A Winged Victory for the Sullen, the composer collaboration between Stars of the Lid founder Adam Wiltzie and L.A. composer Dustin O'Halloran, release new album Invisible Cities, the stunning score to the critically acclaimed theatre production directed by London Olympics ceremony video designer Leo Warner and produced by Manchester International Festival, Rambert, 59 Productions and Karl Sydow.
Premiering at Manchester International Festival in July 2019, Wiltzie and O'Halloran were commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Rambert, Brisbane Festival, Hong Kong New Vision Arts Festival, Sadler’s Wells, SMG Live, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Cultural Centre (JACC) and Karl Sydowto to compose the music for the 90-minute multimedia stage show adapted from Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel. Centered on the tense relationship between Kublai Khan, the volatile head of a vast empire, and explorer Marco Polo, Invisible Cities brings to life a series of fantastical places and disparate worlds through the medium of theatre, music, dance, design and visuals. Described by The Sunday Times as “a beautiful frenzy of movement”, Invisible Cities was originally conceived as a touring project with its last performance in Brisbane, Australia before COVID-19 changed the world as we know it.
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 Livingcontrast with the new beginnings that are presented in Every Solstice and 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. Released on their own Artificial Pinearch Manufacturing label, Invisible Cities comes as part of an agreement with A Winged Victory for the Sullen’s current label, Ninja Tune.