Posted in music on July 1, 2011

photo via PurplePR Music

The opening of Bjork's ambitious new multimedia project 'Biophilia' at Campfield Market Hall, Manchester, last night (June 30) was ushered in with lightning, giant pendulums, a 24-piece female choir - and David Attenborough.

Alongside a small selection of older tracks, Bjork, in blue sequinned dress and orange wig, unveiled all 10 of the new songs that will comprise the 'Biophilia' album, to be released this autumn, while screens above the stage demonstrated some of the animations and games that will be included in the 10 iPad/iPhone apps that will accompany it. Each song and app explore a different pair of scientific and musicological concepts.

'Thunderbolt', featuring the Tesla coil, demonstrated an app in which the drawing of lines and shapes can be used to manipulate arpeggios, while the animated accompaniment to new single 'Crystalline' guided the audience through a series of video game-like tunnels representing verse segments, before emerging into an open field of stars for the chorus. [NME]

Bjork debuted the Biophilia live show at Manchester International Festival last night (6/30). She played a 20-song set which included all 10 songs on the album and 10 others from her longstanding career. She performed on a small stage which was surrounded by the 1,800-person audience. The performance was the first during her three-week residency at the festival.

photo via PurplePR Music

She introduced the new instruments she had specially crafted for Biophilia at the event. Those include the tesla coils in "Thunderbolt," which shoot out lightning, creating different tones. Check out a video below where the Tesla coil is tested before Bjork goes on. She also used the 'Gameleste' which we mentioned is a hybrid of a celeste and a gamelan. A making-of video for this instrument is below. Other instruments she played include "gravity harps," which according to BBC, "were made from 10ft (3m) pendulums that plucked strings as they swung back and forth during a song about gravity," and the 'sharpsichord,' "a large cylinder with protruding pins that played a harpsichord as they were turned."

Also listen to her stunning performances of the album's single "Crystalline" and Post's "Isobel" from last night's show below, along with the videos of her Tesla coil and gameleste. The show's setlist and the studio version of great new song "Crystalline", which can be purchased on iTunes, is also below. Cover art and the new album tracklist is down there too.

Bjork's residency at MIF continues Sunday (7/3) and runs through July 16. According to NY Times, "Biophilia also encompasses performing residencies in eight cities over the next two years (including, tentatively, New York in early 2012), with music education programs for children at each stop." Those NYC shows can't come soon enough.

Lots of fun stuff below...

photo via PurplePR Music

Bjork - "Crystalline" live at MIF (Audio)

Bjork - "Isobel" live at MIF (Audio)

Testing the Tesla Coil

Making of the 'Gameleste'

The Gameleste - a custom instrument for Björk from Andy McCreeth on Vimeo.

Setlist via PurplePR Music

'Dark Matter'
'Hidden Place'
'Mouth's Cradle'
'It's Not Up To You'
'Sonnets/Unrealities XI'
'Where Is The Line'
'Mutual Core'
'All Is Full Of Love'
'One Day'
'Declare Independence'

Bjork - "Crystalline" Studio Version (Audio)



Biophilia Tracklist:
01 - Virus
02 - Cosmogony
03 - Dark Matter
04 - Thunderbolt
05 - Moon
06 - Crystalline
07 - Hollow
08 - Sacrifice
09 - Mutual Core
10 - Solstice



Tags: Bjork

Comments (27)

Awesome. Can't wait!

Posted by M | July 1, 2011 5:01 PM

At least this won't be at Terminal 5! hmmm 2000 capacity venue....

1) Town Hall
2) Webster Hall
3) Beacon Theater
4) Irving Plaza
5) BAM

Any other guesses?

Posted by Anonymous | July 1, 2011 6:21 PM


Posted by Anonymous | July 1, 2011 6:58 PM

Going to be amazing! Probably going to drop a lot of money going to these shows.

Posted by Anonymous | July 1, 2011 7:11 PM

there is no Bjork only Zuul

Posted by Anonymous | July 1, 2011 8:27 PM

God, just by this story and the potential positive pro-Bjork comments, my brain had jammed on a full on snark-tilt.

Posted by Anonymous | July 1, 2011 9:02 PM

didnt read these comments, saw above dork's stupid fucking "God, just by this durrdadurrdurdurrdurrr!!!" thing in sidebar, would like to say in advance that bjork rules and grover-body anonymous dweebs hate her because she's an abrasive woman and they're sexists w/ bad taste. seeya.

