Bjork may not be your cup of tea (she’s usually not mine), but you have to admit she’s almost always interesting. Her videos are consistently fun to watch, and she’s constantly pushing and exploring in her music, imbuing it with an infectious sense of wonder and otherworldliness that marks her as a true visionary. Whether you find her art pleasing enough to consider yourself a fan is beside my point. Hers is unquestionably the work of an authentic, singular artist with boundless ambition and creativity, and that by itself is worthy of admiration. Which brings me to her sprawling, new multi-media project, Biophilia, with songs about stuff like DNA, the birth of galaxies, and plate tectonics, featuring such left-field instruments as pendulum harps and Tesla coil synths. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg:
Yes, there will be an album, which will be released in two versions – one sonically stripped-down and one of more traditionally produced pop music – but that’s only one small part of the full Biophilia experience. Notably, there will also be an iPad app suite, a documentary, a series of live shows encompassed by three years of six-week musical residencies, new custom-made musical instruments, and a music video for lead single ‘Crystalline’ by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry.
The suite of iPad apps alone is pretty amazing:
Each track will contain ten “levels”: the song, an interactive game themed around the song, musical animation, an animated score, animated lyrics, a graphical interpretation of the score, an academic essay on the unusual things going on in the song, archival footage from National Geographic and the BBC, unique content specific to each song and different from every other, and special photographic content. There are ten songs, so that’s 100 levels of things going on in this app. Furthermore, Björk promises that since the levels can be navigated between in a non-linear manner, there are actually 1,000,000,000 ways to experience the album.
Anyway, it all sounds fantastically artsy, and the mega dose of science adds a whole other layer of awesome if you’re a dork like me. You can read more about it here (my source for the italicized snippets above), and here.