Neo-classical duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen emerged in 2007 following a chance encounter between Californian pianist Dustin O’Halloran and ambient drone composer Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid). Focusing on Dustin O’Halloran’s piano, the sustain of Adam Wiltzie’s electric guitar and traditional strings, the pair have generated a haunting collection of spacious sonic landscapes. To create that space, the musicians deliberately sourced old or handmade grand pianos for their superior acoustic qualities and installed them in a church and a historic radio studio in Berlin. To minimise compression, the tracks were processed solely with analogue straight to magnetic tape.
Conceived and crafted over a two-year period, A Winged Victory for the Sullen’s self-titled début recording was released in 2011. Opening the album, a track like “We played some open chords and rejoiced, for the sun had circled the earth yet another year” (to give its full and unabridged title) translates the duo’s subtle sonic approach into a superb restrained and contemplative acoustic experience.
A Winged Victory for the Sullen was released on the Erased Tapes record label.