Björk’s next album, Biophilia, will be released as a collection of fascinating-sounding music apps – one for each song.
Fans of the preternaturally-voiced chanteuse will be able to install any of the individual song apps from within the “mother app,” which we have not yet seen, but which Björk’s people say will be ”a three-dimensional galaxy in which the initial apps appear as constellations.” New apps representing new songs will appear there periodically.
Although best known as a solo artist, Björk regularly collaborates with all sorts of people on her projects. This time, she’s handpicked a team of ten app developers including TouchPress, which makes the graphically-compelling-yet-scientifically-rigorous Solar System for iPad and Elements for iPad and iPhone. Fittingly, Biophilia will be “a multimedia exploration of the universe and its physical forces — particularly those where music, nature and technology meet.”
Björk’s apps sound quite ambitious, combining gameplay elements, remixing tools that let people make new versions of the songs, visualizations, scores, lyrics, essays, and no small amount of science:
Every app has its own theme (in connection with its corresponding song) and combines a natural element with a musicological feature. The layers of content in each app include: an interactive game-based on the song’ s scientific and musical subject matter, a musical animation of the song, an animated score, lyrics, and an academic essay.
The game enables the user to interact with musical elements of the song and to learn about different musical features while creating their own version; the musical animation and animated music score bring together conventional and innovative ways of representing music visually; and the academic essay explores the ideas behind each song and app and how they are realized musically.
(Photo courtesy of Björk)