the LOTR story & Emiliana Torrini

i was asked to write the song [Gollum’s Song from Lord Of The Rings : The Two Towers] a month before thew birth of my daughter , when i turned it down because i was too pregnant they said fair enough and got another writer then approached me again said they had a song and lyric in my style , they understood i didn’t have time to write it but if i could sing it , i thought it was a little noughty but asked them to send me the notes and the lyrics since i was curious what is "my style" then had to tell them it was 3 days until my baby was due and i couldn’t focus on anything else they then said they were going to ask "björk-kinda singers" and told me they got 3 singers , they didn’t tell me the names but say A,B and C .

then after the birth they said they weren’t happy with the results and asked me please if i could save them , they could put the deadline back to october 30th ( my baby was born on the 3rd ) i told them my baby was priority and i was told they went back and chose one of the A or B or C . i then later found out it was emiliana .

i am not pissed off because i didn’t get to sing the song . since "play dead" i decided to never do just one song so i have always passed offers like that on . film music today is too much of a megamix , i think it is better if the same person does a whole film and gives all of her/him to it .

but anyway : the point of the story above is that lord of the rings people find it nothing wrong of copying people . i have last few years been approached by a lot of film people and people making commercials , also a lot of my friends , for example the video directors , we get asked for our "flavour" and if we say no they just go around and artificially create our "style" with some calculated moves .

i think it is really criminal , maybe this lord of the rings incident is not the best example , but my "style" or my voice is my life’s work , people going on the net and nicking my songs off it bothers me but not really , at least it is my work , unchanged and people know that it is me . but what really really hurts and i know i am speaking for a lot of people here , video directors , musicians , photographers and so on , is when a lifetime of work get’s copied in 5 minutes with absolutely no guilt .

that expression : imitation is the sincerest form of flattery , it might be true but it is the kind of flattery that robs you . i spoke quite a lot about this with thom from the radiohead couple of years ago when every other singer on the radio was trying to be him and he said it really confused him , after hearing all that , next time he stood by the mike he didn’t know anymore what was him and what was all those copycats . it is one of the reasons kid a was so hard to make . what’s your opininon on this ?

björk 4UM, 16 jan 2003