Sufjan Stevens may not have recorded
albums dedicated to all 50 states, as promised long ago. But now he has a song suite inspired by all nine planets—including ousted dwarf planet Pluto—under his belt with “Planetarium,” a solar system-inspired collaboration with the National’s Bruce Dessner and composer Nico Mulhy (mostly his words and vocals, mostly their music). Seven trombones and a string quartet augment the trio’s keyboards and guitar beneath the gaze of production designer Deborah Johnson’s ever-morphing giant planetary eye. A string quartet opens the evening with a set of instrumentals written by the garish technofolkie (Stevens), the indie-rocking minimalist (Dessner), and the chaotic classicist (Mulhy). As fate would have it, “Planetarium” makes its New York debut just as Rirkrit Tiravanija and Karlheinz Stockhausen’s outer-spaced Oktophonie lands at the Park Avenue Armory.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., March 24, 7 p.m. Starts: March 21. Continues through March 23, 2013