i have many memories which involve the music of sufjan stevens. most notable i suppose is a bizarre eight weeks spent in chicago in 2006, where i listened to come on feel the illinoise and the avalanche many times. for example i can recall trying to catch a final glimpse of the sears tower (sorry, willis tower) as i listened to the album while i made my way to o’hare. furthermore, casimir pulaski day is loaded heavily with emotion for me, given its subject matter (the loss of a loved one to cancer and the difficulty in accepting the Lord’s will). his is the kind of music that can simultaneously evoke tears of pain and joy. but in the last three years his output has been minimal. i know he released songs for christmas in 2006, and he had a song on the dark was the night compilation, and even a song about sofia coppola… but what happened to the 50 states?
well he’s finally releasing something substantial, so i guess we should all be excited by the prospect of the bqe, a cinematic suite composed by stevens and first performed in 2007. inspired by the brooklyn-queens expressway in new york, it appears to be some sort of exploration on the place of architecture, transport and humanity in modern life. or maybe i’m making that up – sufjan may be a genius, but i’m not going to be the one to explain away his idiosyncracies. there’s a trailer here. it’s coming out in october and it sounds like a colossal package for the collectors out there. there’s more detailed info here, but i guess the important stuff is that it’s out on october 20, and:
The BQE is available as a double-disc format (CD/DVD), which includes the original 16mm/8mm film (in widescreen “triptych” display), the original motion picture soundtrack, a 40-page booklet (with extensive liner notes and photographs), and the stereoscopic image reel (playable in all View-Master® viewers).
wow. it certainly sounds like an epic achievement. whether or not it’s as good as it sounds remains to be seen. also out in october is run rabbit run, a re-imagining of sufjan’s second album. some sort of quip about buses might be appropriate. right now, we can see both buses coming but they’re not quite here yet. but hey, after three years, what’s a few more months?