Musique et paroles : Björk
Arrangements des choeurs : Björk
Transcription pour la chorale : Árni Heimir Ingólfsson et Matt Robertson
Programmation des beats : Matthew Herbert, Damian Taylor et Björk
Ingénieurs du son : Damian Taylor et Sveinn Kjarttansson
Mixage : Damian Taylor et Björk
Production : Björk
Pendant la période de composition, cette chanson a aussi été nommée : Double Helix et DNA
"It’s just the feeling when you start thinking about your ancestors and DNA that the grounds open below you and you can feel your mother and her mother, hand her mother, and her mother, and her mother 30,000 years back. So suddenly you’re this kinda tunnel, or trunk of DNA… All these ghosts come up so it ended up begin a halloween song and quite gothic in a way… It’s like being part of this everlasting necklace when you’re just a bead on a chain and you sort of want to belong and be a part of it and it’s just like a miracle."
Björk’s ideas about our biological connection with ancestors are realized in the hollow app with explores the nano-scale landscape inside cells. Biomedical animator Drew Berry constructed the animation from molecular models of DNA and proteins using scientific data such as x-ray crystallography.
Protein strands writhe and multiply, their rhythmic movements a visual representation of the sound of the drum machine. The linear animation draws us through successively smaller levels of biological structure to DNA, and the ghost in the machine —Björk’s ancestral spirit.
The face is a large molecular complex which was modeled from a three-dimensional head scan of Björk, but it’s inspiration cam from the ’fruit face’ paintings by the 16th century italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo who took objects such as fruits, vegetables, or books, and arranged them in such a way that they formed a portrait.
"National Geographic offered to take a DNA swab and they sent me the results and I got really excited. I found out they my mother’s side is phoenician, and ancient civilization from present day Syria that actually became celtic and went to Ireland. Icelanders still today tell stories about when the vikings picked up irish women on the way to iceland… And then on my father’s side I’m from a really big-time common oceanic western european branch which is sort of portugal and west of France and Britain and Iceland… So I did this song after I found that about DNA. Before that I had always been kinda anti family trees because Iceland is obsessed with its ancestors —probably because we happen to have all the information on us in the sagas like 1200 years back."
Each of Björk’s albums has a particular tone palette : "homogenic" featured string quartet, "vespertine" used distant strings, "medulla" comprised voices, volta included brass.
The pipe organ features in Biophilia, where, as one of the largest, loudest acoustic instruments available, it dramatizes the idea of musical sound and the natural phenomenon which drives it —the force of air. The organ and choir are also associated with religious settings, helping create the track’s ghostly sound.
Like Crystalline, moon, and dark matter, Björk created hollow using a computer game controller to trigger and alter the length and internal arrangement of musical sequences as she sang. This meant she could compose the organ and vocal parts simultaneously, and avoid conventional time signatures.
"Time signature" refers to the convention used in western muscail notation for signaling the number of beats in a bar, and which note value to take as true beat. So for example, the main musical idea is the organ is a sequence of 17 chords, which you can see notated as 17/8 in the musical score, which means there are 17 quavers (eighth-notes) in every bar.
Compound time signatures like 17/8 and 9/4 used in Hollow are extremely rare in pop, rock, and folk music ; it’s more common to find simple metres that subdivide into equal parts, such as 4/4 (four crotchets or "quarter notes" in a bar). Björk deliberately used sequences that are prime numbers to avoid the regular alternation of strong and weak beats.
In fact, it’s more useful to think about the pattern of stressed and unstressed beats not in terms of notational conventions —time signatures— but in terms of what it feels like to move to them —the musical ’metre’ described by the time signature.
Irregular patterns of strong and weak beats create a less ’flowing’ movement because the pattern has to skip a beat after 17 beats.
Imagine you are walking and placing emphasis on the first of every group of three steps —there will come a point after 17 steps when you suddenly have to shift your weight ’early’ in the pattern so that you can emphasise the first of the next group of 17 beats.
The fascinating thing about metro is that it arises from our perception and cognition of music. Unlike rhythmic structure, for instance, whis is present in the music. So time signature (metro) is not jet an abstract entity, but is a way of understanding why we feel music in our bodies the way we do.
What’s more we implicitly ’know’ what time signature (metro) we are in when we hear a piece of metrical music — we can see this through the ability most people have to tap along to music.
In hollow the avoidance of equal groups, the changes of speed between sections, and the way organ phrases speed up resembling the movement of a ball bounden (control using a joystick), mean it’s hard to feel a regular metre. This helps give the track its unsettling feeling and evokes the lyrical images of falling.
|Hollow (16bit remix)||07:02||16bit|
|Hollow (Current Value remix)||07:21||Current Value|
|Hollow (Original 7 Minute Version)||07:08||Björk|
|Hollow (Animation Version)||05:45||App|
|Hollow (Score Version)||05:45||App|