CMU Approved

Approved: A Winged Victory For The Sullen

By | Published on Thursday 18 August 2011

A Winged Victory For The Sullen

While performing with Sparklehorse on what would be the band’s final European tour in 2007, Stars Of The Lid founder Adam Wiltzie invited an Italian friend, Giardini di Mirò drummer Francesco Donadello, to see a show in Bologna. With him, Donadello brought American pianist and composer Dustin O’Halloran, best known for the score to Sofia Coppola’s ‘Marie Antoinette’. Introductions were made and thus begins the back story of A Winged Victory For The Sullen.

With similar backgrounds spanning indie, rock and classical music, and both used to working in their own home studios, Wiltzie and O’Halloran decided to work on a classical project that would take them in a different direction, and into large acoustic spaces. Their first collaboration took them to Grunewald Church in Berlin, then they recorded in a variety of settings, including the thirteenth century Begijnhof in Brussels, before mixing the album in a seventeenth century villa near Ferrara in Italy.

Rather than attempting to fill these larger spaces with sound, however, the pair’s compositions seem to treat the buildings with quiet reverence. Although they often build to a peak, there is overall a more ambient feel to the music. The seven pieces, including a two-part tribute to late Sparklehorse frontman Mark Linkous, are quietly but deeply emotive.

The eponymous album is due for release through Erased Tapes on 12 Sep, and you can stream or download a track, Steep Hills Of Vicodin Tears’, via the SoundCloud player below.