THAT glorious combination of Stars of the Lid and The Dead Texan’s amniotic drone sustain voyager, Adam Wiltzie, and modern piano composer, Dustin O’Halloran, who ply their seductive trade as A Winged Victory For the Sullen, have announced a new album, Invisible Cities, to be released come the end of February next year.
(The 26th actually, a year to the day since they played Bristol’s Trinity Centre, my last gig since all of this began … sigh. Gigs.)
This new album comprises the score to the critically acclaimed theatre production of that name, directed by London Olympics ceremony video designer Leo Warner and premiered at Manchester International Festival in July 2019.
The duo were commissioned to compose the music for this 90-minute multimedia stage show, which is loosely inspired by Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel Invisible Cities. The novel, a masterpiece of late 20th-century magical realism, focusses on the tense relationship between Kublai Khan, volatile head of a vast empire, and the explorer Marco Polo, who describes 55 fantastical cities of the ‘known’ world from his travels; all brought to life in theatre, music, dance, design and visuals.
It was a touring project whose last performance took place in Brisbane, Australia, before the ‘rona upended culture.
Adam and Dustin’s new album takes the score and reproduces 45 minutes of it for us vinyl heads and others; expect the usual enveloping and wondrous soundscaping.
We have a taster in the teaser single, “Desires Are Already Memories”, embedded below. It has warming drone, high choral chant, underpinning pianos, and is just a little look beyond the veil at the forthcoming album.
The album will be released on their own Artificial Pinearch Manufacturing imprint under agreement with their current label, Ninja Tune. You know it’ll be lovely. And deep. And really quite something.
A Winged Victory For the Sullen’s Invisible Cities will be released on February 26th on digital download, cassette, CD, trad black, limited clear and Dinked Edition limited transparent purple vinyl; pre-order your copy here.