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By Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Sufjan Stevens
In an otherworldly convergence of talents—singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner of The National, and composer Nico Muhly—give the music of the spheres a 21st-century spin in Planetarium, an evening of songs inspired by our solar system.
The firmament descends in part one with a set of atmospheric instrumental works, composed by the three artists and performed with precision by a guest quartet. In part two, the planetary paeans begin: Stevens’ wistful falsetto voice traces the gauzy rings of Saturn. Muhly’s analog keyboards, Dessner’s guitar, and seven trombones unleash the red rage of Mars. And in an elegiac electronic waltz, a chamber ensemble gives the crestfallen Pluto—ousted but not forgotten—its musical due.
Projection design by Deborah Johnson
Originally co-commissioned by Barbican, Muziekegebouw Frits Philips Eindhoven and Sydney Opera House
Frances Bermanzohn & Alan Roseman
Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens creates folk songs of epic proportions.
Composer Nico Muhly has produced a wide scope of work for various soloists and ensembles.