Bjork's ambitious "Biophilia" project took a step towards reality today with the release of "Crystalline," the first single from the album/app/multimedia project now available at iTunes.
As previously reported, the "Biophilia" album blends the concept of apps and music. According to earlier reports, "Biophilia" is planned as a series of 10 apps, each related to a different track from the album, all housed under one mother app of sorts. Each app will have different uses-from games to interactive art, and so on-and in an interesting twist are being created in conjunction with the music rather than created after the fact the way most music/artist apps are.
Unfortunately, there's no tangible example of this strategy yet, as no app is being released along with the single. The only update is that something called "Biophilia Apps" is coming soon. From the release:
"The Biophilia Apps are a collection of ten apps, one for each song, which will be available via the central Cosmogony "mother app," coming from One Little Indian/Nonesuch Records. This platform will serve as a three-dimensional galaxy in which the initial apps appear as constellations, and the others are added to the collection at regular intervals thereafter.
"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."
Got that? Other elements of the "Biophilia" project include a new website, custom-made instruments, live shows and educational workshops.
The live show's official debut is scheduled for Thursday night during the Manchester International Festival, at which Bjork will appear for a three-week run, performing new songs as well as introducing the companion apps and invented instruments. Plans call for the world tour to span three years, with with six-week residencies in eight different cites, with Bjork performing twice a week, "using the apps to play live a set of custom built musical instruments and evoking an atmosphere similar to being inside the app itself," the release says. The shows will take place in specially chosen spaces and museums, rather than traditional music venues, and with audiences of less than 2,000 people to "create an intimate experience in which all audience members are within 20-feet of the stage."
The full 10-track album will be released later this year, with some unconfirmed reports claiming the LP is due in late September.