Sufjan Channels NYC Roadway in Music, Film
The Illinois musician is commissioned by Brooklyn Academy of Music for The BQE.
Many songs have been inspired by the open road, some which attempt to transmit its freedoms and spoils, while others preach its hardships. And now, state-loving rocker Sufjan Stevens has entered the realm of gas station burritos, potholes, and speeding tickets for he has been tapped by the Brooklyn Academy of Music to write a “music and film work” about a slightly stifling strip of pavement, New York’s Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
According to Pitchfork, The BQE project will combine a “virtual road trip (shot in 16mm film) with a live band and orchestral ensemble,” whose tunes come courtesy of Sufjan, and will explore “abstract patterns and stories” amidst the roadway’s most palpable characteristics: “snaking traffic, stunning city views, potholed pavement, billboards, and badly marked exits.” Welcome to the BQE.
Furthermore, the work will focus on the “overcrowded and antiquated” urban planning existing in the neighborhoods below the roadway. Fans can catch the work when it makes its world premiere during the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, held Nov. 1-3.
Talk: What’s your favorite song inspired by the open road?