A Winged Victory For The Sullen - Invisible Cities
CD Album £9.99
Limited Beer Orange Vinyl LP £17.99
- So That the City Can Begin to Exist
- The Celestial City
- The Dead Outnumber the Living
- Every Solstice & Equinox
- Nothing of The City Touches the Earth
- Thirteenth Century Travelogue
- The Divided City
- Only Strings and Their Supports Remain
- There Is One of Which You Never Speak
- Despair Dialogue
- The Merchants of Seven Nations
- Desires Are Already Memories
- Total Perspective Vortex
A Winged Victory for the Sullen, the composer collaboration between Stars of the Lid founder Adam Wiltzie and L.A. composer Dustin O'Halloran, are set to release new album ‘Invisible Cities’ on the 26th February 2021, the stunning score to the criticallyacclaimed theatre production directed by London Olympics ceremony video designer Leo Warner. Released on their own ArtificialPinearch Manufacturing label, the album comes as part of an agreement with A Winged Victory for the Sullen’s current label, NinjaTune.
Premiering in July 2019 at the Manchester International Festival, the duo was commissioned by Warner’s 59Productions to score the music for the 90-minute multimedia theatrical stage show, adapted from Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel,‘Invisible Cities’. Described by The Sunday Times as “a beautiful frenzy of movement”, it fuses theatre, music, dance, architecturaldesign and visuals and brings to life a series of fantastical places and disparate worlds, centred on the tense relationship betweenKublai Khan, the volatile head of a vast empire, and explorer Marco Polo. Originally conceived as a touring project, it’s lastperformance was in Brisbane, Australia before COVID-19 changed the world as we know it.
“Four months is not a lot of time to create 90 minutes of music for a production using classical theatre, dance, & high res videomapping on a stage the size of 2 football pitches. It was a pleasure to work with 59 Productions, unlike other producers, they leftthe micro-managing at home, and let us get on with it. Early on in discussions with director Leo Warner it was realised that thehuman voice would take a central role in the score as it was essentially the only instrument we could see evolving over 600 yearswith a storyline that would not have the listener screaming “its Zimmertime”…,” says Wiltzie.
Transformed into 45 minutes of breathtaking beauty, ‘Invisible Cities’ opens with the numinous ‘So That the City Can Begin toExist’, as Wiltzie and O'Halloran draw breath from distinctively enthralling and vastly expansive worlds. The ominous soundscapesof ‘The Dead Outnumber the Living’ contrast with the new beginnings that are presented in ‘Every Solstice & Equinox’, while thejagged and uneasy ‘Thirteenth Century Travelogue’ is one of tension and dread.
Elsewhere, ‘The Divided City’ captivates and intrigues while ‘Only Strings and Their Supports Remain’ and ‘There Is One of WhichYou Never Speak’ are bold roars for survival before the choral ambience of ‘Desires Are Already Memories’ and piercing drones of‘Total Perspective Vortex’ bring down the curtain on a spectacular and incredibly emotive body of work.
Releasing their self-titled debut album in 2011 (Erased Tapes), A Winged Victory for the Sullen has developed something of a cultstatus over the past decade and alongside artists such as Max Richter, Hauschka, HildurGuðnadóttir and Tim Hecker, are thevanguard of the neoclassical and ambient world and can count the likes of Jon Hopkins as fans.
The duo has gone on to release two further studio albums; ‘Atomos’ (Erased Tapes, 2014) and most recently ‘The Undivided Five’(Ninja Tune, 2019) and were asked to perform at the BBC proms in 2015 by 6 Music presenter Mary Anne Hobbs. A WingedVictory for the Sullen also scored the music for the independent film ‘Iris’ (2016), directed by Jalil Lespert.
Wiltzie is best known as founding member of drone legends Stars of the Lid, The Dead Texan and Aix Em Klemm and has scoredmultiple film projects including ‘American Woman’ (2019) starring Sienna Miller, ‘Salero’ (2016) and The Yellow Birds (2017). In2018, he also scored ‘Whitney’ (2018), the estate-approved documentary about the life of the late Whitney Houston, directed byKevin Macdonald. Elsewhere, his original music has featured in Hollywood films including ‘Transformers: Dark of The Moon’ (2011),‘Godzilla’ (2014), ‘Like Crazy’ (2011) and acclaimed TV shows including ‘House M.D’, ‘Nip/Tuck’ and ‘Top Boy’. He alsocollaborated with the late JóhannJóhannsson on his scores for ‘The Theory of Everything’ (2014) and ‘Arrival’ (2016).
O'Halloran, a self-taught pianist from the age of 7, began his musical life as a guitarist and formed the much-loved indie rock outfitDévics with Sara Lov, releasing four albums on Bella Union. As a solo artist, he has composed music for numerous film andtelevision projects including Sofia Coppola’s ‘Marie Antoinette’ (2006) and Drake Doremus’ ‘Like Crazy' (2011) starring FelicityJones. Demand for his film scores is high and in 2015, he won an Emmy for theme music for the Golden Globe-winning Amazonseries ‘Transparent’, starring Jeffrey Tambor. He has also collaborated with film composer Hauschka on numerous films, including‘Lion’ (2016), with the score nominated for an Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe. Most recently, he co-composed the music for thefilm ‘Ammonite’ (2020) with Volker Bertelmann, directed by Francis Lee and starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan
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