Sufjan Stevens has revealed his latest project Reflections, a score to his frequent collaborator Justin Peck’s ballet of the same name. It’ll be out today, May 19th via his own label Asthmatic Kitty.
Stevens wrote Reflections for two pianos, while Peck, whose recent credits also include Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake, choreographed its eleven dancers. The Houston Ballet originally commissioned the show, which premiered on March 21st, 2019. Piano might not be Stevens’ first instrument (fun fact: it was the oboe), but the format lends itself to moving and whimsical compositions. Per his words, the score is meant to emanate “energy, light, and duality,” although he certainly doesn’t take himself too seriously here: The closing track is called “And I Shall Come to You Like a Stormtrooper in Drag Serving Imperial Realness.”
“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,” Stevens adds in a press release. “Although I’ve never taken a lesson, the piano was my first true love.”
The score is performed by renowned pianists Timo Andres and Conor Hanick.
Some of Stevens’ older work is also coming to the stage this summer: His 2005 album Illinois is being adapted into a musical theater production, set to premiere this June at Bard College in New York.
07. And I Shall Come to You Like a Stormtrooper in Drag Serving Imperial Realness