Sufjan Stevens to Release Ballet Score with Timo Andres and Conor Hanick, Shares Track “Ekstasis" | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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L to R: Conor Hanick (credit - Laura Desberg), Sufjan Stevens (credit - Dawn Miller), Timo Andres (credit - Michael Wilson)

Sufjan Stevens to Release Ballet Score with Timo Andres and Conor Hanick, Shares Track “Ekstasis”

Reflections Due Out May 19 via Asthmatic Kitty

Apr 18, 2023
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Sufjan Stevens has announced the release of Reflections, his score for the Justin Peck ballet of the same name that has been performed by pianists Timo Andres and Conor Hanick, and shared its first track, “Ekstasis,” as well as a video of Andres and Hanick performing the song live. Reflections is due out May 19 via Asthmatic Kitty. Check out “Ekstasis” below, followed by the album’s tracklist and cover artwork.

Reflections is Stevens’ sixth collaboration with Peck and follows Year of the Rabbit (2012), Everywhere We Go (2014), In the Countenance of Kings (2016), The Decalogue (2017), and Principia (2019). The Houston Ballet commissioned Reflections, which was choreographed by Peck and was written for 11 dancers and two pianos. It premiered on March 21, 2019.

Ryan Streber engineered, mixed, and mastered the album at Oktaven Studios.

In a press release, Stevens says Reflections is about “energy, light and duality.” He adds: “I’m constantly thinking about bodies moving through space when I’m writing for ballet—that is what has informed this music, first and foremost.”

Of composing for two pianos, Stevens says: “Although I’ve never taken a lesson, the piano was my first true love. Having two of them at my disposal was an exciting opportunity and gave me a real catharsis about the expansiveness of the instrument.”

Stevens was self-taught as a piano player and composer, although he played in orchestras in high school and college and his first instrument was the oboe. “I learned by ear, in a very rudimentary way, inspired by a wide range of music,” he says. “A lot of the work that I compose is anachronistic as it doesn’t follow a genealogy of aesthetic. It can be a cornucopia of styles.”

The illustrate this point, the press release says the score for Reflections has hints of “Debussy, Stravinsky, Philip Glass, and even Bruce Hornsby.”

In 2020, Stevens released the five-volume album Convocations, along with A Beginner’s Mind, a collaborative album with Angelo De Augustine. Read our digital cover story interview with the duo about the album.

Reflections Tracklist:

1. Ekstasis
2. Revanche
3. Euphoros
4. Mnemosyne
5. Rodinia
6. Reflexion
7. And I Shall Come To You Like A Stormtrooper In Drag Serving Imperial Realness

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