Bjork is a goddess.
She has otherworldly pipes. She recorded an entire album using only her voice as instrumentation. She won a Palme d’Or for her heartbreaking performance in the 2000 film Dancer In The Dark. And she had the guts to rock the infamous swan dress on Hollywood’s biggest night of the year. She’s a pioneer for certain, and her new album Biophilia (set to be released this summer) is shaping up to be a trailblazer in terms of the consumer’s musical experience.
According to Pitchfork, Biophilia is going to be a multimedia extravaganza. In addition to the music videos and live performances that will accompany the album, Biophilia will be available as an “app album,” which means each song will have a corresponding iPad app “bundled within one ‘mother’ app”:
For example, an app for the song “Virus” features a virus attacking a group of cells, with an interactive game where you have to stop the virus from decimating the cells. The catch is, if you stop the virus, the song ends– so in order to hear the whole thing, you have to essentially lose the game. Pretty sneaky, Björk!
This sounds really incredible to me, and it makes me think about the evolution of how we experience music. Gone are the days when you had to physically go to a record store to buy an album, and if you weren’t able to listen to it beforehand, you just had to take your friend’s word for it, and then you just listened to it. Especially with the advent of iTunes, music is more accessible than ever to the consumer, and musicians are starting to really challenge the limits of how their music is presented to, and thus experienced by, their fans. Arcade Fire’s interactive music video, Radiohead’s newspaper album, and Death Cab for Cutie’s live broadcast music video filming are all fairly recent examples of firsts in the landscape of music exhibition; it’s a trend that is making the gap between the musician and the consumer much smaller. It seems like it’s evolving really rapidly, and it makes me interested to see how much it will conceptually and technologically advance in the next five years, or ten years, or twenty. Could there be a time in the future where the relationship between musician and music-lover is blurred to the point that everyone can collaborate with their favorite band on their music? Who knows, but I kind of hope so.
image via The National