Jun 2011

Bjork redefines the musician's product with 'Biophilia' album/app


I found out here and there on the web that Islandic artist Bjork is once again pushing the boundaries of experimental music by relasing a new album, Biophilia, which will be composed by both music and interactive media, in the form of an iPad app:

Biophilia for iPad will include around 10 separate apps, all housed within one "mother" app. Each of the smaller apps will relate to a different track from the album, allowing people to explore and interact with the song's themes or even make a completely new version. It will also be an evolving entity that will grow as and when the album's release schedule dictates, with new elements added. Scott Snibbe, an interactive artist who was commissioned by Björk last summer to produce the app, as well as the images for the live shows (which will combine his visuals with National Geographic imagery, mixed live from iPads on the stage), describes how Björk saw the possibilities of using apps, not as separate to the music, but as a vital component of the whole project. "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."

The review above is taken from an article on posterous.com. How will the music/apps look like? Here's an example:

For one song, Virus, the app will feature a close-up study of cells being attacked by a virus to represent what Snibbe calls: "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." The interactive game challenges the user to halt the attack of the virus, although the result is that the song will stop if you succeed. In order to hear the rest of the song, you have to let the virus take its course. Using some artistic license, the cells will also mouth along to the chorus. It's this determination to fuse different elements together – be it juxtaposing a female choir from Greenland with the bleeps and glitches of electronic music pioneers Matmos during the Vespertine tour, or meshing soaring strings and jagged beats on the Homogenic album – that helps explain the power and success of Björk's collaborations.....

Biophilia is the result of a collaboration with Scott Sona Snibble, a digital artist active in the app-world with products such as 'OscilloScoop':

More press coverage on Pitchfork and the Guardian.

Cite this blog post:


Michele Pasin. Bjork redefines the musician's product with 'Biophilia' album/app. Blog post on www.michelepasin.org. Published on June 26, 2011.

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