I shuffle around
The tectonic plates
In my chest
You know I gave it all

Try to match our continents
To change seasonal shift
To form a mutual core

As fast as your fingernail grows
The Atlantic Ridge drifts
To counteract distance
You know I gave it all

Can you hear the effort
Of the magnetic strife ?
Shuffling of columns
To form a mutual core

This eruption undoes stagnation
You didn’t know I had it in me
Withheld your love, an unspent capsule
I didn’t know you had it in you
You hid the key to our continuity
I didn’t know you had it in you
This eruption undoes stagnation
You didn’t know ! You didn’t know !

What you resist persists
Nuance makes heat
To counteract distance
I know you gave it all

Offered me harmony
If things were done your way
My eurasian plate subsumed
Forming a mutual core

This eruption undoes stagnation
You didn’t know I had it in me
Withheld our love, an unspent capsule
I didn’t know you had it in you
This eruption undoes stagnation
You didn’t know I had it in me
This eruption undoes stagnation
You didn’t know ! You didn’t know !

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Mutual Core

Pages du manual

Présentation de la chanson dans l’application Biophilia

Eruptions and earthquakes, the building of continents, the formation of mountain ranges and oceanic trenches, all are powerful geological signs of earth’s underlying structure and mechanics. In Mutual Core earth’s geology is transformed into a metaphor for human relationships. Opposing forces of compression and release, central to continent building and to human feelings, are expressed sonically, and in the app, by the contrast between the shifting of chords in the verse and uplifting chorus. The contrast can also be seen in the contrasting visual patterns of the animation, and is evoked by Björk’s working title for this track, ’organ plaid’, which describes an interwoven musical fabric. While the song’s themes are universal, the lyrics indicate a specific, autobiographically significant geographical region : the boundary of the north american and eurasian tectonic plates, on which sits Björk’s birthplace —Iceland.

Analyse de Nikki Dibben

In Mutual Core, the structure of the earth becomes a metaphor for human attachment. From the earth’s core, responsible for the planet magnetic field, to the convection of the upper mantle, driving the movement of tectonic plates and the continents of the earth’s crust, the song unites geological processes with human relationships, and expresses both through sound.

The interwoven pattern in Mutual Core —the stark contrast between compressed verse and upbeat chorus— shines through in the animation which shows the juxtaposition of slow, sustained organ chords occupying a narrow pitch range, against the short, fast notes of the solo voice, and the continuous upward glide of the choir, spanning a wider register in the chorus. The closely space organ chords rub against each like the pressured, "shuffling" movements of the tectonic plates described in the verse’s lyrics. The powerful movements of yearning ad the vocal line soars upwards and the modality switches from minor to major can be heard as the search for "mutuality", which arrives with the chorus and its more danceable alternation of strong and weak beats (a time signature of 2/4 instead of the previous 5/4).

The app plays with a relationship between chords in music and tectonic plates. Standart tonal chords are made up from triads (the first, third and fifth degrees of the scale stacked on top of one another) in a kind of stepping-stone principle in which every other not of the scale is sounded. The rich sound of Björk’s harmonies comes from using added notes such as sevenths and ninths —pitches which are "additional" to the basic chord— but which follow the same principle. The close, dark sound of the verse is partly due to the minor mode which has a flattened third degree, compared to the brighter sound of the chorus in the major mode which has the "normal" third degree of the chord. Listen to the pushing, striving feeling at the words "mutual core", created by a sudden switch (modulation) from the minor mode which dominates the preceding part of the song to the major mode. The changed third degree of the scale occurs on the word "core".

The app illustrates different kind of movement from one chord to another. For example, the change on the words "mutual core" involves a movement from a chord on a flat minor to e flat major. In other words, this involves a change from a chord built on the fourth degree of the scale to one built on the first degree of the scale. You can see these chords notated in the scrolling music score. This "plagal" cadence (a movement from chord iv to chord i) is commonly found in european hymns, so if you are acquainted with hymns you might also hear this song as having a prayer-like character, prompted also by the sound of the pipe organ —an instrument used to play hymns.

Geological process and human attachments are universal themes, but this search for a "mutual core" can also be interpreted biographically because the words suggest a specific geographical location. Björk’s "eurasian plate is subsumed" to form a mutual core, absorbing her into something or someone else ; "the atlantic ridge drifts to counteract distance" describing the separation of the eurasian and north american tectonic plates through which Iceland is gradually moving further west towards america ; "try to match our continents’ can be understood as the urge to join icelandic and american homelands. Even the arrangement for organ evokes iceland through it’s history of use in Björk’s previous music. In this way, geography, geology and music may express a very personal autobiographical experience —how to create a shared family home while living on different continents.

Concours de Remixes

Mutual Core a fait l’objet d’un concours de remix par les fans. Le gagnant a gagné le droit pour son remix d’etre publié sur Beatport ainsi qu’une bibliothèque de samples.


Musique et Paroles : Björk
Arrangements pour l’orgue : Björk
Beats : 16bit , Björk et Matthew Herbert
Programmation : 16bit , Björk et Matthew Herbert
Arrangements des choeurs : Björk
Ingénieurs du son : Damian Taylor et Sveinn Kjarttansson
Mixage : Damian Taylor & Björk
Production : Björk


Mutual Core (16bit remix) 05:21 16bit
Mutual Core (Matthew Herbert Teutonic Plates mix) 05:10 Matthew Herbert
Mutual Core (These New Puritans Remix) [feat. Solomon Is. Song] 03:56 These New Puritans
Mutual Core (Waxx Crooks Remix) 04:27 Waxx Crooks (Gagnant du concours de Remixes)

Versions utilisées dans les App

Mutual Core (Animation Version) 04:56 App
Mutual Core (Score Version) 04:53 App
Mutual Core (No Fadeout) 05:11 App