Crystal Clear vinyl.
A Winged Victory for the Sullen, the composer collaboration between Stars of the Lid founder Adam Wiltzie and L.A. composer Dustin O'Halloran, are set to release new album ‘Invisible Cities’ on the 26th February 2021, the stunning score to the critically acclaimed theatre production directed by London Olympics ceremony video designer Leo Warner. Released on their own Artificial Pinearch Manufacturing label, the album comes as part of an agreement with A Winged Victory for the Sullen’s current label, Ninja Tune.
Premiering in July 2019 at the Manchester International Festival, the duo was commissioned by Warner’s 59 Productions to score the music for the 90-minute multimedia theatrical stage show, adapted from Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel, ‘Invisible Cities’. Described by The Sunday Times as “a beautiful frenzy of movement”, it fuses theatre, music, dance, architectural design and visuals and brings to life a series of fantastical places and disparate worlds, centred on the tense relationship between Kublai Khan, the volatile head of a vast empire, and explorer Marco Polo. Originally conceived as a touring project, it’s last performance was in Brisbane, Australia before COVID-19 changed the world as we know it. “Four months is not a lot of time to create 90 minutes of music for a production using classical theatre, dance, & high res video mapping on a stage the size of 2 football pitches. It was a pleasure to work with 59 Productions, unlike other producers, they left the micro-managing at home, and let us get on with it. Early on in discussions with director Leo Warner it was realised that the human voice would take a central role in the score as it was essentially the only instrument we could see evolving over 600 years with a storyline that would not have the listener screaming “its Zimmertime”…,” says Wiltzie. Transformed into 45 minutes of breathtaking beauty, ‘Invisible Cities’ opens with the numinous ‘So That the City Can Begin to Exist’, as Wiltzie and O'Halloran draw breath from distinctively enthralling and vastly expansive worlds. The ominous soundscapes of ‘The Dead Outnumber the Living’ contrast with the new beginnings that are presented in ‘Every Solstice & Equinox’, while the jagged and uneasy ‘Thirteenth Century Travelogue’ is one of tension and dread. Elsewhere, ‘The Divided City’ captivates and intrigues while ‘Only Strings and Their Supports Remain’ and ‘There Is One of Which You Never Speak’ are bold roars for survival before the choral ambience of ‘Desires Are Already Memories’ and piercing drones of ‘Total Perspective Vortex’ bring down the curtain on a spectacular and incredibly emotive body of work.