Sufjan Stevens previewed the next installment of his Convocations project with “Lamentation II,” an ambient instrumental piece featuring muted electronics and chrome-plated synth. He paired the song with a visualizer filled with comet-like streaks of rainbow color.
Convocations is a five-volume series dedicated to Stevens’ biological father, who died in September — two days following the release of his 2020 record, The Ascension. Each installment of the album is themed around a different stage of the mourning process — a statement describes the project as “five sonic cycles exploring loss, isolation and anxiety,” drawing on influences like Morton Subotnick, Maryanne Amacher, Christian Fennesz, Brian Eno and Wolfgang Voigt.
The first volume, Meditations, was issued on April 8th, paired with a YouTube livestream featuring visual accompaniment by artist Melissa Fuentes; the second, Lamentations, is out April 15th. Further installments will be released weekly, culminating in the full 49-track, two-and-a-half-hour package, out May 6th via Asthmatic Kitty. A five-LP vinyl box set, due August 20th, is available to pre-order.
In February, Stevens released a video for Ascension track “Tell Me You Love Me,” helmed by director Luca Guadagnino. (The songwriter previously contributed his Oscar-nominated song “Mystery of Love” to the soundtrack of the filmmaker’s 2017 movie, Call Me By Your Name.) Last year, Stevens released a pair of videos for his singles “Video Game” and “Sugar,” and he recently guested on the track “Song of Trouble” by yMusic’s CJ Camerieri.