ArtWay

The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation. T.S. Eliot

Sufjan Stevens & Deborah Johnson

Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, James McAlister: 'Mercury'

‘Mercury’ (Official Video), music by Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister, from the album Planetarium, released 9 June 2017 on 4AD. The music video was directed by Deborah Johnson. http://smarturl.it/planetariumalbum

This song is part of the long-running Planetarium project, which combines the planets themselves with lyrical themes inspired by the Roman gods they were named after. ‘Mercury’ is one of the most intimate songs on the record, a quality that’s emphasized by its spot just after the 15-minute, ambient, electronic epic ‘Earth.’ Where the record’s other songs foreground synthesizers and spastic electric drum samples reminiscent of 2010’s The Age of Adz, ‘Mercury’ largely rests on Muhly’s gentle piano work and Stevens' beautiful vocal.

Like many of the pieces on the record, its lyrics are a constellation of the cosmic, the personal and the mythological. The song, named for the messenger god, is a perfect musical setting for the feeling of having something dear carried away from you. ‘All that I’ve known to be of life / and I am gentle,’ Stevens sings. ‘You ran off with it all.’

In an interview with All Songs Considered’s Bob Boilen, Sufjan said, ‘Life is so abundant here, and yet we’re so obsessed with the exterior of here. That’s what’s so interesting, there’s a sort of beautiful, perfect order to life on earth that’s so mysterious and so profound. And yet, as people, we really fuck it up. We’re so dysfunctional. And we seek guidance from the exterior world — from the heavens — to help us understand our purpose here and to sort of create a sense of order. (from https://genius.com/Sufjan-stevens-bryce-dessner-nico-muhly-james-mcalister-mercury-lyrics)

Lyrics:

All that I've known to be of life
And I am gentle
You ran off with it all
And I am faithful
All that I felt within my arms
And I am weightless
You ran off with it all
And I am speechless
All that I've said to get it right
And I am confident
You ran off with it all
And I am steadfast
All that I thought, to be precise
And I am consequence
You ran off with it all
And I am sorry

And I am sorry
All that I've known to be at peace
And I am desperate
You ran off with it all
And I am restless
All that I've known to be of love
And I am gentle
You ran off with it all
And I am desperate
All that I dream
Where do you run, where do you run to?
And I'm evidence
All that I dream
Where do you run, where do you run to?
And I am faithless
All that I dream
Where do you run, where do you run to?
Now I am messed up
All that I dream
Where do you run, where do you run to?
Carrier, friend
Where do you run?


More:

- November 2017: Russian Animation of the Christmas Story
- August 2017: Jason Carter: Amazing Grace
- July 2017: G.F. Händel & Marc de Klijn
- March 2017: Come... Help me Lament
- December 2016: Alana Levandoski & Julie Ann Stevens
- December 2016: Sufjan Stevens & Geertgen tot Sint Jans
- December 2016: Barbara de Reus & Ordinary Time
- November 2016: Gor Chahal & Jan Krist