A Winged Victory for the Sullen on Bryars, Feldman and Debussy

Mixtapes streams Wednesdays at 3 pm and Saturdays at 8 pm on Q2 Music

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Wednesday, November 05, 2014

A Winged Victory for the Sullen (Courtesy of the artist/NPR)

The music of ambient duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen unfolds at a glacial rate. Comprised of pianist-composer Dustin O'Halloran and Adam Wiltzie (also of Stars of the Lid), the sound draws from the sedate soundworlds of Brian Eno and Gavin Bryars and is at once soothing and unsettling; intimate and chillingly distant. Their second album, "Atomos," was released last month.

AWVFTS writes the following for their Mixtape:

Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Groubrou – The Song Of the Sea
One of our favorite artists. We play this a lot before our concerts... this is some of the most timeless music for us. The compositions are impressionistic and free flowing but there is heart and melancholy that we love..it's simple, pure and honest.  Apparently she is still alive in her 90s and living in a convent in Israel.

Bryce Dessner – St. Carolyn By the Sea
We really love this piece a lot; it's contemporary but somehow its not afraid of its roots. We look forward to more orchestra work from Bryce.

Gavin Bryars – The Sinking Of The Titanic: Hymn IV
One the most monumental contemporary pieces in our book. The blend of time, space, sounds and orchestrations… something to listen to until the end of time.

Claude Debussy - String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10: Movement II
Debussy’s quartet piece is rarely played its so difficult and the way he is able to create such unique textures with only 4 stings is incredible.

György Ligeti – Etude No. 15, "White on White"
Ligeti is a composer we always come back to..its endless listening and understanding. This piece written for the solo piano, you can really feel his sense of harmonics here and how unique they are. He is able to move in an almost atonal mode but still with a sense of harmony and feeling.

Alexandre Desplat – Birth: Prologue (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
Desplat has become the go to guy for big budget Hollywood composer, but some of his early work is essential.  A classic soundtrack of his is 'Birth'. The opening piece of the long shot of the first scene is one of the most powerful moments in modern film.

Morton Feldman – Rothko Chapel: Part 2
Felman was a master of minimalism and stretching time…one of our favorite pieces of his dedicated to also one of our favorite painters.

Johann Johannsson – Miners' Hymns: The Cause Of Labor Is the Hope Of The World
Although he is a good friend of ours, and we share a manager & a studio space in Berlin, we reckon Johann is one of our finest living composers to date and the Miners' Hymns are an example of the depth and power of his work.

Produced by:

Hannis Brown

Comments [1]

Christian from Raleigh, NC

Bravo! This was a fabulous lineup. I'm totally inspired and digging deeper into my understanding of these pieces. Compliments to AWVFTS on this list, and best of luck with the release of their new album.

Nov. 05 2014 06:41 PM

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