Some call her crazy…some call her eccentric…others call her artistic. We call her the extraordinarily-talented Björk. This week, the iconic Icelander released tidbits of information about her new album, Biophilia. But, more notably, in a collaboration with David Attenborough, she has created a complex and interesting application (currently available from the Apple store for iPhone or iPad). Once you have downloaded the application, you will be presented with the following introduction explaining the application and the overall project. I should say that the application is a foray into her imagination by synthesizing the artistic, visual, and musical elements of her new album. Of course the introduction (below) predicts that this project will help restore human kind’s connection to nature. A lofty goal, but one that only Bjork could embark on. Here is that introduction:
Biophilia is an extraordinary and innovative multimedia exploration of music, nature and technology by the musician Björk. Comprising a suite of original music and interactive, educational artworks and musical artifacts, Biophilia is released as ten in-app experiences that are accessed as you fly through a three-dimensional galaxy that accompanies the album’s theme song Cosmogony. All of the album’s songs gradually become available inside Biophilia as interactive experiences, beginning with the first single Crystalline.
Björk has collaborated with artists, designers, scientists, instrument makers, writers and software developers to create an extraordinary multimedia exploration of the universe and its physical forces, processes and structures – of which music is a part. Each in-app experience is inspired by and explores the relationships between musical structures and natural phenomena, from the atomic to the cosmic. You can use Biophilia to make and learn about music, to find out about natural phenomena, or to just enjoy Björk’s music.
Biophilia opens into a three-dimensional galaxy with a compass allowing navigation between the 3-dimensional universe and a two-dimensional track list. Take a closer look by tapping on stars within the constellations and you’ll see that each is an in-app purchase that gives access to the inspired combination of artifacts for each new Björk song: interactive art and games, music notation which can be used to sing along karaoke-style, abstract animations, lyrics, and essays that explore Björk’s inspirations for the track. These artifacts bring together conventional and alternative ways of representing and making music to create an environment for entertainment and learning. Biophilia challenges the way we think about music. Here, for the first time, is a music album that exploits the multimedia capabilities of mobile interactive technologies.
Biophilia was created by Björk in collaboration with interactive artist and app developer Scott Snibbe, and Björk’s longtime design collaborators M/M (Paris).
Once you have downloaded the application and played around with it a bit, you will see that the first song from the album is available for download for $1.45USD through the Apple app store. That song, Crystalline is prototypical Björk. When I asked one of the other NEMzy contributors (bumblebeatz) to describe this song…his first response was “strangely delicious.” Indeed it is:
The Biophilia project contains five key elements, according to a press release by Björk’s publicist: The Album (release date in Late September for the USA), Application (out now), Live Shows (looking forward to this World Tour — I hope they bring back the ReacTable), Documentary (90-minute documentary currently being filed), and a website change (check out bjork.com to see the new website).
Needless to say, we are all so excited to see Björk back in her creative mode. We are seriously looking forward to this project and can’t wait to see the rest of the elements being released (note: the video for Crystalline should be released on July 27th to Youtube. We will update this post once that has happened).