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A Winged Victory for the Sullen

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Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Pianist/composer Dustin O'Halloran and composer/engineer Adam Wiltzie met through a mutual friend in 2007, when Wiltzie was performing with Sparklehorse in Bologna, Italy. Backstage, the two musicians struck up a friendship that developed into a Winged Victory for the Sullen, an outlet for what they've termed "harmonic Robitussin." Over the course of two years, O'Halloran (formerly of Devics and the composer of the score for Marie Antoinette, among other films) and Wiltzie (known most for his role as one-half of Stars of the Lid) worked on their self-titled album, released in 2011 through the Kranky and Erased Tapes labels. Recorded and mixed in German, Belgian, and Italian studios with numerous musicians on instruments such as cello, harp, viola, violin, French horn, and bassoon, it was one of the year's most impressive ambient-neoclassical albums. In 2012 and 2013, contributions were made to compilations released by Erased Tapes (Erased Tapes IV, Erased Tapes V) and Ghostly International (SMM: Opiate), while a track from the self-titled album appared on the soundtrack for Breathe In -- which featured an O'Halloran score. Commissioned to provide the music for a piece by a dance company, Wayne McGregor Random Dance, the duo made Atomos, another expansive album recorded in several locations. Preceded by an EP in April 2014 that featured a remix from Ben Frost, Atomos was released via Kranky and Erased Tapes that October.