March 02, 2015
Written by Tracy Woodley
At Gramovox, we admire musicians who eschew conventions and reimagine the possibilities of musical expression. Who better represents originality and inventiveness than multitalented iconoclast Björk? With the release of her eighth studio album, a book, and a museum exhibition this year, the Icelandic phenomenon invites us to share her in her distinctive artistry once again.
Originally slated for a March 2015 debut, her latest album, Vulnicura, was released in January following an Internet leak. Though it chronicles Björk’s feelings surrounding her split from visual artist Matthew Barney, Vulnicura (which means “cure for wounds” in Greek) is so much more than your average breakup album– it marks a return to Björk’s earlier sound, which favored orchestral string arrangements mingled with moody electronic beats, and features idiosyncratic, custom-made instruments such as a gameleste, modified pipe organ, gravity harp, and Tesla coil, in addition to the music apps created for Biophilia (Björk’s previous album and live tour). The reviews have been quite positive, and critics such as Will Hermes of Rolling Stone have acknowledged that, “with Björk, even simplicity is intricate business.”
On March 8th, a retrospective highlighting Björk’s robust body of work will open at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. According to MoMA, “the exhibition draws from more than 20 years of the artist’s daring and innovative projects and her eight full-length albums to chronicle her career through sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, and costumes.” An interactive portion of the exhibition will guide visitors through Björk’s albums with location-based audio equipment and a narrative written by Icelandic poet Sjón. MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach also coordinated the publication of Björk: Archives, a retrospective book that features photographs, interviews, and artwork by Björk’s acclaimed collaborations. The book is scheduled for released on March 30th as a complement to the exhibition.
Björk will be finalizing her takeover of New York City with intimate concerts at Carnegie Hall and City Center throughout March and April. We’ve included some of our favorite Björk tracks below as a primer, and encourage anyone near New York City to partake in her musical extravaganza this spring. One thing we’ve learned from Björk’s energetic career is the important role sound mediums play in how we appreciate our music. After exploring the retrospective, be sure to stop by the MoMA Design Store and take home a Gramovox Bluetooth Gramophone to celebrate other musical luminaries with high-quality sound.