This is even more stunning live. The song itself is one of the only songs that makes me cry just a bit.
I’ve heard Sufjan describe his band as a 6th grade orchestra class, he mentioned the juxtaposition of good classical music and silliness. This is the most profound and talented group of sixth graders I’ve ever heard. The song is about a good friend who died of leukemia.
Just in case you missed the composition of this live piece:
French Horn or Alto Sax?
Strings (Cello, Viola and two violins)
Drums (Orchestra Bass Drum included)
Various percussion like tambourine, xylophone and bells