Watch Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, and Bryce Dessner Perform "Mercury" for NPR | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Watch Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, and Bryce Dessner Perform “Mercury” for NPR

Planetarium Due Out This Friday via 4AD

Jun 08, 2017 Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, and James McAlister
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Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner (of The National), and James McAlister have all teamed up for a new collaborative album, Planetarium. It’s due out this Friday (June 9) via 4AD. They previously shared “Saturn,” via its video, “Mercury,” via its lyric video, and a video for “Venus.” Now Stevens, Muhly, and Dessner have done a performance of “Mercury” in a studio for NPR. They were also interviewed. Watch the performance and interview below, followed by the band’s upcoming tour dates.

The project started several years ago when Dutch concert hall Muziekgebouw Eindhoven commissioned Muhly to compose a new piece and he asked his friends Stevens, Dessner, and McAlister to collaborate on it. Stevens and McAlister took the live recordings and adapted them into a studio recording. “We had recorded all the arrangements and the live parts in a studio after our last performance,” said Stevens in a previous press release. “So years later when we all kind of settled down, we said, ‘let’s open Pandora’s box.’”

The press release described the album as such: “Planetarium unites Stevens’ vocals, McAlister’s beats, Dessner’s guitar performance, and Muhly’s instrumental compositions-part rock odyssey, part electronic experiment, part classical opus…. Conceptually, Planetarium revolves around the cosmic ideas Stevens’ lyrics explore: mythology, astrology, science, astronomy and the intricacies of human consciousness.”

Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, and James McAlister Planetarium Shows:

July 10 - Paris, FR - Philharmonie de Paris
July 18 - Brooklyn, NY - Celebrate Brooklyn! - Prospect Park
July 20 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Forever Cemetery
July 21 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater

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Savrina Lil W.
June 2nd 2019

How can astrology and astronomy be combined? 21st century, cmon! The music’s pretty good, but its message. This is definitely not for me. I’ll just continue reading about our Solar system on and ignore the astrology stuff.