Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois sheet music composed by Sufjan Stevens – 1. Concerning the UFO Sighting Near. Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois – Sufjan Stevens – free sheet music and tabs for violin, contrabass and cello. Learn this song on Jellynote. Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois sheet music, tabs and chords.
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Music can be bought on the Asthmatic Kitty site, here. When the revenant came down. In the spirit of three stars. The alien thing that took its form.
Then to Lebanon, Oh God.
The flashing at night, the sirens grow and grow. Mysterious shape that took its form. Oh what it was. Delivering signs and dusting from their eyes. On the surface, it has something to do with UFO sightings.
Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois – sheet music and tabs
In a live concertStevens talks about finding quite a few police reports about UFO sightings around Highland when he was doing research for Illinois. He also tells a fun story about aliens visiting his father. Stevens is making an allusion to the second coming of Christ.
Imagery of the trinity, cries to God, miraculous signs and a reference to the Middle East all point to the Incarnation of Christ. Now whether he literally thinks that Jesus will come to Earth in a flying saucer is up for debate, but it certainly opens the imagination about what the second coming might look like.
Special thanks to atownes at tabnabber. I started by making a transcription of the recording, which was rathe awkward to do in western notation. In the end, I used a combination of accented bass notes and textual accents to determine the bar lengths. I originally put out the full transcription on this, but have since decided it’s probably not fair to Sufjan to give it out freely without his permission.
Send me an email at jharms. Trying to analyze this piece using Roman Numeral Analysis presents some interesting issues. One possibility is G major. Pros for Team-G include: And why does the piece end on the fifth scale degree of A major?
You can probably argue the piece is in A Dorian, with some modal mixture to top off the end, but the argument is weaker.
Sufjan Stevens chords & tabs
Neither option really presents us with strong cadences, either. At measure 7, we get a rather complicated Gmaj7 chord. The only other interesting thing to mention is the closing. After finishing seven complete cycles, Stevens does a little flourish and fades out on an A major.
Is this a Piccardy third? However, I do still hear it as modal mixture—which argues away from my analysis using NRT. What do you hear? Your ear is constantly battling between two styles—a strong backbeat, being strengthened at the beginning of each chord, and a feeling of unmetered, lengthy chord enforcements.
The odd lengths of bars throws off the ear, creating a feeling of uneasiness. Below is a chart of how long in eighth notes each chord is sustained through the piece. One question that might come to mind is, did Stevens purposefully plan out how long each chord was to be held? Or did he just wing it on the fly? There are arguments on both sides.
Most live performances of this song reveal him to be a passionate, but technically lacking pianist; he forgoes the complex rhythms in live settings to play the chords out of time. As an introduction to what is thus far one of his most significant works, he 1 uses odd instrumentation for rock, pop, and folk idioms, 2 sings about aliens, zombies and Jesus at the same time, 3 Defies normal progressions and avoids anything that sounds like a cadence through the entire piece, and 4 creates a confusing sense of rhythm that inspires both pop sensibilities and minimalistic drones, and leaves us guessing at his original intent.
And, of course, all of this is past simply listening to the beautiful way he presents all of these things. Again, you can find it here.
Sufjan Stevens is one of the heavyweights out there right now, forging a middle ground between many different styles. Thank you, beautiful analisys of an immortal piece that is never leaving me I ownyou a big favour! Thank you for this beautiful analysis. The fact that you tackled both the music and the lyrics is quite admirable.
I found it extremely difficult to figure out the rhythm, and I am really grateful for your transcription. My two cents I would throw into the ring would be to suggest that the prevailing key is E minor. It would make the A major chord a little touch of Dorian to the mix and would make the ending a half plagal cadence, which seems to work for me; as you said it doesn’t feel very much like a picardy third.
The upper note of the repeating chord cycle spells out a second inversion E minor chord. Not to mention, for me personally I like to give my ear a shot in the dark, so when I paused the music to hum the most homely sounding note, I found it was E. While this blog does it’s best to lay things out in layman’s terms, it still requires a small amount of prior music theory knowledge.
If you find yourself over your head, try out a few helpful sites: This post will be covering a song near and dear to my heart. Allow me for a moment to wipe a digital tear away from the screen as I reminisce on the first time I heard this album, and how it changed my life forever.
Sufjan Stevens Tabs: Tabs Total @ Tabs
And this first track was what set into motion a series of unalterable events that has brought me to writing this blog post, right now. Harmonic Analysis Special thanks to atownes at tabnabber. Posted by Jharms at 1: Sarah Chao September 30, at 8: Riccardo March 25, at 2: Anonymous September 20, at 2: Anonymous September 24, at 8: