, Mike Patton, Rahzel and have never been easy particularly easy to classify, but her new album could prove to be her most adventurous project yet. The title of her new album, Biophilia, means “love of life or living systems” and it sounds as though Björk is releasing something closer to a living multimedia experience, rather than a conventional record.
According to a report in The Guardian, Biophilia will be released as 10 separate apps, all housed within one “mother” app, which will allow fans to interact with the songs or even create completely new versions. There will also be feature several music videos included in the release, with at least one directed by Michel Gondry. The director of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and many classic Björk clips revealed last year that he was working on a “very ambitious project, a sort of scientific musical” with the Icelandic star.
Scott Snibbe, an interactive artist who was commissioned by Björk to produce the app and the images for her upcoming live shows, says “Björk’s put herself way at the forefront here by saying, ‘We’ll release this album and these apps at the same time and they’re all part of the same story.’ The app is an expression of the music, the story and the idea… Björk is the master collaborator. She has a really strong vision, but she’s really open and welcoming to ideas from her collaborators.” Snibbe has also revealed that the app for the song, Virus, “A kind of a love story between a virus and a cell. And of course the virus loves the cell so much that it destroys it.”
Another of Björk’s Biophilia collaborators on Biophilia is Björgvin Tómasson, an Icelandic organ maker. Tómasson has created two brand new instruments for the project – a small organ, which Björk plays using a computer and an old celeste that was rebuilt to incorporate the sounds of a gamelan. “Prior to this experience, I would never have thought of the possibility of doing anything like this to a 100-year-old instrument,” Tómasson says. “A new instrument was created in that moment.”
Björk will unveil the sounds of Biophilia at the Manchester International Festival at the end of the month, with a show that promises to feature Björk performing with “a range of specially conceived and crafted instruments, among them a bespoke pipe organ that accepts digital information and a pendulum that harnesses the earth’s gravitational pull to create musical patterns.” Just another casual Björk show really…
In the mix