“Celebration VIII,” from Sufjan Stevens’ forthcoming five-volume album Convocations, with an accompanying visualizer. The fourth volume, Celebrations, is out this Thursday, April 29 at 12p.m. ET via YouTube.
Convocations, a two-and-a-half-hour, 49 track reflection on present times, is out May 6 via Asthmatic Kitty. Revelations follows the first three volumes, Meditations, Lamentations and Revelations. Further volumes are to be released weekly.
Stevens wrote and recorded Convocations in the fall of 2020 in homage to the life of his father and in response to his death in September, two days after the release of The Ascension. Each volume replicates and reflects a stage of mourning—five sonic cycles exploring loss, isolation and anxiety.
Musically, the album invokes lessons from pioneers including Morton Subotnick, Maryanne Amacher, Christian Fennesz, Brian Eno and Wolfgang Voigt, and furthers the ideas Stevens has explored throughout his career in works including Enjoy Your Rabbit, The BQE, Planetarium, Aporia and his scores for the choreographer Justin Peck, the New York City Ballet and others.
The album is accompanied by a longform generative video art piece created by Mexican artist Melissa Fuentes. Sections of the larger work will be released alongside each single and volume on YouTube. Convocations is out on 5-LP vinyl boxset August 20.