Let me put last weeks training in perspective for you. It was nearly a 400km week over a period of 18 hours, split between the three disciplines. And every bit of it was was either intense, long, and in hot, humid and stinking conditions. Yesterday, for Father’s Day, I spent another 9 hours in the baking heat at the bike mount line for the SunRype Tri-Kids duathlon in Burlington, Ontario before retiring to Trailside Bar & Grill later on for a well deserved “Dad Burger”, a few Belgian Moon’s and a chapter or two of my book.
Today I’m in full recovery mode. No swimming. No biking. No running.
In fact, I plan to do little else today other than lie on the couch, listen to records and read my book. I may not even shower. Yes, I might even have a beer or two to boot. Sue me. So today’s “relax mode” begins with this ‘Planetarium‘ collaboration album featuring Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dressner, and James McAlister.
This album represents a collaborative project inspired by the Solar System (how’s that for a mammoth concept album?), featuring Bryce Dessner of the American indie rock band The National, drummer James McAlister, American contemporary classical music composer and arranger Nico Muhly, and, of course, Sufjan himself. The album was released by 4AD on just this past June 9th, 2017.
Basically, each of the songs are written for an inspired by the system’s planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune – as well as the dwarf planet, Pluto. There are also songs inspired by black holes, Halley’s Comet, the Kuiper belt, the Moon, and the Sun.
I figured this wouldn’t be your typical album but, seeing as how Sufjan Stevens is a part of it I knew it would be a very interesting listen.
Seriously, I love this guy.
After it was released, I watched some YouTube videos that reviewed the album (click HERE and HERE) and they weren’t terribly favorable but, since both guys were kind of douchy, I chose to ignore them and go with my guy in that this would be a super cool listen and, thankfully, it is.
Ideal for “Do Nothing” day, in fact.
To me, it sounds somewhere in between an abstract theater piece and the backing orchestral post-rock you’d expect to hear at one of the better budgeted science center or museum that you’d visit with general disinterest in a major city while on vacation with the fam jam.
Still…it’s really, really pretty.
I think my favorite stand out tracks is ‘Neptune‘ which is both equal parts beautiful and heart-achingly serene, and only Sufjan could pull off this kind of surreal musically dichotomy.
Great beginnnig to “Do Nothing” day.