Symbio Co-Founder; BFA; DJ; VJ; Designer
Christian is passionate about creating profound immersive experiences for people. With a reverence for design in the broadest sense, his particular area of work integrates storytelling, ‘synaesthetics’ and dance.
Versed with creativity in an array of technology, Christian began performing with some of the first real-time audio-video performance systems. He worked with a number of prominent brands at a young age, performing at the launch of HBO Canada, and the first Nuit Blanche to be held in Toronto. Other notable audiovisual performances were featured at the launch of the National Geographic channel; a ‘Yahoo!’ awards show; the Heineken fashion show in Montreal; and holding residencies at some of Toronto’s biggest Nightclubs (Lucid, Muzik). Christian then created an interactive ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ DVD in 2006, which earned him a scholarship to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). While centred in the department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation (FVNMA), he utilized the multi-disciplinary freedom made available at SAIC to pursue courses in the Humanities; Animation; and Performance.
“The practice of ‘stepping back’ to feel out my own intentions has been a purifying gift, which keeps on giving. It often connects me with a desire to nourish magnificent feelings.”
After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Christian worked on concert visuals for the Toronto summer series ‘Electric Island’. There, he was fortunate to support the performances of artists like Sven Väth, Maya Jane Coles, and Dixon, while experimenting with his own custom performance technology called ‘GYSR’ (geyser). This is a software interface which facilitates mapping aesthetic natural language to media and information, for flexible retrieval in a live setting. Continuing its development, Christian founded a creative collective called INNERST8, who put forth productions prioritizing mixed media. This involved collaboration with artists of varied discipline, including Paul Kwitek; Petar Dundov; Stephanie Payne; and Natasha Kudashkina. Further inspired by holistic health modalities, and an ongoing environmentalist drive, the vision for Symbio was born.
Son of a Disco Queen & Audiophile King, Christian Zero’s work and play with music began with ‘dance-running’ around the living room. Fresh disco vinyl and dance-hits, selected by his mom—aka “DJ RueRue”—belted through Onkyo amplification to 15” wooden Klipsch speakers.
Piano lessons and recitals followed. Fun at first, but with no cue to be creative with the instrument, it became more interesting for Christian to design video game journeys. He did this with a pencil, and long strips of dot-matrix paper, rolled out along the floor.
Soon, the influence of his uncles came into play. A writer and guitar player on his mom’s side, and a bedroom drummer on his dad’s, both exposed Christian to a broad range of rock music. Led Zeppelin; Todd Rundgren; The Alan Parsons Project, and Steely Dan could all be found in his uncles massive music collection.
After years of alternative rock, metal, and “Much Music TV”, it wasn’t until Aphex Twin’s “Come to daddy” that electronic music entered the picture. This excitement led to discovering satellite-radio DJ sets by Paul Oakenfold, Daft Punk’s ‘Homework’, Mark Farina’s ‘Mushroom Jazz’ ‘The Fat of the Land’ by The Prodigy, and Christian’s first rave experience. The plan was to see Daft Punk live, but the hypnotic sound of Drum & Bass ripping out of a neighbouring airplane hanger seduced him to dance there all night.
Fuelled with passion for sharing musical experiences with high-school friends, Christian was soon hosting parties in his parents basement, where he would beat-match tribal house and progressive trance on Technics 1200’s. His parents away for the weekend, these gatherings were the talk of the suburbs, until a big subwoofer was stolen, and the Audiophile King clamped down.
This propelled Christian to create his own events, where he could share his mixes, initially as “DJ Phlux.” This was his first alias, representing an intention to combine different music genres in fluctuating journey. Later switching to his given name, Christian Skjødt (pronounced ‘Scott’), one of the first events was called “Be Evolution.”
An early adopter of CD-DJing and downloading thousands of MP3’s to burn, Christian learned the hard way that their sound quality didn’t cut it. It was made clear at one of his own events, when the headliner he’d booked—DJ Deko-ze—played vinyl at the beginning of his set, following Christian’s:
“It was as if someone had taken a big condom off the Soundsystem!”
This made Christian an early adopter of source WAV and AIFF files, coupled with using high-end sound cards to maximize audio fidelity.
These early experiences led to DJing a range of scenarios. From playing dark-progressive music at ‘bunker raves’ in Milton, to fancy restaurants in Toronto like ‘Monsoon’, where his forward thinking selection of deep-sexy-house earned him his first residency. Word got around, and more bookings followed, including residencies at Diesel Fitness, and later Groove Fitness in LA.
Whether a result of these formative experiences, or his ‘Moon-in-Libra’, Christian’s love for music has been one of the few constants throughout his life, resulting in a massive uncompressed music collection spanning decades and genres.
After being invited to participate in ‘The Move’, a weekly ecstatic dance, Christian’s journey with music came full circle. The ‘Five Rhythms’ approach, pioneered by Gabriel Roth mapped similarly to the musical ark DJ Phlux had recorded in his early mix tapes. Ecstatic dance emphasized a journey of the body, more than narrative aesthetics, but Christian aimed to integrate both, and Christian Zero was born.
“I prefer to call it ‘intuitive dance’, as I think a reverence for intuition can take the body and soul where it needs to go. If ‘ecstasy’ is where you end up going, great! Whatever the words we might use to try to describe these experiences, intuition is certainly a quality I hope my work and play with music empowers.”
When Christian Zero isn’t DJing, he’s Co-Founder at Symbio – An embodied commUnity, dedicated to cultivating intuition and supporting personal evolution. Christian combines decades of experience as a VJ with his experience as a DJ to facilitate immersive multi-sensory experiences.
NEXT EVENT: Church of Dance (DJ Set)
Tuesday, November 28
6:45 – 9:15pm EST
Lithuanian House – Upper Hall
1573 Bloor Street West Toronto,
ON M6P 1A6
Consulting Inquiries: @ChristianZero.com
[email user name “Christian”]
[ No sampling, including both male & “female” vocals 😄 ]
Intuitive Dance Journey
Psychedelic House Journey
Family Films Co.: Transforming old video footage into emotive short films. Converting various formats to organized digital archive.
Role: Founder, Video Editor
Status: Started in 2003, since Deactivated