Interview with Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly: NPR Music

Advisory: This video contains profanity.

The trio talk about the grand mysteries of the universe that helped inspire their celestial collaboration, Planetarium.

By Bob Boilen

There's a stunning project by a handful of music's current big-thinkers: composer Nico Muhly, songwriter and singer Sufjan Stevens and guitarist-composer Bryce Dessner of The National. The trio, along with percussionist James McAlister, have created Planetarium, an existential song cycle that confronts both the heavens and the human condition in a marriage of hypnotic sound and song.

The NPR Music team met Muhly, Dessner and Stevens at Reservoir Studios in Manhattan to capture a video of the trio performing the song "Mercury" with violist Nadia Sirota, which you can watch here.

We also got a chance to to talk with them about the work's complex creation. There's have a brief video interview here and a more extensive conversation in the All Songs Considered podcast.


Producers: Bob Boilen, Ben Naddaff-Hafrey; Director: Mito Habe-Evans; Editor: Nickolai Hammar; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Annabel Edwards, Mito Habe-Evans, Nickolai Hammar; Special Thanks: St. Rose Music, Mark and Rachel Dibner of the Argus Fund; Series Producer: Mito Habe-Evans; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins;
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