Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Björk's War

  1. #1
    Account Disabled on Request
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Last Online
    Friday, January 8th, 2010 @ 08:32 AM
    Ethnicity
    Dutch
    Subrace
    Alpinid
    Country
    United States United States
    State
    Lappland Lappland
    Gender
    Family
    Married
    Posts
    3,345
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    5
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Post Björk's War

    Björk's war
    A vocal salvo against hopelessness and terrorism

    Aaron Wherry
    National Post

    August 30, 2004

    When Mohammed Atta and his gang of desperate young men awoke on Sept. 11, they were driven not by death and destruction. First and foremost it was, we imagine, the larger Idea -- of why they were doing it and what they were about to inspire.

    It was the Idea that rendered the direct result of their actions -- the loss of nearly 3,000 lives -- nearly symbolic and it's the Idea that's driven everything since, giving us Afghanistan, Iraq, the Patriot Act, Jessica Lynch, those elusive weapons of mass destruction, George Bush The War President, John Kerry The War Hero and, latest but certainly not least, Björk's new album, Medúlla.

    A relative latecomer for a 9/11-inspired artistic statement, Medúlla comes long after Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, Toby Keith, Madonna and all the other usual and unusual suspects have picked through the rubble for any bit of scrap they might fashion into a three-and-a-half-minute expression of defiance. As such, there should be little left for Björk to say; little more she could possibly do that hasn't been done. But, of course, the Idea persists.

    In Björk's case, this means restraint -- at least of the sort that might force her to find new freedom -- and so Medúlla is an album crafted (almost) entirely from the human voice, though it sounds nothing like what you might expect from such a premise (see Ono, Yoko). Not just a departure from her instrumentally copious last album, 2001's Vespertine, Medúlla is meant as a departure from, well, everything.

    "Something in me wanted to leave out civilization," she told the Independent, "to rewind to before it all happened and work out, 'Where is the human soul? What if we do without civilization and religion and patriotism, without the stuff that has gone wrong?'"

    More pointedly she told The Telegraph: "This album was supposed to be a response to 9/11 and all this rubbish ... I wanted to show those gentlemen that there are still insects crawling, people jumping in swimming pools, building houses, having children, making songs and having abstract thought processes or whatever. That's at least 98% of what humans are doing out there."

    To pull off this reminder of baby making and cannonballing (and really is there anything in life more wonderful than such stuff?) and fill in the empty spaces where instruments would normally go without sounding "like Manhattan Transfer or Bobby McFerrin" -- a rule Björk set down for herself early on -- she drafted a small army of musical misfits, including human beat boxes Rahzel, Shlomo and Dokaka, metalhead Mike Patton (late of Faith No More), Canadian Inuit throat-singer Tagaq, "human trombonist" Gregory Purnhagen, British pop eccentric Robert Wyatt and both the London and Icelandic choirs. The sum of these disparate parts, save for a few maddening tangents, is magical. For great stretches it is possible to forget the trick -- Björk, like a magician worthy of her wand, is able to make the sleight of hand seem supernatural, as she does with the album's first track, Pleasure is All Mine, pulling up her sleeves to disclose all the wonders therein.

    After Pleasure and Show Me Forgiveness, a solo that finds our star taking centre stage to lay bare the personal doubts that precede all that follows, she launches into Where Is the Line, a thunderous storm of hail and lightning (bluster courtesy of the Icelandic choir), with Rahzel's beats crashing and clapping up against everything else.

    Vökuró -- an Icelandic choral arrangement and poem -- hearkens to one of Medúlla's pet themes, namely the past and the universality thereof.

    Life, along with it its roots and consequences, is everywhere, motherhood -- Medúlla was conceived as Björk was preparing to give birth to her second child, Ísadóra -- murmuring throughout. On Mouth's Cradle this inspires equal measures of fight and flight as what at first seems a stroll through an enchanted forest ends in fear and loathing, Björk seeking "an altar away from all Osamas and Bushes" as fractured cries fly from sources unseen, eventually drowning out all that once was.

    These voices aren't always so ominous, instead pounding like dizzy techno or, as on Triumph of the Heart -- the closer Björk intended as a happy ending, playing with and against each other. In all cases, Björk ably and powerfully takes the fore, allowed a remarkable liberty to rise above all she has made, silenced only by Medúlla's worst track, Submarine, which veers a little too enthusiastically toward Gregorian chanting.

    But for all the forms it takes on, there is no escaping voice as the primary force, both as an artistic statement before a pop music landscape where Britney succeeds despite the lack of one (and Jessica thrives in spite of the opposite), and a political protest in the face of a culture that seems to demand fragmentation. As much as Björk is reaching to expand her impressive oeuvre through artistic conceit, she is also distilling all of her many whims -- rock, pop, jazz, choral, classical and electronic -- down to the one thing that unifies them all, her voice; not just to say something of her, but something of everyone.

