Profile: A Winged Victory for the Sullen
A Winged Victory for the Sullen Although the band name seems to emanate irony, the music of A Winged Victory for the Sullen does not posses even one drop of it. This wonderful collaboration between Adam Wiltzie of the drone based Ambient Music duo Stars of the Lid and composer/pianist Dustin O'Halloran presents songs of withdrawn melancholy for a gorgeous journey into the elegiac. Using piano, processed guitar, string ensemble, voices and field recordings, this work recasts symphonic cinema soundtracks and classical chamber music into beautifully bleak arrangements of gentle gravity.

A Winged Victory for the Sullen occupies a distinctive stylistic space exactly between the wash of sound on Stars of the Lid's And Their Refinement of their Decline and the heartfelt, sensual journey of O'Halloran's Lumiere. Organized with understated compositional principles, the ensemble follows these methods to realize a finished piece. Broodingly luminous as well as accomplished and satisfying A Winged Victory for the Sullen manages to touch the mind and spirit at once - inspiring hope, even in a heart of stone.

To mark the release of their self-titled release on the Kranky label A Winged Victory for the Sullen will go on tour and make their Philadelphia concert debut on Saturday 29 October 2011 at The Gatherings Concert Series.

A Winged Victory for the Sullen Interview with Adam Wiltzie of A Winged Victory for the Sullen - October 2011

STAR'S END: The Name "A Winged Victory for the Sullen"... Where did it come from? The music you realize is so beautiful and comforting yet the group's name seems to infer irony? or surreal-ness?

Adam Wiltzie: well, we decided early on that the project was not going to be a one off, and i have a long history of forming projects with ridiculous band names. the name is a bit over the top, but i reckon you could say the same thing about the music?

SE: A Winged Victory for the Sullen seems to have almost the same instrumentation as Stars of the Lid, and approaches a similar atmosphere. How is A Winged Victory for the Sullen different from Stars of the Lid?

AW: well, dustin is involved?
but i have a strong personality in the studio, so i suppose i really make an effort to craft this style of sound.
it is painfully obvious that i am involved with this record i suppose?

SE: Are you most comfortable working in a collaborative situation? Have you ever made a solo work? or considered making a solo work?

AW: the dead texan was a solo work, i only collaborated with christina on the visuals.
and technically some of the SOTL records are kind of solo work,
but i don't want to go too deeply into this subject.

SE: Some might call it Ambient Chamber Music or Neo-Classical. Have you a name to describe the music of A Winged Victory for the Sullen?

AW: "other" or "harmonic robitussin"

SE: What hopes have you for listeners? Do you anticipate this music promoting introspection? or to be used as detailed background music?

AW: i never really care or wonder about this so much?
it is all so ridiculously subjective.
of course i would like the listener to enjoy the recording,
but that is about as far as i go.
i never go too deep in trying to create any sort of deep meaning or some kind of conceptual music.
that has always felt a little bit like swimming through vomit for me

SE: What does Dustin O'Halloran bring to this project? How did you two decide to make music together in A Winged Victory for the Sullen?

AW: dustin brings a great knowledge and love of italian gastronomy.
we met in italy when i was touring with Sparklehorse back in the summer of 2007.
i had never heard his music, and when i discovered it, i guess i just felt something?
we collaborated on one song for a compilation, and it just totally clicked?
hard to describe in words.

SE: When Stars of the Lid played in Philadelphia on 3 May 2008 you provided walk-in music consisting of beautiful and atmospheric symphonic pieces. What went into this compilation? I believe you included works by Arvo Part, Zbigniew Preisner, Angelo Badalamenti and others as well as some music from film soundtracks. Please expand on this list. May we assume that these composers and works have been an influence on you and your music?

AW: well, of course!
this is just music that calms me down.
and i love being in control of the entire evening of music.
the same will happen for the concert in october.....

SE: Clearly, the audience is enraptured by your live music. What do you get out of playing live concerts? What beyond the promotion of your music do you get from the experience?

AW: i am very ambivalent about playing live.
because of my control freak nature, i still struggle with the "unknown" and "uncontrolled" environments that happen when you play live.
but i do find it therapeutic as i need to find ways to let go of things in my soul.

SE: Have you any insight into the audience for your work with A Winged Victory for the Sullen and Stars of the Lid?

AW: absolutely not.

SE: What is the status of Stars of the Lid? Whatever happened to the concert documentary?

AW: as everything SOTL, it happens very slow.
someday we will finish a new record, and someday we will finish this documentary.

A Winged Victory for the Sullen plays live at The Gatherings Concert Series in Philadelphia on Saturday 29 October 2011. for complete details, please access:

a requiem for the static king part one from A Winged Victory for the Sullen on Vimeo

A Winged Victory for the Sullen (DDR teaser 2011) from A Winged Victory for the Sullen on Vimeo

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