The Birth of Biophilia
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Björk said, “It felt like the music industry was off the grid, and I wanted to solve the riddle.” The riddle has been solved and she’s back and ready to blow our minds. She revamped her website and unveiled a multimedia project called Biophilia.
Originally, Biophilia was envisioned as an Icelandic school/art installation, dedicated to music and nature. Björk said, “I would just be there and people would come to me.” Biophilia has bloomed into a concept album about nature with songs inspired by DNA, tectonic plates and crystals. Two top app developers, Max Weisel and Theodore Gray created 10 iPad apps for Biophilia. These apps integrate interactive games, musical animations, animated scores, lyrics and academic essays. Basically every app has a game where users can manipulate the song in different ways while playing. For non Ipad users, Biophilia will also be released in traditional physical and digital formats this September.
Björk worked with scientists, instrument makers, and sound designers to invent new instruments for the album.
The Gravity Harps, four 10-foot pendulums with cylindrical harps attached to the end producing an elaborate music-box melody invented by Andy Cavatorta. Be prepared to be mesmerized to the sound of the Gravity Harps on the track ‘Solstice.’
The Sharpsichord that took four years to complete by sound sculptor Henry Dagg. The massive, pin-barrel harp allows even a non-musician to produce a melody. Just listen to ‘Sacrifice‘ if you want to check out the Sharpsichord.
Björk has revealed plans for a three-year educational tour. She hopes to visit eight cities around the world, spending a month and a half in each. In each city Björk will perform Biophilia twice a week, for the rest of the week the venues will host a series of scientific exhibitions and classes for schoolchildren. She wants the kids to be able to try out the instruments on the iPad and write songs.
Two decades since the Sugarcubes, at 45 she is still creating and continually pushing back the barriers of her music. I hope I will be lucky enough to see her Biophilia tour. Ending this post, enjoy ‘Isobel‘ an old time favorite track taken from her recent live show at Manchester International Festival 2011.