Last September, two days after the release of Sufjan Stevens’ new album The Ascension, his biological father died. In response to that loss, Sufjan is releasing Convocations, a massive five-volume instrumental album made up of five song cycles each representing a different stage of mourning: Meditations, Lamentations, Revelations, Celebrations, and Incantations.
“This is not a personal record, but a universal one,” journalist Grayson Haver Currin writes of the album in its Bandcamp description. “Convocations is built on a shared experience that seeks to be honest about how complicated grief can be in these difficult times—the pain, 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. So long as the science and statistics hold, Convocations arrives just as we begin to emerge from a year whose losses we will calculate for a lifetime.”
Sufjan is releasing one volume of Convocations per week until the entire thing is out in May. First up? The 10 tracks, including the previously released “Meditation V,” that make up the first volume, Meditations. Livestream Meditations below starting at 12PM ET.
Convocations is out 5/6 on Asthmatic Kitty. Pre-order it here.