorites
"Strangeland" and "Scotland, Pa.".
More recently he completed scores for Tom DiCillo's
"Delirious", Alex Steyermark's comedy "One
Last Thing", and Larry Fessenden's horror-thriller
"The Last Winter".
Photo by Matthew J. Vega
Photo by Thomas Bengtsson
Anton Sanko joined the Suzanne Vega
band as a replacement to Peter Zale
for the final leg of 1985's "Suzanne Vega"
tour. He toured with Suzanne Vega in 1986, and was part
of the band that recorded "Solitude Standing"
(1987), being credited in some songs, and doing the
subsequent world tour.
In 1989 Anton Sanko recorded and co-produced "Days
of Open Hand" (1990) with Suzanne Vega, being again
credited for some of the songs. Once again he toured
promoting the album, being also Suzanne Vega's musical
director. He played classical guitar in the live performances
of "Cuba" (future "Room Off The Street")
|How did it happen
that you joined the Suzanne Vega band?
What are the characteristics
of Suzanne's music that attract you the most, both as
a musician and as a listener?
When I first heard Suzanne, I was
deeply struck by her sense of harmony and space. I loved
her arrangements and the timbre of her voice. Later,
I began to appreciate the depth of her lyrics.
Photo by Ben Caswell
had a number of friends who worked on Suzanne's
first album. Lenny Kaye I had known for years
since I had played in a band with his wife while
still in college. I also had known Jon
Gordon for quite a while through mutual friends.
And finally, Mike Visceglia and I had been playing
in another band together at the time that the
position of keyboard player had opened up. I was
asked to audition by providing an arrangement
What, according to you,
did your way of playing bring to the live performance
of Suzanne's songs?
I saw my job as keyboard was to provide
all the parts that were not covered by the bass, drums
or guitar. Anything from marimbas to electronic textures.
I was not much of a soloist.
your main music influences, and musicians you
look up to?
Influences? Aarvo Part, György
Ligeti, Stockhausen, Ralph Towner, Bernard Hermann,
Jerry Goldsmith, Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone, Henryk
Górecki, Morton Subotnick, David Sylvian, Peter
Apart from playing with
Suzanne, which are the other projects, you have
been participating in, that you're more proud
Aside from my work with Suzanne
I am quite proud of my scores for "Saving
Face", "Delirious"and "Scotland,
interview by José Carlos Maltez (December 2006)
Last Update: December 10, 2006
Copyright © 2004 José Carlos