If you need further inducement to attend the upcoming Moogfest
, which returns to Durham in May for a second iteration, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe will be there, and he’ll be premiering a multimedia installation— an “exploration of desire and movement”—that will feature a never-before-heard instrumental score along with footage the singer shot in New York City.
This isn't the first time Stipe has released music in the post-R.E.M. era—he collaborated with producer/songwriter Andy LeMaster on the instrumental soundtrack to The Cold Lands
—but for this project he's made good use of Moog’s invention, and he's done it on his own. Stipe has said that instrumental work frees him from the burden of lyric writing and of communicating a feeling through words. Presumably, he's still relishing that freedom, so we’ll have to keep waiting to hear him sing again. Until then, his visual art, his spirit of creativity, and his exuberant, Walt Whitman-worthy beard (not pictured) will have to suffice.