11 septembre 2011


Île de Wight, Royaume-Uni


Bjork has closed Bestival 2011 by presenting tracks from her forthcoming album Biophilia.
She took to the stage promptly at 9.15pm, supported by musicians including a large choir dressed in blue and gold robes.
During her performance, Bjork explained that she was using a touch-screen to play some of the parts.
She said : "Most of the songs [tonight] are from my new album."
Gesturing to her left, she added : "I’m going to use a touch-screen... and it will come out through that instrument over there."
Bjork’s performance was also accompanied by a range of visuals on the Main Stage’s big screen. Centring around the album’s themes of science and nature, the screens showed footage of the moon, stars, insects and starfish, in addition to geometric shapes.
The set also included performances of ’Hidden Place’, ’Joga’, ’Sonnets/Unrealities XI’ and ’Where is the Line’.
Bjork later thanked the crowd "for [their] patience on a Sunday night", before inviting the audience to "sing along, if you know the words" to ’Declare Independence’ as confetti flew over the crowd.
Her set was followed by a firework display and performance art featuring giant ’balloon’ people in the adjacent field.


Fans in the crowd at Bestival 2011 said that the new material "blends perfectly with the hits" live and that it was the "best way" to end the weekend.


"With Biophilia comes a restless curiosity, an urge to investigate and discover the elusive places where we meet nature," intones David Attenborough in voiceover, "where she plays on our senses with colours and forms, perfumes and smells…" As a mass of spangly choristers gather on a stage bedecked with luminous xylophones and as hi-def images of viruses, DNA, moons and tesseracts fill the screens, the remaining Bestival faithful start wondering why no one’s offered them any of this Biophilia shit all weekend and whether their mate Steve can score any at the Psychedelic Worm.
Once Björk skips on to the sparse, freeform avant-shinto of Thunderbolt – the prevailing style of the new album determines much of the set — it’s clear there are more complex issues to be considered about the relationship between nature (represented by the choir), technology (the "band" and their instruments) and music, ie Björk herself, with a shock of ginger afro, pencil skirt and aquamarine jacket and shark’s fin hat ; dressed, perhaps, as a metaphor for a technology-throttled planet but looking for all the world like an Oompa-Loompa air stewardess on Virgin Galactic.
What we learn from Björk’s set, though, is that an obsession with technology tends to muffle music. Where the album was an exercise in boundless invention – interconnected pendulums playing the sound of the earth, Tesla coils adapted as instruments – on a festival stage it’s too flat and exclusive an experience. Despite creative use of the choir, some nifty handheld fireworks and the frenetic melody of Crystalline, Björk’s show is exactly what you’d expect from watching an app onstage : cold, colourful and baffling to the mildly sozzled. Björk slapping an iPad connected to a pipe organ seems more gimmick than genius, and often the tech is so minimalist she seems to be dancing to non-existent beats.
It’s when the human element bursts through that the set starts to sparkle. The palpable terror in the crowd when a Chinese lantern is blown directly on to the stage. The churchy disquiet of Hollow and the moments when the choir lets rip stirring crescendos of Bond-style elation. Or when, sticking to her minimalist Biophiliac guns, she throws in a light smatter of actual hits – a stark but moving One Day accompanied only by an alien/African instrument we shall call the Coneophone, a shiver-inducing Hooligans of the Night and a final, rousing stampede through Declare Independence.
You expect spectacle from Björk, but this was more oddity. With the Ambient Forest full of acid fractals projected on to lakes and the Bestival closing parade featuring fireworks, ticker tape, a cloud of luminous balloons and 12ft bubble-headed ghosts swaying in circles on stilts, Bestival itself has out-Björked Björk.




01. Thunderbolt
02. Moon
03. Crystalline
04. Hollow
05. Dark Matter
06. Hidden Place
07. Mouth’s Cradle
08. Isobel
09. One Day
10. Virus
11. Cosmogony
12. Joga
13. Sonnets/Unrealities
14. Where Is The Line ?
15. Mutual Core
16. Hyperballad
17. Declare Independence

sur scène

  • Graduale Nobili
  • Manu Delago
  • Matt Robertson


habillée par

  • Kokon To Zai