Throughout his long and admirably eclectic career, Bill Murray has made a point of doing pretty much whatever he wants — and now what he wants is to make an album of classically infused pop and spoken word.

As previously reported, Murray's full-length debut as a musical recording artist, a collaboration with cellist Jan Vogler, is titled New Worlds. In stores now, the album incorporates a broad array of influences and aspirations, ranging from Stephen Foster to Van Morrison, and represents what Murray has described as an effort to capture "the collision of America and Europe" by illustrating how "when the continents come together, the music moves right across the peninsulas from one to the other."

The duo discussed New Worlds during a recent NPR segment that outlined the start of their creative partnership while offering listeners an opportunity to sample selections from the album. During the interview, which you can stream here, Murray shared the epiphany that inspired their decision to cover Morrison's "When Will I Ever Learn to Live in God?" on the LP.

"I've made this drive a number of times in my life and I've never seen all this beauty," Murray explained. "And as I got to the top of the divide, there were people that had come up from the desert to see the flowers ... It had that look of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where they're all looking and they're transfixed. And this music just got me, and I felt like we were all listening to the same song."

That shared experience underscores the ideals that informed the way Murray and Vogler put together the ensemble that recorded New Worlds. As Murray put it, "We're a group: a lady that was born in Venezuela, a lady that was born in communist China and a man that was born in communist East Berlin. And a fella from around Chicago. And we're talking about America as equals."

Murray, Vogler, and their their fellow musicians will support New Worlds with a handful of select dates, including an Oct. 16 appearance at Carnegie Hall. For a complete list of currently scheduled shows, visit Vogler's official site.

The 50 "Last True" Rock Stars

More From