|Who is it?||Soundtrack, Composer, Director|
|Birth Day||July 01, 1975|
|Birth Place||Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Age||45 YEARS OLD|
|Origin||Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Genres||Indie folk alternative rock baroque pop electronica|
|Instruments||Vocals guitar banjo electronics keyboards woodwinds percussion|
|Labels||Asthmatic Kitty Sounds Familyre Orchard|
|Associated acts||Sisyphus Cryptacize Danielson Famile Denison Witmer Marzuki My Brightest Diamond Rosie Thomas The Welcome Wagon The National Nico Muhly Bryce Dessner Stranger Cat St. Vincent Dawn Landes Gallant|
A few weeks later, our dog got hit by a snowplow and I forgot all about the problem of names. Until college, when I learned to play the guitar, and, as an exercise, started writing songs (very poorly executed) in the same way that Henry Ford produced the automobile: assembly-line-style. I wrote songs for the days of the week (poor Monday!). Songs for the planets (poor Pluto!). Songs for the Apostles (poor Judas!). And, finally, when all else failed, I started a series of songs for names. [...] Each piece was a rhetorical, philosophical, musical rumination on all the possible names I had entertained years before when my parents had given me the one chance to change my own. Oh fates! I sang these songs in the privacy of my dorm room, behind closed doors, pillows and cushions stuffed in the air vents so no one would hear. And then I almost failed Latin class, my grades plummeted, my social life dissolved into ping pong tournaments in the residence halls, and, gradually, my interest in music (or anything divine, creative, fruitful, enriching) completely waned. I turned to beer. And cigarettes. And TV sitcoms. And candy bars. Oh well! A perfectly good youth wasted on junk food! That is, until a few months ago, when I came across some of the old name songs, stuffed onto tape cassettes, 4-track recorders, forgotten boxes, forgotten shelves, forgotten hard drives. It was like finding an old diary, or a high school yearbook, senior picture with lens flare and pockmarks, slightly cute and embarrassing. What was I thinking?
Next he released the second in the 50 states project, titled Illinois. Among the subjects explored on Illinois are the cities of Chicago, Decatur and Jacksonville; the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, the death of a friend on Casimir Pulaski Day, the poet Carl Sandburg, and the serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
During a 2004 interview with Adrian Pannett for Comes with a Smile magazine, when asked how important faith was to his music, he responded, "I don't like talking about that stuff in the public forum because, I think, certain themes and convictions are meant for personal conversation." In a 2006 interview, he said, "It's not so much that faith influences us as it lives in us. In every circumstance (giving a speech or tying my shoes), I am living and moving and being." In a 2010 interview, Stevens stated that he is a Christian.
The widely acclaimed Illinois was the highest-rated album of 2005 on the review aggregator website Metacritic based on glowing reviews from Pitchfork, The Onion A/V Club, Spin, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, KEXP, and The Guardian.
In April 2006, Stevens announced that 21 pieces of music he had culled from the Illinois recording sessions would be incorporated into a new album, called The Avalanche, which was released on July 11, 2006.
On May 31, 2007, Asthmatic Kitty announced that Stevens would be premiering a new project titled The BQE in early November 2007. The project, dubbed a "symphonic and cinematic exploration of New York City's infamous Brooklyn-Queens Expressway", was manifested in a live show. The BQE featured an original film by Stevens (shot in Super 8 mm film and standard 16 mm), while Stevens and a backing orchestra provided the live Soundtrack. The performance used 36 performers which included a small band, a wind and brass ensemble, string players, horn players, and hula hoopers. There were no lyrics to the music. The BQE was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of their Next Wave Festival and performed on three consecutive nights from November 1–3, 2007.
The performance sold out the 2,109 seat BAM Opera House without any advertising. After three weeks of rehearsing the piece with the three dozen Musicians involved, he presented the 30-minute composition. The BQE was followed by an additional one hour of concert by Stevens and his orchestra. The BQE won the 2008 Brendan Gill Prize.
Stevens has stated in interviews that in 2009/10, he suffered from a mysterious debilitating virus infection that affected his nervous system. He experienced chronic pain and was forced to stop working on music for several months. He said: "The Age of Adz, is, in some ways, a result of that process of working through health issues and getting much more in touch with my physical self. That's why I think the record's really obsessed with sensation and has a hysterical melodrama to it."
On October 12, 2010, Stevens began his North American tour in Montreal, featuring virtually all new material. The tour lasted just over a month and ended on November 15, 2010 in New York City.
Stevens toured Australia and New Zealand in early 2011, featured as part of the Sydney Festival, and appeared on-stage with The National during the last of three sold-out Auckland shows. He also toured Europe and the United Kingdom in April and May 2011, playing there for the first time in five years. His shows mostly consisted of new material, but he did play many older tracks from Seven Swans and Illinois. Stevens ended the Age of Adz tour with two shows in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York.
In 2012, Stevens' mother Carrie died of stomach cancer. His process of grieving and coming to terms with their relationship led to the songwriting on his 2015 album Carrie & Lowell.
As a part of Joyful Noise's 2013 Flexi Disc Series, Stevens and Cat Martino, of Stranger Cat, recorded the single "Take the Time". Martino has contributed to many of Stevens' past projects including The Age of Adz.
On March 18, 2014, Stevens released the self-titled album, Sisyphus, with Son Lux, and the Rapper Serengeti.
On January 26, 2015, Asthmatic Kitty Records announced a tour of North America, which began in April 2015, to coincide with the new album. Stevens also headlined the End of the Road Festival in the United Kingdom in September. On July 21, a second set of U.S. tour dates, which took place in October and November 2015, was announced.
Meals on Wheels (through the Ad Council via New York-based ad agency Anomaly) uses "Movement III" from The BQE as the official theme music for their volunteer recruitment campaign, "America, Let's Do Lunch," launched in the summer of 2016. The music is used in TV and radio spots.
On December 6, 2017, Stevens released a new song via Asthmatic Kitty Records' YouTube channel. The track, titled "Tonya Harding", plays along a clip of the eponymous skater performing at the 1991 World Figure Skating Championships. Two days later, the single was offered for digital download and streaming, to be followed later by a cassette and vinyl release, in two versions, the one featured in the video (subtitled "in D major") and a slower, piano-only arrangement ("in Eb major"); in a short essay, Stevens revealed his intention to write a song about Harding since 1991. The track was unrelated to the biographical film I, Tonya, which was released in the same period; nevertheless, Stevens offered it to the film's producers, but was rejected.