    And, as much as these results must (and do) succeed outside the initial concept, once successful they allow us to look beyond their specific virtues and come back to the Idea. In short, the results become secondary to the Idea. As thousands of lives were destroyed three years ago for the sake of something bigger, Medúlla lives and breathes not simply as a beautiful recording, but as a tangible example of greater hope. It is then a Sept. 11 album not simply in sentiment alone.

    Canada.com

  2. #2
    Account Disabled on Request
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Last Online
    Friday, January 8th, 2010 @ 08:32 AM
    Ethnicity
    Dutch
    Subrace
    Alpinid
    Country
    United States United States
    State
    Lappland Lappland
    Gender
    Family
    Married
    Posts
    3,345
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    5
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Post Re: Björk's war

    From Björk.com, the Medúlla Special.

    Björk encourages people to download her music, remix it, etc. She has all the money she could ever need so why not? Her music and the lyrics match my view of the world more than any other artist. Moa, Bloem de Ligny, and Emiliana Torrini do an OK imitation of Björk, but no one can be just like her.


    Interview

  3. #3
    Account Disabled on Request
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Last Online
    Friday, January 8th, 2010 @ 08:32 AM
    Ethnicity
    Dutch
    Subrace
    Alpinid
    Country
    United States United States
    State
    Lappland Lappland
    Gender
    Family
    Married
    Posts
    3,345
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    5
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Post Björk Remixes


  4. #4
    Account Disabled on Request
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Last Online
    Friday, January 8th, 2010 @ 08:32 AM
    Ethnicity
    Dutch
    Subrace
    Alpinid
    Country
    United States United States
    State
    Lappland Lappland
    Gender
    Family
    Married
    Posts
    3,345
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    5
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Post Medúlla review

    My Review of Medúlla

    When I first read Björk's new album was going to be purely vocal, I was very disappointed. I love the music Björk uses to surround her voice. I was expecting Medúlla to be too experimental and quite frankly, unlistenable. I consider myself a Björk fan, but just because something is made by Björk I don't feel compelled to force myself to enjoy it. And to be honest, for the most part Medúlla is difficult to listen to. She makes use of an Inuit throat singer named Tagaq. This is not throat singing in the Tuvan/Mongolian sense, but it actually sounds like someone grunting and clearing their throat repeatedly. It basically sounds like an Eskimo with a sore throat in lamaze class. I cannot imagine who in their right mind would enjoy listening to that besides drunken Eskimos with nothing better to do. Thankfully Tagaq appears in the background only. The "music" is vocal, including human beat-boxes, choirs and Björk. My favorite tracks are those which use more "music," such as Oceania, Mouth's Cradle (my favorite), Triumph of a Heart, and Who Is It. I don't enjoy listening to Björk's voice unaccompanied and I wish she had utilized more "music" for the other tracks. Some of the songs are terrible, on the list of tracks I hate: Where is the Line (very cacophonous), Öll Birtan (it sounds like Björk mumbling to herself in an Icelandic insane asylum), Submarine (God-awful accompaniment sounds like Bob Saget singing in the shower), Ancestors (the track featuring Tagaq's nasty panting and loogy-hocking). I would have loved to hear Mongolian throat singing, yodeling, vocals of Vietnamese mountain tribes, Tibetan Buddhist choirs and other obscure vocal styles utilized as "music." The album to me feels very incomplete musically. I love the lyrics. I LOVE the concept of rejecting civilization and going back to basic human origins and all that. But unless you approach it as an art project or 'experience', much of it is just not an enjoyable listen.

  5. #5
    Account Inactive
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Last Online
    Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 @ 05:03 AM
    Ethnicity
    Swedish
    Country
    United States United States
    State
    Florida Florida
    Gender
    Age
    26
    Religion
    Athiest
    Posts
    37
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    I absolutly love Björk! She has always been my favorite music artist. She's so unique, nothing else can compare.

Similar Threads

  1. Is Bjork Racially Europid?
    By Frigg in forum Anthropological Taxonomy
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: Monday, July 25th, 2011, 09:50 PM
  2. Replies: 13
    Last Post: Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010, 10:07 PM
  3. The South African War: The First Total War of the 20th Century
    By Bittereinder in forum Modern Age & Contemporary History
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Monday, September 6th, 2010, 06:30 PM
  4. Classify Björk
    By Prussian_Mystic in forum Anthropological Taxonomy
    Replies: 129
    Last Post: Tuesday, September 19th, 2006, 12:20 AM
  5. Diablo & Demi, RE: Björk, the Saami and Icelanders
    By Evolved in forum Population Genetics
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Saturday, August 21st, 2004, 06:17 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •