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'A Winged Victory for the Sullen' talk about their music, life and death / The Irish Times

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While recording their third studio album, The Undivided Five, A Winged Victory for the Sullen experienced the capricious extremes of life and death. "This record was bookended by two huge events in our lives," explains Dustin O'Halloran, speaking on Skype from Los Angeles. The other half of this highly acclaimed American ambient duo, Adam Wiltzie, joins us from Brussels. "A really close friend died when we started working on the record. Towards the end of the album cycle, my first child was born."

Dustin O'Halloran, Adam Wiltzie deceased friend was the Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The album's title is inspired by a group formed by a pioneering Swedish artist called Hilma Af Klimt, who was a mystic, as was WB Yeats, Gustav Mahler, Piet Mondrian and Wassily Kandinsky.  In 1896, Af Klimt founded a ‘Friday group' called ‘The Five' with four other like-minded female artists. 

"They communed with the other side," O'Halloran says. "It wasn't based on Catholicism or anything, but more about the spiritualism of communicating with the unknown. In a lot of ways that is like the magic that happens between Adam and I. Our project becomes something bigger than us. It becomes its own entity with subconscious ideas in tune to universal energies." O'Halloran and Wiltzie discovered more parallels.  Photograph: Jonatan Gretarsson

READ THE FULL Irish Times INTERVIEW WITH Dustin O'Halloran, Adam Wiltzie