Björk’s Biophilia

For those of you who don’t know Björk, now’s the time to get to know her. The Icelandic singer/songwriter just released a new album entitled Biophilia, that challenges not only our idea of music – but of nature as well.

The title for the album, Björk told NPR’s Laura Sydell, came when the artist read Oliver Sach’s Musicophilia. Sachs was writing about the mind’s empathy  for music and Björk wanted to create a project concerning music and it’s empathy for nature. Thus Biophilia was born.

Each song in the album deals with a different aspect of nature. And most of nature, as Björk says, isn’t cute and fluffy. Many people think of nature as fields of flowers,  or a small creek, however nature is unpredictable and even dangerous. In the interview Björk remembers the volcano disaster in her home country last year.  “It’s very creative, nature,” she says. “But it’s also very destructive.” Keeping with this semi-dark idea of nature, Björk compares the relationship between virus and body to the relationship between two lovers.

Biophilia is also concerned with education. During the creation of the album the iPad came out, and Björk has tailored the release of her album with a simultaneous release of a complimentary iPad and iPhone app. Each song has it’s own star and relates music and science in a different way. The general app is free, and app holders can purchase individual songs at their will. In “Thunderbolt” the listener can manipulate the arppegiated bass line. “Basically,” Björk says, “you’re like this crazy lightning bass player.”

The tour for Biophilia is also education driven. Instead of hopping around the globe giving concerts, Björk is planning residences in 10 different cities around the world. She will remain in the city for at least 2 months, giving concerts a couple nights per week and spending the days in museums working with students.

Despite the multitude of education, and technology Björk says music is still the central concept of Biophilia. The music of Biophilia will stand on its own, yet it seems the singer/songwriter is setting a new course for the making and selling albums to consumers, and getting children interested in music and science.

You can read/listen to the NPR story at

Learn more about Björk on her website.

The AU Music Library carries the following CDs by Björk:

CD 5248

CD 3759

CD 4393