Music for robots

Björk on #8

Last week, I had the very good fortune to do a short interview with (one of my all-time favorite musicians) Björk about her amazing upcoming album Volta (her eighth, for those that are counting).

I don’t go into any biographical stuff in the interview because I assume that, like myself, you guys are already more than a little bit familiar with Björk’s background, so I asked her questions about music and technology, because I’m a nerd. Hit the jump for the interview.

Throughout your career as a solo artist, you’ve collaborated with many interesting musicians - how do the collaborations with these artists come about ?

There is a different story with every one. Most of the time I meet them and over a long period of time we then decide to work together.

Have things always worked the same way with your collaborators, or have the ways you work with them changed over time ?

In some ways it is the same and in some it has changed. Nowadays I work so much alone, writing the melodies, writing the lyrics, working on the computer that by the time I work with someone it is a real treat ! And I am really up for then meeting that person in the middle and figuring out a work method that will work just for us !

Has technology and the internet changed the ways you work on music ?

Computers caught up with me. I didn’t have to learn to be an engineer and work a building-full of equipment. It’s all on my laptop. That went hand in hand with me slowly producing my stuff. On Debut I produced one song, on Post more, on Homogenic produced or co-produced all, and Vespertine more and so on. With internet I mostly work with Mark Bell (one half of rave-pioneers LFO). He’ll send me beats sometimes, as he lives in Leeds. And I’ll send him stuff too. But that’s ok because I know him so well already. But otherwise I don’t use the internet much. If you are going to merge with someone and collaborate you might as well do it all the way.

Of the producers and collaborators on the new album (including Antony, and Timbaland), are there any that you want to keep making new music with ?

It is too early to say. I’d rather things just spontaneously happen if they happen. You don’t plan that stuff too much.

Are there any producers out there that you haven’t worked with yet that you would like to make songs with ?

Same answer. I am about to go on a tour and at the moment that has all my devotion, by the time I start doing the next album we’ll just have to see where I am at, who I’ve been hanging out with. I like the unkown, who knows ?

The album also feels as personal as any you’ve put out - I know you prefer not to get into your personal life, but have the last few years, when you were writing the songs, been particularly difficult or challenging in ways that you channeled into Volta ?

I’ve probably been having some of the most harmonious years in my life. I don’t want to analyze too much but perhaps because of that I feel I have space enough to look a little outside myself ? I guess I am anyway always quite a lot into seeing the whole picture : the beats, the spirit, the nature, the urban and so forth. So this album is an attempt to unite things.

Much of the album has a sound to it that will probably translate well to the live stage, with the range from introspective and quiet (like Dull Flame of Desire, I See Who You Are, My Juvenile) to big and bombastic (Earth Intruders, Wanderlust, Innocence, Declare Independence) - have you performed any of the songs live before (before this current tour, I mean) ? How did the audience react if so ?

I have so far only done one concert in Iceland one week ago. It went very well ! People were very much into it and all the musicians where amazing ! Of course we were a little shy and perhaps a little stiff but now we have a lot of hope and looking forward too the tour ! ! Big excitement !!

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Robot Blair

publié dans Music for robots - 27.04.2007

 

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