AOL webchat, 4 septembre 2001

Question : Hi ! I fell in love with the magnificent song ’Cocoon.’ How did you work on it with Thomas Knak ? Thank you for your so sweet music, Lilie.

Björk : I guess working with him, he was the odd one out of the album for several reasons. The things I did with him were worked very differently than the rest of the songs. It was very good working with him.

Question : Can you tell us something about your collaboration with John Taverner ? — Lilie from Paris

Björk : He wrote a piece especially for my voice, which I was very flattered to do. It was excellent to be a "pistol in his hand." He’s an incredible man, one of the most powerful spirits I’ve ever worked with.

Question : Why is the song ’Verandi’ not on the ’Vespertine’ US CD ?

Björk : It’s always difficult to gather together songs that make a complete whole when you’re doing an album. I think in the end you don’t always pick the best songs, but you pick songs that complete the jigsaw puzzle. It seemed to me that ’Verandi’ was from another sound world than ’Vespertine.’

TheMusicEditor : ’Vespertine’ is a more revealing, tranquil album than what we are accustomed to hearing from you. What inspired this ?

Björk : I’ve always wanted equally tranquil and exciting songs. I guess the difference, now I tried to separate my extrovert side and my [introvert] side. On ’Vespertine’ is more the calm and shy side. I guess it wasn’t necessarily because I felt like that. I think it was almost more of an experiment in how to define my sound.

Question : Since ’Vespertine’ is more introverted than any album you’ve made before, do you find it more difficult performing these songs in concert than with your previous work ?

Björk : First, with ’Homogenic,’ it’s me dealing with the outside world ; and ’Vespertine’ is me dealing with the inside world. I think because the songs on ’Vespertine’ are very intimate, we had to be very picky in where we could play them. We had to pick places with excellent acoustics. But once you got the perfect acoustics, it’s easy to play those songs.

TheMusicEditor : We’re watching Sigur Ros and Mum rise out of Iceland. What do you think of these bands ?

Björk : I think those two bands are excellent ! What I like about them is their originality. They’ve got their own thing.

TheMusicEditor : What else have you been listening to ?

Björk : Hmmm... a lot of things !

Question : Hi, Björk. Are there any songs on any of your CDs that you wish you would not have included on the CD ?

Björk : Yeah, when I picked the songs for the CD, there were a lot of options. But I’m happy with the selections that were made.

TheMusicEditor : Do you have any plans to use those songs in the future ?

Björk : Quite a lot of the B-sides are already out. They seem to belong to the same world.

Question : How do you feel that you’ve inspired the process of making music and music in general ?

Björk : That’s a question that is really not up to me to answer. I can’t really see that from the outside. I’d say other people can see that more clearly than I can. It’s too close to home.

Question : How did you handle the criticism about your swan dress when the American media commented about it (but I thought you looked damn good) ?

Björk : It didn’t bother me. I guess it’s obvious that I don’t dress to please.

TheMusicEditor : What was the swan representative [of in movies] ?

Björk : Berkley — Busby Berkley, that is.

Question : Björk, do you think about acting again ?

Björk : No. I’m happy to be home right now. The studio is where I’m at my best, really.

TheMusicEditor : Where are you are you joining us from ?

Björk : Manhattan. I’ll be on ’David Letterman’ tonight. He reminded me of Henry Miller.

TheMusicEditor : Despite all of the musical arrangements we hear in your songs, the most haunting instrument is your voice. How did you craft your voice, your unique sound ?

Björk : I’ve been singing since I was a little kid. I used to sing walking to school, whether it was raining outside or snowing. In Iceland, you can sing at the top of your lungs, and no one can hear you. Most of my youth was a very euphoric experience, me walking and singing at the top of my lungs. I never thought I’d sing for other people. It was always my secret and my survival kit. I’ve been singing for many, many years, long before I sang for others. It wasn’t really until I was 27 that I sang for others. But singing outside on my own while walking was where my voice developed. It’s very acoustic on its own, without microphones.

Question : The song ’An Echo, A Stain’ is quite a mystery to me. Could you possibly send out a sprinkle of a clue as to its meaning ?

Björk : I guess it’s about an effort to communicate, really.

TheMusicEditor : This was a very independent album.

Björk : I did maybe about 80 percent of the album on my own with an engineer.

TheMusicEditor : Did you miss working with the team you’re accustomed to ?

Björk : We would program together. I would describe a vision and describe a lot of sounds, and the engineer would help me with the rest. Three years ago, I knew what sort of album I wanted to do. I usually start out with a pretty clear vision, and then I sort of color in a picture after that. Because I’m not such a good craftsman, I would do all the basic beats and harp and string arrangements. I then get specialists in each category to take it that one step further. I’d get a string orchestra or a harp arranger who would take my arrangements and add some of their own. They add about 10 to 20 percent of their own sounds.

TheMusicEditor : We’re used to seeing you exercising punk muscles ; now we see something much more delicate. What prompted this ?

Björk : I think ’Debut’ and ’Post’ were my two albums collaborating in England. ’Homogenic’ and ’Vespertine’ are more of my own sound. Like I said before, ’Homogenic’ is the extrovert side of me, and ’Vespertine’ is my introvert side. I’ve got kind of rough sketches of my next album in my head, but it’s too soon to talk about it. I’ve defined both the extrovert and introvert sides of myself, and I hope to grown and mature even further. If I’m lucky, I have 50 years left, and I plan to use them.

Question : How do you feel about the increased interest in Icelandic bands ? Is it only a phase, or credit truly merited ? By the way, I think you¹re amazing !

Björk : I think there are bands — like Mum and Sigur Ros are truly original, but there are also a lot of bands in Iceland that aren’t exactly "brilliant."

Question : What’s your favorite venue and country to perform at ?

Björk : Hmmm... it’s really hard to pick ! It really depends on the show. I’ve done marvelous shows in great places, and then later done not-so- great shows in the same place. There are some gorgeous places around the world, both outside and inside. There’s one place that’s in a cave in the Canary Islands that I hope to play one day.

TheMusicEditor : How long will your tour for ’Vespertine’ last ?

Björk : I’m going to do five months more of these acoustic shows with choirs. Each place will be hand-picked. I’m then going to wait until next summer, where I’ll do some festivals.

TheMusicEditor : Did you see any festivals this summer ?

Björk : I love the festivals. I love playing outside. None this summer, though.

Question : Do you feel sometimes lost in your work, as if it’s become bigger than you as a person ?

Björk : I occasionally feel like that, but I usually celebrate it. It’s a wonderful feeling.

TheMusicEditor : Are there any surprises on the new album ?

Björk : I hope so ! I don’t know. They feel very Björk to me !

TheMusicEditor : What do you enjoy more, acting or music ?

Björk : Most definitely my music !

TheMusicEditor : So you’ll be doing the Letterman show this evening ?

Björk : I think it’s this evening, yeah.

TheMusicEditor : What song did you perform ?

Björk : It went pretty well. ’Pagan Poetry.’

TheMusicEditor : Do you have a set list for this tour yet ?

Björk : We did rehearse all of the ’Vespertine’ songs and almost all of my old songs. I like to have each show different, I really do.

TheMusicEditor : Is it true that you will be singing without the use of microphones during the shows ?

Björk : It’s going to depend on the venues. When I’m singing in a place that can handle it, I will. When not, I can’t. Personally, I would have preferred this whole tour to be like that, but it would have meant not playing for very many people. So it will basically be both microphones and no microphones. Bye !

par AOL webchat publié dans AOL webchat