[OT] Sufjan Stevens gets the ToString treatment

My good friend Sufjan just released another brilliant album, Illinoise, as the second installment of his 50 States project. Not surprisingly, it's been very well received. It was a very unexpected honor to be  asked to remix one of the best songs on the album, Chicago, for an iTunes only release.[1]

Here's the iTMS link to what I came up with: Chicago (JonGalloway ToString remix) [2]


I'm pretty happy with how the remix turned out given the time and other challenges. My computer died on me the night before it was due, so I had to reinstall until midnight and mix until dawn, then go to work and crank out some TPS reports.

My brother Brian helped out with some drums, mandolin, vocals, and live instrument recording. My rokken wife, Rachel , added some cool vocals (as well as ukulele and flute parts which were cool but didn't fit in the mix). I got busy with some envelope-filtered bass, Fruity Loops, and Sonic Foundry (Acid and SoundForge)[1].

The original song is a folky-pop-rock number. The remix is dance-pop with a bit-o-glitch for fun. If you've got 99 cents burning a hole in your pocket, give it a spin.

And definitely check out 's Illinoise - it's really good. NPR just did an interesting feature on Sufjan, with an NPR exclusive Sufjan track.

[1] I did a lot of the electronic / computer stuff in a band (Soul-Junk) many moons ago. We toured with Sufjan before he became a big star.
[2] iTunes required to hear an iTunes exclusive release, of course.
[3] Sony bought both Acid and Sonic Foundry, but I've got the old SF versions.


  • That's pretty sweet! I bought Acid Pro and SoundForge a while ago intending to learn how to produce and remix music. It's pretty much sat there gathering dust. :(

  • I'm really enjoying the Chicago remix - I've had Illinois for a few months now (I'm good friends with Shara and Katrina) and having heard Chicago in Sufjan's live set in a few different forms, your remix makes lots of sense. A friend of mine likes your version quite a bit more than that which appears on the record! I want to hear more remixes of his stuff - any plans?

    Thanks again for your work

  • David -

    Thanks! Nice to hear you like it.

    Suf invited me to do the remix. I'd be happy to do more if he asks. I think it'd be fun to do one of them odd time ones.

    I've been working sporadically on an EP of electronic instrumental tracks in prime number time signatures (seriously), and this remix has inspired me to finish it up in the next few months. Sadly I can't write lyrics as well as Suf - heck, I can't even write as well as Jon Bon Jovi.

  • It took me a while to get the 'toString' cause itunes made it two words. While poking away at a .net project it finally clicked. Good humor good remix.

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