So, we’re finally here. Biophilia has impacted in all its forms. But is it strong enough to support Bjork’s outrageously ambitious ideas?
"LOOK AT MY LOVELY NEW ALBUM/ROCK"
For those of you who haven’t been following the saga, the Icelandic songstress announced in March her intention to perform a three-week residency at the MEN arena in Manchester entitled Biophilia. This sent fans and critics alike into a frenzy – new music from a new album was promised, and vague details were mentioned: new instruments specifically designed by Bjork, a tour of cities around the globe and iPad apps. As the project unfolded Bjork’s vision became clearer, and considerably more complex. The entire Biophilia project would entail the Manchester Festival shows, a digital app album consisting of both game-like interaction and notes explaining the concept of each song, academic workshops for young people designed to “immerse themselves in the endlessly rich and inspiring place where cutting edge technology, music and nature meet”, and an album entitled Biophilia available both digitally and physically. Confused? You may well be. Bjork isn’t exactly known for her straight forward approach to music. And indeed, the more she tried to explain the project, the more confusing it seemed to become.
But it all unfolded in a surprisingly straightforward manner. The Manchester shows were played, and met with mainly positive reviews. The project’s singles were released as both digital singles and apps as part of a Biophilia “mother app”. And finally, an album was properly announced. Ten tracks, all performed at her Manchester appearances. Each was to have its own subject matter, ranging from microbiology to tectonic plates and volcanos. But as the groundwork for this entire project, do they hold up? Are they good enough to carry such an expansive educational mission? Continue reading