Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Winged Victory For The Sullen's new album "Atomos" & West Coast Tour with Hildur Gudnadóttir: Dec 9 - 16

The rarity of Stars of the Lid performing in the United States makes any opportunity to witness them or their associated solo endeavors and side-projects an event. In fact, their last west coast tour took place over 6 years ago with only midwest and east coast dates celebrating last year's massive Kranky Records 20th Anniversary. So when we have Adam Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid on a brief west coast tour of his collaborative project with Dustin O'Halloran, its a uncommon occasion to hear their live representation of these inner landscapes of lamentation, beauty, ascendancy and decay. Like Stars of the Lid, their music as A Winged Victory For The Sullen departs from the majority of Neoclassical orchestral music for it's sheer abstraction. Points of reference can be heard in the massing minor-key broodings of the German Romantic composers, a passage of a Gustav Mahler tone poem from one of the movements of his symphonies, or even the melodic shading of Claude Debussy's "Symphonique".

In interview with The Quietus, "Wings Of Desire: An Interview With Dustin O'Halloran" talks further on their fusion of the electric guitar's swooning melodic drone with O'Halloran's piano playing and these subterranean streams of classicism that flow through the music, giving albums like "Atomos" their stately weight. Their earliest works though more informed by 90's space and noiserock, the suggestion of scale and drama of these classical influences can still be heard in "Ballasted Orchestra" and "Avec Laudenum". Where A Winged Victory For The Sullen departs from these origins is in the more central position the piano plays, and it's here that O'Halloran's contribution is apparent. Together with the abstract melodicism of Icelandic cellist and minimalist composer, Hildur Gudnadóttir's exploration of the cello, as heard on this year's excellent "Saman", the night at The Triple Door is bound to be one of this year's more memorable occasions of contemporary chamber music. Photo Credit: