Sufjan Stevens' new project commissioned by the Walker and SPCO

Sufjan Stevens' new project commissioned by the Walker and SPCO
Photo By Denny Renshaw

Sufjan Stevens has shared plenty of musical gifts with his fans around the holidays. And this year is no different, other than the fact that there is a distinct Twin Cities connection with his new release. The Walker Art Center and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's Liquid Music series have commissioned a limited edition album by Sisyphus -- a collaboration between Stevens, the rapper Serengeti, and the composer/producer Son Lux -- featuring new music inspired by the work of artist Jim Hodges, whose exhibition, Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take, opens at the Walker on February 14.

The first sample of what Sisyphus sounds like is their new single, "Calm It Down," which you can listen to above and download for free at If you would like to hear more about what Stevens thinks about this collaboration (which used to be called S/S/S) and the music inspired by Hodges' work, the Walker has an engaging interview with the idiosyncratic musician on their website.

The cover of the Sisyphus album features a cover designed in collaboration with Hodges himself, and will be available exclusively at the Walker gift shop beginning on February 14. The album will see national release on March 18 courtesy of Asthmatic Kitty Records and Joyful Noise Recordings.

Sufjan Stevens' new project commissioned by the Walker and SPCO

In addition, the Walker has quite a grand opening party and some cool events planned around Hodges' exhibit. The Walker After Hours event on February 14 will allow patrons to get a first glimpse at the exhibition, and you can catch what the Walker is coyly calling a "cameo appearance" by Sisyphus that evening. There will also be DJ sets by Olga Bell and Angel Deradoorian from the Dirty Projectors, as well as Tom Vek -- who are all performing together on February 13 as part of the SPCO's Liquid Music series.

On Saturday, February 15, you can catch Jim Hodges and Sisyphus in conversation with Bill Arning, the director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. The Opening-Day Dialogue event is presented by the Walker Art Center, SPCO Liquid Music series, Minnesota Public Radio, and American Composers Forum. Tickets for this exclusive conversation go on sale beginning on Tuesday, January 14.

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