Sufjan Stevens has performed his track ‘Visions of Gideon’ live for the first time.
He sung the track live at The Town Hall in New York City last night (April 21) on ‘Live From Here’, a US radio show (formerly known as ‘A Prairie Home Companion’) hosted by Chris Thile.
“I’ve never actually sung this one live before,” Sufjan reveals as he introduces ‘Visions of Gideon’, a track taken from the ‘intoxicating’ 2017 film ‘Call Me By Your Name‘.
The singer also performed ‘Mystery of Love’ from the film’s soundtrack – which was nominated for Best Original Song at the 2018 Oscars – as well as ‘Tonya Harding’, ‘Heirloom’ and a church hymn.
Watch ‘Visions of Gideon’ below.
“How do you deal with having too many good songs?” the host asks Sufjan at one point during the show.
“Well I wouldn’t agree with you upon that one,” the singer laughs.
“For every song that I released I probably have 10 that are utter failures. Does that make you feel any better or me feel any better?”
Introducing ‘Heirloom’, Sufjan says: “This is one of the first songs I ever wrote,” revealing he wrote it “20 years ago”.
“I remember being in my room and was practicing this pattern,” he says, demonstrating on his guitar. “It took me forever to figure it out.”
The demo was sitting on a four track cassette and when he was working on new material, he found it and realised he’d never done anything with it, so added it to his ‘All Delighted People‘ EP, released in 2010.
The show is closed by Sufjan, with a church hymn that he used to sing in the United Methodist Church as a child.
“I was struck by it as a kid because it’s actually really dark, gloomy,” Sufjan jokes, introducing the song.
“And I don’t think Methodists are usually so gloomy. In fact I think they’ve taken this out of their updated hymnals. That was back in the 80s!”
He’s no stranger to performing hymns, with Christmas carols appearing on his ‘Songs For Christmas‘ boxset, which includes festive EPs he recorded as gifts for his family between 2001-2006.
Listen to the entire ‘Live From Here’ show here.
Sufjans’s performances are at 13:00 (‘Tonya Harding’), 52:56 (‘Heirloom’ and ‘Visions of Gideon’), 1:43:28 (‘Mystery of Love’) and 1:54:45 (hymn).