Friday, October 30, 2009

Sufjan Stevens Interprets the BQE

Sufjan Steven's new album is inspired, and about, New York's BQE. Stevens spent nine months driving and riding the BQE to film a film to accompany his album The BQE. The project was commissionED by the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

(Presumably the album will allow Stevens to check NY off the states list for his 50 States Project. Illinois and Michigan have been completed. But maybe not, since the album is considered a soundtrack to the film. The film, by the way, was shot on super 8 mm and standard 16 mm film!)

Here's a chunk of NPR's article covering the project:

"My job as an artist is to find beauty where there is ugliness," Stevens says. "And I think this project is all about the beautification of a dilapidated object of scorn."

Stevens spent nine months meditating on that object of scorn. The result, he says, is that traffic no longer bothers him.

"I think a lot of this piece is about transcending the mundane elements of everyday life and finding inner peace," he says.

When asked if his quiet corner of solitude happened to be stuck in traffic, Stevens replies with a laugh: "Exactly. It's where I belong."

Make sure you listen to his NPR interview after you read the NPR piece here.

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