Posted by Anonymous | July 1, 2011 10:05 PM

10:05 = twat, straight up

Posted by Anonymous | July 1, 2011 10:34 PM

Going to be amazing! Probably going to drop a lot of money going to these shows

Posted by hogan primavera | July 1, 2011 11:13 PM

"bjork rules and grover-body anonymous dweebs hate her because she's an abrasive woman and they're sexists w/ bad taste."

Total bullshit. Bjork isn't hated because she's abrasive - she's hated (with this song in particular) because of this weak, self-indulgent, tuneless twaddle that doesn't hold a candle to her other work. It only halfway starts to matter about thirty seconds from the end.

Diamanda Galas, Diana Rogerson, Yoko Ono. Abrasive as the day is long. I would choose any of their albums over this latest offering by Bjork that is an absolute chore to listen to.

Posted by Crosseyed Sniper | July 2, 2011 1:39 AM

sha na na > Bjork

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2011 2:02 AM

Diamanda Galas is the truth and NEEDS to play NYC again.

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2011 2:53 AM

@6:21 BAM seems kinda appropriate

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2011 3:11 AM

bjork can bjlow me.

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2011 10:14 AM

^ nice try, but not only is that an ass statement, it doesn't rhyme. bjork's name, while you, and many others, think it rhymes with, say, dork, is not correct. the correct phonetic pronunciation is byerk. so ... that doesn't really work with your immature statement. please, go troll somewhere other than bv.

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2011 11:44 AM

My guess is the MOMA or Guggenheim, or BAM

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2011 2:39 PM

Icelandic pixies shall take over the world.

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2011 2:46 PM

BAM would be excellent. So would the Apollo. However, I'm thinking it's going to be the United Palace Theater.

I can't wait to hear the new songs. Looking at the setlist, there are quite a few surprises. No Hyperballad; no Bachelorette; etc.

Posted by Dan | July 2, 2011 3:22 PM

BEST VIDEO EVER!! why hadnt i seen this sooner?

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2011 4:26 PM

this idea for biophilia is excellent, incredible. however, the execution so far is meh.

but serious kudos to her for offering these music workshops to kids. but will it be for rich kids only?

i wish it was also offered to adults and the seriously ill.

also i wish she developed her apps/programs cross platform or just for linux. using apple products means all these programs/apps will be unusable in about 7-10 years.

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2011 4:49 PM

Byerk can jyerk me off. That better?

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2011 5:39 PM

Debut is still my favorite album. I liked most of her earlier albums as well, but this new project is borderline "avante-garde"... Which as you know is French for "bull-shit"

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2011 6:05 PM

WOW just found this remix of Crystalline!! cant wait for the album

Posted by Jamie | July 2, 2011 6:53 PM

@ 1:39 - I agree with a lot of the things you say, especially the references to Yoko Ono, Diamanda Galas and Diana Rogerson. However, I think that the work Björk presents for this new project is very innovative. And though it immediately comes across as overelaborate, I think the music will be equally satisfying once it's stripped down. Björk is restless and so she has to find a way to raise the bar higher than she or anyone else has before in terms of construction and overall execution of her work.

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2011 9:55 PM

To begin, I was remiss in not crediting the person who wrote "grover-bodies" as a clever turn of phrase. Nice one.

Secondly, words like "innovative," "restless" and "raise the bar" are merely code for artists who disguise narcissism as eccentricity and pass it off as artistic evolution (being married to Matthew Barney probably amplifies that by about a billion). To make not only the label but now the fan jump through hoops by larding up the "listening experience" with apps to be downloaded and played along with to truly understand the essence of this album is egocentric and ridiculous in the extreme.

When your artistic imperative involves rehashing some putrid third-rate version of both "Mad Libs" and "Choose Your Own Adventure," it's time to visit your local volcano and jump in.

Posted by Crosseyed Sniper | July 2, 2011 11:32 PM


You're Gjay

Posted by Anonymous | July 3, 2011 3:42 AM

an-ten-nae is a San Francisco DJ/Producer/Promoter, and he sucks! He's terrible!

Posted by Anonymous | August 2, 2011 1:04 AM

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