Friday, July 22, 2005

Even more Illinoise!

I guess we may as well declare this the Year of Sufjan Stevens. It seems like nobody can get enough of this guy; the rave reviews and insightful interviews just keep rolling in:

1. The Seattle Weekly heaps praise upon the album in this impressively thoughtful review.

2. The Washington Post digs the new album, too.

3. Sufjan chats with Delusions of Adequacy about a variety of subjects, including the ways in which his faith shapes his art:

DOA: How much does your faith influence your art?
SS: Well, faith is art: the art of taking a big risk, I suppose — the art of making a big mistake and suffering the consequences. But logistically I suppose my process of making art is driven less by abstractions of faith or politics and more by practical theory: composition and balance and
color. On an aesthetic level, faith and art are a dangerous match. Today, they can quickly lead to devotional artifice or didactic crap. This would summarize the Christian publishing world or the Christian music industry. If you are an artist of faith (a Methodist or a Jew), then you have the responsibility to manage the principles of your faith wisely lest they be reduced to stereotype,
which is patronizing to the church and to the world, and, perhaps, to God. Consider what John Zorn has done for Jewish music. 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. This absolves me from ever making the embarrassing effort to gratify God (and the church) by imposing religious content on anything I do. I mean, I’ve written songs about stalkers. Is that any less religious than a song about an ordained pastor? No way.

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