Bjork’s ‘Cornucopia’ debuted at The Shed (pics, video, setlist)
Bjork‘s “most elaborately staged concert to date,” the multi-night series “Cornucopia”, debuted on Monday night (5/6) for its preview/dress rehersal at Hudson Yard’s new art space, The Shed. Icelandic children’s choir Hamrahlid Choir began the evening with a 20 minute performance before Bjork took the stage, backed at times by Viibra, her “utopian flute septet.”
Rock NYC was there for night one, and writes:
Visually “Cornucopia” can’t be improved upon right this minute. In glowing pinks and greens and musicians decked as a new hybrid humans, it is all flutes, fauns and fauna and Bjork MCs the proceedings in an eggshell bottom and a mask that covers her nose. The sound emerges from everywhere, sometimes from behind you, the drums sometimes thunder like rain,sometimes, as in the introduction to “Blissing Me,” water being poured is another effect. “Blissing Me” featured an appearance by serpentwithfeet and was a soulful sidetrack and an evening highlight. So was a stunning “Isobel” and a surprise “Venus As A Boy”. The music was arranged so as to sound it was coming from someplace else entirely, and the effect was as much Edenic as Utopian.
Monday night’s setlist, which you can see below, pulled mostly from her 2017 album Utopia (including the live debut of “Body Memory” and “Future Forever”), but it also included a few older songs (with new arrangements), like Medúlla track “Show Me Forgiveness” (performed for the first time since 2006), Debut track “Venus as a Boy” (performed for the first time since 2011), and Vespertine track “Hidden Place” (performed for the first time since 2013). Check out some pictures and video clips from the show below.
There are seven more performances of “Cornucopia” still to come at The Shed, and all are currently sold out. See the rest of the dates below.
Harry Potter & The Cursed Child director John Tiffany was originally set to direct “Cornucopia,” but couldn’t due to scheduling conflicts, and Lucrecia Martel stepped in to replace him. “Lucrecia is a pioneering auteur and we’re so happy to welcome her,” Alex Poots, The Shed Artistic Director and CEO, said in a statement.
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It seems fitting that Bjork’s sensual and spellbinding new show, Cornucopia, opened the day that perhaps the most devastating UN report yet on climate change and species extinction was made public. The show is about rebirth and a (female-centric) way forward, focusing on Bjork’s latest album, “Utopia” — which followed a heart-rending record of personal devastation — and pointedly addresses the planet’s destruction. Gorgeous visuals of dancing flora called to mind the last great barrier reefs, while Bjork was accompanied by an Icelandic flute septet, a harpist, a 50-member youth choir, a laptop and a percussionist (who at one point played water sounds in a translucent pool with what appeared to be coconut shells). Her voice was that singular instrument, sometimes emanating from within a reverb booth, and she wore a bubblegum-blue, round hard-shell skirt and gold mask for most of the show, followed by a forest of white leaves. Take that, #metgala. I know some think her overly theatrical, avant-garde or precious even, but Bjork aims high and is unafraid of grand artistic gestures. And this was one, even if just a “dress rehearsal,” as she said. Sorry, lots of words, because no pics or video allowed — the only other show I’ve been to where everyone respected the artist’s wishes on that front was Prince in a small club. #bjork #theshed
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We went to see Bjork's Cornucopia @theshedny last night. We turned our phones off going in so this is the only photographic evidence I have. I'm kinda glad though because photos wouldn't have done it justice! It was like nothing I've ever seen/heard/felt before Best day ever!!
Setlist: Bjork’s ‘Cornucopia’ at The Shed, 5/6/2019 (via)
Ísland, farsælda frón / Vísur vatnsenda-rósu / Sonnets/Unrealities XI / Cosmogony / Maríukvæði (Sung by the Hamrahlid Choir before the show started)
Arisen My Senses
Show Me Forgiveness (first time performed since 2006)
Venus as a Boy (first time performed since 2011)
Blissing Me (with serpentwithfeet)
Body Memory (live debut)
Hidden Place (first time performed since 2013)
Future Forever (live debut)
Bjork: “Cornucopia” at The Shed 2019 Dates
May 9 at 8 pm
May 12 at 7 pm
May 16 at 8 pm
May 22 at 7 pm
May 25 at 8 pm
May 28 at 7 pm
June 1 at 8 pm