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Sufjan Stevens

Convocations

Asthmatic Kitty

Released: 12th November 2021

5xLP Box£63.99 Buy Now In Stock. Dispatched tomorrow.


Convocations, the new instrumental album
from Sufjan Stevens, moves like a two-and-a-half-hour
electronic/ambient mass for our present age of anxiety and
dread; its 49 tracks work through the stages of grief and
gladness with emotional mood music that is dreamy,
dissonant, vertiginous, rhythmic, repetitive, urgent, and
calm—that is, all the things we undergo when we inevitably
live through isolation, uncertainty, and loss. Its five sonic
cycles (Meditations, Lamentations, Revelations, Celebrations,
and Incantations) replicate different stages of mourning,
healing and catharsis, working both to soothe our unease
while savoring a renewed sense of awe and wonder for being
alive in these unprecedented times.
Stevens initiated Convocations in response to (and as an
homage to) the life and death of his father, who died in
September last year, two days following the release of The
Ascension. It is, then, ultimately an album about death, and
an album that reflects a year in which we have all lost so
much. That said, this is not a personal record, but a universal
one. Convocations is built on a shared experience that seeks
to be honest about how complicated grief can be in these
difficult times—the pain and separation, the anxiety, the
unknown, the absolute joy of memory. This is also an album
made in lockdown, when we were all cloistered in whatever
space we had. Convocations arrives just as we begin to
emerge from a year whose losses we will calculate for a
lifetime.
It is, then, right on time, as we begin to process our grief and
try to carry on with it.