Four long years have passed since the release of Volta (TMT Review), and it’s felt like the world has changed in a thousand ways since then. For example, back in 2007, the idea that Björk was collaborating with “Freaky Freaky” Timbaland felt like a daring blend of styles, whereas if we heard the same news today it would sound like just another horseman of the apocalypse. This accelerated evolution of taste and acceptability intermingled with layer after layer of world-weariness and cynicism informs so many aspects of our lives today that it seems like nothing is as it once was. How important, then, that Björk continues to live in her edgeless rotating gel-sphere of a home deep within a lush Icelandic grotto that can only be seen during a full moon, because from there she can see the unfiltered world as it is, was, and shall be. Luckily for us, Ms. Guðmundsdóttir is embarking on a large-scale exploration of the natural world called Biophilia, and submitting the results to everyone’s favorite source of world-weariness and cynicism: the internet!
Björk gave a little taste of the Biophilia project back in December of last year when she contributed a song to the iPad app “Solar System”, which allows iPadders to examine 3D models of planets and wonder about their majesty. Now, with the official launch of the Biophilia website, visitors can see that Björk has created a solar system of her very own, which will surely be filled up soon with all sorts of streaming constellations and whooshing sounds but at the moment is somewhat sparse. All you can do right now is wiggle stars around and hold the ‘down’ key until you realize how small Björk is in the grand scheme of things. In an audio message on the site, Björk explains that the aesthetic of the project is about “sympathizing with sound, how sound moves and the physics of sound, and how notes in a room behave, how they bounce off walls and between objects. It’s kind of more similar to how planets and microscopic things work.”
The next part of the project will be the debut of the Biophilia live show in Manchester, starting on June 30 and continuing over the course of five more shows at the same venue — probably to give the roadies some time to recover after assembling “a bespoke digitally-controlled pipe organ; a 30 foot pendulum that harnesses the earth’s gravitational pull to create musical patterns — creating a unique bridge between the ancient and the modern; a bespoke gamelan-celeste hybrid; and a one-off extraordinary pin barrel harp.” Really though, they couldn’t include a sustainable ecosystem inside that pipe organ?
So there you have it. Biophilia: can ya pheel it?™ This isn’t the official tagline for the project, but with enough grassroots support it could be. Get to work.
Biophilia live dates:
06.30.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.03.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.07.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.10.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.13.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
07.16.11 - Manchester, UK - Campfield Market Hall
• Björk: http://www.bjork.com