This is the empire state mother of all album launches, y’guys. Björk is about upgrade music consumption experiences to a whole new technological and creative high.
It was revealed last month that Björk was gonna launch the world’s first “app album”. That in itself sounded fascinating to me but what I wasn’t prepared for was the sheer magnitude of her forthcoming Biophilia era. The app album is just one wing of this expansive project.
There are essentially five components to this interdisciplinary Biophilia experience and each of them have been designed to enhance your connection with the body of work in a unique way. The iconic Icelandic singer has collaborated with some of the finest musicians, writers, inventors, app developers, instrument makers and scientists to create a multimedia project comprising of a studio album, an app, custom-made musical instruments, live shows and educational workshops.
This all sounds like planetarium tour guide talk right now but wait ’til I break it down for y’all, chapter by chapter, module by module. Class is now in session. Here are five components of the Biophilia experience:
1. The album
Björk will release the 10-track Biophilia album in both physical and digital formats, as expected. Note – the same 10 tracks will also be featured in the Biophilia app but in a stripped down structure for educational and gaming purposes. The album will be released in five different styles, two of which will be luxurious custom-made packages:
1.1 CD in distinct jewel-cases
1.2 CD in digipak
1.4 Biophilia Manual, which features a 48-page hardbound, cloth-covered, thread-sewn book.
1.5 Ultimate Edition, which contains the aforementioned Biophilia Manual along with 10 chrome-plated tuning forks, each customised to represent the tone of a track on the album. The whole package will be luxuriously presented in a lacquered and silkscreened oak case.
2. The app
The free Biophilia app functions as a platform for you to house each of the album’s ten tracks, which will be sold as individual audiovisual features. Each song, or shall we say feature, has its own theme and game that reflects the song’s scientific and musical subject matter. With the game, you can create your own version of the song using the instruments provided. Other content you get with each feature include lyrics, a musical animation of the song and an academic essay exploring ideas mentioned in the song. Yes, you heard me – an academic essay. The features will be released intermittently in the lead up to the album’s full launch on 23 September and so far we’ve got the two singles up for play: ‘Cosmogony’ and ‘Crystalline’.
3. Live shows
The concept is to have Björk tour over the next three years, doing six-week residencies in eight different cities around the world. She will perform these gigs twice a week with an elaborate set of custom-made instruments and the shows are designed to “evoke an atmosphere similar to being inside each app”. For the rest of the week, these venues will turn into educational musical workshops, all done in collaboration with a local school. I don’t think Björk will be teaching classes any time soon. But hey, that sounds like a treat, doesn’t it? School excursion, here we go.
As if all this genius and creativity is gonna go undocumented. They’re currently making a 90-minute doco detailing Björk‘s creative work and how this whole project was put in place. It will premiere later down the track.
They have just relaunched her official website and it’s now all fancy, animated and interactive. Crazy stuff.
Björk will release Biophilia on 23 September.