The BQE (soundtrack)

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The BQE
Soundtrack album by Sufjan Stevens
Released October 20, 2009
Genre Classical, Electronic
Length 40:09
Label Asthmatic Kitty
Producer Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens chronology
Songs for Christmas
(2006)
The BQE
(2009)
All Delighted People EP
(2010)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [1]
BBC (favourable)[2]
Drowned In Sound (7/10) [3]
NME (9/10) [4]
Pitchfork Media (7.4/10) [5]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[6]

The BQE is a mixed-medium artistic exploration of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway by Sufjan Stevens. The project originally manifested in the form of a live show, performed on November 1–3, 2007. The show consisted of an original film, directed and written by Stevens, accompanied by an orchestra performing a live soundtrack.

The album recording was made after the rehearsals for the show. It was recorded live during a one-day session in Legacy Studios' A509 orchestral suite (since closed and demolished) with most of the group in the same large room together.

A multimedia package of The BQE was released on October 20, 2009. The set consists of a CD of the show's soundtrack, a DVD of Brooklyn-Queen Expressway footage that accompanied the original performance (not a film of the performance itself), a 40-page booklet with liner notes and photos, and a stereoscopic 3D View-Master reel. There is also a limited edition version that features the soundtrack on 180-gram vinyl and a 40-page BQE-themed comic book starring the show's hula-hooping wonder women, The Hooper Heroes.

Regarding The BQE, Stevens said:

I intended to create a non-personal, non-narrative piece. I tried to reduce my own personal investment as much as possible, and I refused to incorporate one of my strengths, which is the song. I was relinquishing my greatest weapon.[7]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Prelude on the Esplanade" – 2:56
  2. "Introductory Fanfare for the Hooper Heroes" – 1:07
  3. "Movement I: In the Countenance of Kings" – 5:19
  4. "Movement II: Sleeping Invader" – 4:34
  5. "Interlude I: Dream Sequence in Subi Circumnavigation" – 3:33
  6. "Movement III: Linear Tableau with Intersecting Surprise" – 4:09
  7. "Movement IV: Traffic Shock" – 3:24
  8. "Movement V: Self-Organizing Emergent Patterns" – 3:45
  9. "Interlude II: Subi Power Waltz" – 0:28
  10. "Interlude III: Invisible Accidents" – 0:54
  11. "Movement VI: Isorhythmic Night Dance with Interchanges" – 3:17
  12. "Movement VII (Finale): The Emperor of Centrifuge" – 3:51
  13. "Postlude: Critical Mass" – 2:59
DVD-only bonus track
  1. "The Sleeping Red Wolves" – 4:23

Personnel[edit]

  • Production
    • Alejandro Venguer, assisted by Jeff Kirby and Tyler Van Dalen – Recording, Legacy Studios, New York City
    • Casey Foubert, James McAlister, and Sufjan Stevens – Additional recording, Sufjan's office in Brooklyn
    • Sufjan Stevens – Mixing
    • Lisa Moran – Production Management
    • Michael Atkinson – Music Editing, Copyist
  • Performing Artists
    • Tim Albright – Trombone
    • Hideaki Aomori – Clarinet
    • Mat Fieldes – Upright Bass
    • Casey Foubert – Electric Guitar
    • Josh Frank – Trumpet
    • Alan Hampton – Upright Bass
    • Marla Hansen – Viola, Vocals
    • Jay Hassler – Bass Clarinet, Clarinet
    • Maria Bella Jeffers – Cello
    • Ben Lanz – Trombone
    • Olivier Manchon – Violin
    • Rob Moose – Violin
    • Sato Moughalian – Flute, Piccolo
    • Damian Primis – Bassoon
    • Theo Primis – French Horn
    • Joey Redhage – Cello
    • Kyle Resnick – Trumpet
    • Yuuki Matthews – Bass, Beats
    • Beth Meyers – Viola
    • James McAlister – Drums, Percussion, Drum Programming, Sequencing, Synthesizers, Sound Effects, Etc.
    • Matt Moran – Drums, Percussion
    • Arthur Sato – Oboe
    • Alex Sopp – Flute, Alto Flute, Piccolo
    • Hiroko Taguchi – Violin
    • Amie Weiss – Violin
    • Sufjan Stevens – "Everything Else"
    • Michael Atkinson – Conductor
  • BQE Film
    • Anastasia-Dyan Pridlides – Botanica
    • Elaine Tian – Quantus
    • Lindsay Brickel – Electress
    • Sufjan Stevens – Direction, Cinematography, Editing
    • Reuben Kleiner – Cinematography, Editing
    • Malcolm Hearn – Editing
    • Bryant Fisher and Blink Digital – Post-Production
  • Packaging
    • Denny Renshaw – Photography
    • Anastasia-Dyan Pridlides – Botanica
    • Elaine Tian – Quantus
    • Lindsay Brickel – Electress
    • Stephen Halker – Bailey
    • Virginia Bradley Linzee – Makeup
    • Belinda Martin – Wardrobe
    • Caroline McAlister – Costume Design, Costumes
    • Sufjan Stevens – Photography, Layout, Design, Illustrations
  • "Hooper Heroes" Comic Book/Stereoscopic Reel
    • Sufjan Stevens – Story, Writing
    • Stephen Halker – Story, Penciling, Inking, Lettering, Coloring
    • Heidi Cho – Coloring
    • David Min – Coloring
    • Matt Loux – Cover Watercolour
    • Christian Ackler –Cover Masthead

References[edit]

External links[edit]