In many cases the greatest power dwells in avoidance or a complete absence of force, urge or any form of power. In the case of A Winged Victory For The Sullen getting rid of any pressure and force resulted in a natural and fully effortless sound combing emotive and simple melodies played by classical instruments with strangely tranquil and harmonic drones transformed into embracing warmth.
Yet, strangely named We Played Some Open Chords And Rejoiced, For The Earth Had Circled The Sun Yet Another Year is possibly the least representative song of the whole album and still, it’s the most beautiful. As the opening song, it bears the hard mission of setting the tone, preparing a listener for those forty-four forthcoming minutes and offer few hints – bit secret, bit excited – about the main aim of the album. We Played Some Open Chords posses all of these qualities and adds a bit more. It has the most evolved melody line in comparison to the following six compositions. And how delicate and simply lovable it is! It’s reminiscent of Dustin O’Halloran’s more mature compositions on Vorleben and Lumière and still, it’s somehow nicer and smoother in the welcoming and soothing way, not sentimental.
The harmonization here is also quite sophisticated as the piano shifts from major into minor and back to emphasize and inter-connect two faces of this album: that romanticizing, diffused and simple one (as heard on the epic A Symphony Pathetique and Minuet For A Cheap Piano) and the sounder, more complex day-dreaming (Requiem For The Static King Part One, All Farewells Are Sudden, Steep Hills Of Vicodin Tears). On We Played Some Open Chords the duo takes these two compatible contrasts and plays with them into enjoyable effect with external sounds of guitar and tender drones transformed into touching ambiance by Adam B. Wiltzie and an assistance from Icelandic cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir. A Winged Victory For The Sullen (out on Erased Tapes) belongs to this year’s essential ambient & classical albums. The reason is that the atmosphere is just the beginning with a beautiful musical story inside.