THAT delicious combination of Stars of the Lid amniotic drone wizard Adam Wiltzie, and pianist and composer Dustin O’Halloran, are poised and ready to release their new album, the music from the theatre production Invisible Cities, on February 26th; and should you need more persuasion that it’ll be a far-reaching work of aural beauty, they’ve cracked open the shutters on the album just a notch in order to let the opening track, “So That The City Can Begin To Exist”, out for us to hear. You’ll find an embed below.
Invisible Cities, the multimedia stage production, is based on Italo Calvino’s novelistic masterpiece of magical realism of the same name, and was playing to packed houses across the globe before the virus brought an end to the current run, after a (temporarily, we hope) final show at the Sydney Opera House. It centres on the tense relationship between Kublai Khan and explorer Marco Polo, who tells of his travels and the fantastical locations he has visited in the ever-expanding world.
Adam and Dustin took the soundtrack they composed and have transformed it into 45 minutes of deep, occasionally almost overwhelming beauty for the purposes of the album release, which will be with us via the offices of their own Artificial Pinearch Manufacturing label.
And that album begins in “So That The City Can Begin To Exist”, a surge of sweeping tone underpinning piano, the chords in that sweet emotional spot: beautiful yet also mournful. Adam’s tonal sweep has the occasional edge of near-feedback, the singing tone of a high violin. He knows more than pretty much anyone about the high deliciousness of tone within drone. The second chordal passage is sterner, while those drone tones surge forward in twined currents.
Yes, yes, we’ve heard it, been enthralled and enveloped by it, and it’s far from tasteful background post-classical; arresting is the kinda term we’re bandying around in these parts, especially of the mighty sweep of album closer, “Total Perspective Vortex” … but that’s for another time, a few weeks hence. Look out for our album review on February 22nd.
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.