2011's A Winged Victory For the Sullen is the first installment from the collaboration between Stars of the Lid member Adam Wiltzie and composer Dustin O'Halloran. The duo agreed to leave their normal home studio comfort zone and develop the recordings with the help of large acoustic spaces, and to hunt down a selection of 9 ft grand pianos that had the ability to deliver extreme sonic low end. Other traditional instrumentation was used including string quartet, French horn, and bassoon, but always juxtaposed is the sound of drifting guitar washed melodies.
The recordings began in one late night session in the famed Grunewald Church in west Berlin on a 1950s imperial Boesendorfer piano and strings were added in the historic East Berlin DDR radio studios along the River Spree. One last final session in a private studio deep in the norther cusp of Italy on a handmade Fazioli piano, and the final mixes took place in a 17th century villa near Ferrara, Italy, with the assistance of Francesco Donadello. All songs were processed completely analogue straight to magnetic tape.
Their secret to harvesting new melodic structures from the thin air of existence was for the duo to push themselves to live dangerously, realizing that clear thinking at the wrong moment could stifle the compositions. The final result is seven landscapes of harmonic replicating ingemination. In "Requiem for the "Static King Part 1" (created in memory of the untimely passing of Mark Linkous) they have taken the age old idea of a string quartet and then shot it out a cannon to reveal exquisite new levels of mellow bliss.
Notable guest musicians include Icelandic cellist Hildur Gudnadottir, and violinist Peter Broderick. A Winged Victory for the Sullen is not a side project. This is the future of the late night record you have always dreamed of.