1. Pleasure is all mine (3:26)
2. Show me forgiveness (1:23)
3. Where is the line (4:41)
4. Vökuro (3:14)
5. Öll birtan (1:52)
6. Who is it (Carry my joy on the left, carry my pain on the right) (3:57)
7. Submarine (3:13)
8. Desired constellation (4:55)
9. Oceania (3:24)
10. Sonnets/Unrealities XI (1:59)
11. Ancestors (4:08)
12. Mouth’s cradle (3:59)
13. Midvikudags (1:24)
14. Triumph of a heart (4:04)

Titre inédit (édition japonaise)
Komið (02:01)

Medúlla album


Août 2004

Trois ans après Vespertine, Björk sort son très attendu nouvel album sous le nom de Medúlla. L’album, purement vocal, a été entièrement composé a cappella. Björk s’est entourée pour l’occasion de beatboxers - le japonais Dokaka, Rahzel et Shlomo - et de voix prestigieuses : Tanya Tagaq, Mike Patton, Robert Wyatt, Gregory Purnhagen, - ainsi que des chœurs islandais et londoniens.

Du beatbox au chant de gorge inuit traditionnel, en passant par les sifflements et les hurlements, l’album met les capacités vocales à l’honneur. Les voix sont ici triturées, samplées ou simplement gardées à l’état brut afin de proposer une collection de morceaux ensorcelants et mystérieux.


Björk a eu quelques difficultés à trouver un titre à l’album. Provisoirement baptisé "Ink" (Encre), car elle souhaitait un nom qui représente "le sang vieux de 5 000 ans qui coule en chacun de tous ; un esprit ancien sombre et passionné, un esprit qui survit." le nom Medúlla lui a été suggéré par l’artiste et amie Gabriela Fridriksdottir.

Medúlla : n.f. (lat. medulla, moelle). Partie centrale de certains organes (par opposition à cortex). SYN. : médullaire.

I was going to call the album ‘Ink’, because I wanted it to be like that black, 5,000 year-old blood that’s inside us all ; an ancient spirit that’s passionate and dark, a spirit that survives. Something in me wanted to leave out civilisation, to rewind to before it all happened and work out, ‘Where is the human soul ? What if we do without civilisation and religion and patriotism, without the stuff that has gone wrong ?’ When I first moved to New York there was room for immigrants and eccentrics and whoever, then suddenly it became the most scarily patriotic place on earth.
Then I got drunk – surprise !- with my artist friend Gabriela and she came up with the title Medúlla. It basically means ‘marrow’ in medical language, in Latin. Not just you’re bone marrow, but marrow in the kidneys and marrow in your hair, too. It’s about getting to the essence of something. And with this album being all vocals, that made sense.

bjork.com Medulla special


Björk avait envisagé la participation de Beyoncé "parce qu’elle a une voix extraordinaire !". En raison de problèmes d’emploi du temps, l’enregistrement n’a pas pu se faire.

Björk à propos de l’album

How did having Isadora affect how you make music ?
[Chuckles] I don’t know if you’ve ever had to deal with pregnancy, breastfeeding and female hormones during pregnancy, but I became a librarian of my music when I was pregnant and for the year [following Isadora’s birth]. I decided to archive stuff. I had put it off for forever, and I was getting a lot of pissed-off people nagging me about it. I listened to all my live shows and picked the best versions. That took a while, like half a year. I also listened to all of my b-sides and alternate recordings—I knew I could be the only one to do it.
You sound like you got pretty organized.
I did. [Giggles] I was putting everything in alphabetical order, cleaning up my attic. I’m not an organized person, but somehow pregnancy made me become that way.
Was this album a response to all of that ?
When I started doing this album, I felt like I was holding my breath for a long time and I just wanted to just go, go, go. You know, fuck the librarian that I had become and just have fun.

instinct magazine, septembre 2004

I didn’t start off thinking that was what I was going to do. I was just writing songs with instruments, but I’d listen to them and think "This isn’t really good, is it ?" I’d start muting certain things and it would sound better, so I thought maybe I’d just take more away and see what happened. It just kind of happened. Looking back on things, it’s always easy to be wise afterwards, to sound clever, but it wasn’t like that while I was doing it. I was just kind of tired of instruments, bored a bit, and I’d been backing with them a lot the last few albums, arranging for a huge orchaestra- the "Vespertine" tour had 70 people on stage. It was kind of like "Fuck that !" and just let’s do something completely different. There was one track where these German guys did a whole rave sounding track with just their voices and that really helped me see the possibilities. It wasn’t like they were beat-boxing ; these are really white Germans. It just cracked me up and seemed so fun. I was just into having fun with something new.

Slapmagazine.com, septembre 2004

I just got really bored with instruments. I started doing everything with my voice. Then suddenly I didn’t want to work with any musicians, which is a bit weird. I only wanted to work with vocalists.
I wanted the record to be like muscle, blood, flesh. We could be in a cave somewhere and one person would start singing, and another person would sing a beat and then the next person sing a melody, and you could just kind of be really happy in your cave. It’s quite rootsy."

W magazine, Août 2004



BeatBox : Rahzel, Dokaka, Shlomo
Prises de voix : Björk, Tanya Tagaq, Robert Wyatt, Mike Patton, Icelandic Choir, London Choir, Gregory Purnhagen
Écriture : Björk, Sjón, Tanya Tagaq, Jórunn Viðar, E.E Cummings, Olivier Alary
Programmations : Björk, Mark Bell, Matmos, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Mark ’spike’ Stent, little miss specta aka Leila Arab, Jake Davies, Olivier Alary.


Photo : Inez+Vinoodh
Maquillage : Andrea Helgadottir
Sculpture capillaire : Hrafnhildur Arnardottir alias "Shoplifter"
Design : M/M (Paris)