classical music

Björk : I went to music school for ten years, but I rebelled against it. I felt the school was too controlling, and I didn’t understand what a ten-year-old Icelandic girl had to do with all these three-hundred-year-old German guys. Quite a few times the schoolmaster called me to his office, where we would have these three-hour debates where we’d both cry, because I didn’t agree with the direction the school was taking. I thought we should talk more about this century, and more about composers that were closer to us. I ended up playing stuff by twentieth-century Finnish composers, for instance.

Juergen Teller : I think he’s excellent, Neil Young. So when you left school, did you sort of turn your back on all the classical stuff ?

Björk : Actually, back in the early days, I toured with a string octet, eight kids who’d gone to that same school in Iceland. Since I could have gone the classical path too, it was very interesting to work together. We toured for one-and-a-half years, and we’d get drunk in all the cities and have long, healthy debates about music. And luckily enough, We all had different points of view.

Juergen Teller : That sounds really good.

Björk : But afterwards, I basically ignored that side of me until 1996, When I made Homogenic. I decided I had to confront it. I also worked through a lot of craftsmanship issues by doing the soundtrack to Dancer In The Dark-all that orchestral stuff. I caught up with myself, but it took three albums.

Index magazine, june/july 2001