Listen: Bjork gives ‘Biophilia’ a release date, art, drops ‘Cosmogeny’

07.19.11 6 years ago

Bjork’s wiliest album adventure yet now has a release date for “proper” release: “Biophilia” will arrive on Sept. 27 via One Little Indian/Nonesuch, with all it’s strings, pulleys, gadgets and bells intact.

Of course, I’m referring to one of its most novel concepts, that each of the 10 tracks will have an accompanying audio-visual application. The “Biophilia” application will be available for free download to all-Apple products — iPod, iPod Touch and the iPad — but it’s within that gratis application, users are enabled to purchase in-app apps (you follow?) for the songs of their choice.

Today, that central app has been released, as has two songs to date: the previously discussed “Crystalline” and, now, “Cosmogeny.”


Because all of my iPods are sick and dying, I have not yet dared to enter into this app abyss. However, I’d love to see the regal splendor the Icelandic songwriter and her esteemed team of audio-visual designers have constructed around this track. While “Crystalline” didn’t exact bowl me over, I’m very much drawn to the song structure and the composure of “Cosmogeny.” Using fleeting elements of flurried electronic drums and clipped horns, she gives each of her heavenly words prominence. There’s a soul to this outer-space jam that feels heartfelt, historic and classy.

But on to the bigger picture, as they say, that’s not all: more details have arrived in regards to what Bjork plans to do with her live show, including the commissioning of…

…unique musical instruments… Among these creations are four 10-foot pendulum-harps, in which the swinging motion plucks the strings and illustrates the songs” gravitational subject matter. Other instruments played in the show include a 10-foot pin barrel harp called the Sharpsichord, a midi-controlled pipe organ and celeste (re-fitted with bronze gamelan bars), twin musical tesla coils, and a Hang; an award-winning 24-piece Icelandic female choir rounds out the ensemble… Björk will perform in the round to audiences of fewer than 2,000 people to create an intimate experience in which all audience members are within 20 feet of the stage.

To excuse myself from the parlance of this delicate and strong-headed endeavor: holy crap. I passed out twice just reading that and have since checked to see when the MoMA may have an opening.

The songwriter is also in the midst of filming a 90-minute documentary (how do they know it’ll be that long, before it’s even done?) on the making-of and the natural inspirations behind “Biophilia.”

And do you have $800 to blow? Good. Leap for a pre-order of the “Ultimate Edition” of “Biophilia,” which presents the music in a custom-made 48-page “hardbound, cloth-covered, thread-sewn book” and 10 chrome-plated tuning forks “each representing the tone of a track on the album,” slapped lovingly into a “lacquered and silkscreened oak hinged-lid case.”

Did I just pass out again? I think I did.

I need a sit. Here, here’s the album cover:

Bjork, Biophilia

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