Bjork Twitchat – The Full Transcript

Unless you were on Twitter this afternoon, and following both Bjork and NME magazine on the site, you may have missed this. We were offered the chance to speak to Bjork live across our respective tweet feeds and it was a surreal experience.

Followers of @nmemagazine submitted questions which we fired over and Bjork gave some great answers. So good in fact, we ran out of time before we’d even really got stuck in. Here’s the full transcript. Let us know below who we should do next.



NME: Hello Bjork, are you ready to answer some questions from NME readers?

Bjork: Yep!

NME: Great. Let’s go – here come some q’s from readers on the new album.

NME: From @midnight boom: What made u want2 explore relationship between music, nature & technology + when did u become interested in it?

Bjork: I’ve always been interested in it, and I’ve explored this before with songs like ‘Homogenic’ where I distorted electronic beats to sound like volcanic eruptions and a string octet together so the acoustic, electronic and nature are together. It’s the same for this project except the touching point is different. It’s the touchscreen. So nature is in algorithms inside the touchscreen which you play with a finger, which is matched with acoustic instruments.

NME: From @mackstress: How did you choose the different concepts for each of the songs, and how to pair the musical/scientific ideas?


Bjork: I decided to pick the most simple one, and the one that a child could get. For example pendulum base-line or, a lightning base-line, or make a structure of a song with different crystals.

NME: Interesting. Thanks for that – just sent next question. From @mrclarkson92: How many proper videos (not the apps in video format) and singles will be out from ‘Biophilia’?

Bjork: I don’t know. We are improvising. I’d like to think that putting music out online could we spontaneous so I’d like to take it as it comes. In a way, the apps are a more natural visual to the project than videos. But I love working with people like Michel Gondry.

NME: I bet. So we can expect more Bjork / Michel Gondry things to come?

Bjork: Again I have to say I don’t know, we always talk about doing things, if a quarter of them happen I’m happy. We’ll have to see!

NME: From @willwhyler: Regarding the iPad apps, did it ever worry you that you would be alienating some of yr fans without iPads?

Bjork: No, because the album for me is still the most important component. I’ve tried the hardest I can to make the album in a way that it can both stand on its own, or be connected to apps. It’s your choice. I like to encourage the fans to buy only what they want. They don’t have to buy everything!

NME: From @NickDonovan: I make art and apps. Do u think the platform is opening people to new experiences, in the way video games have?

Bjork: For sure, I think it’s similar to the telephone or radio or film and video. People got scared when the new thing is invented cause they think it will erase the previous one, but at the end of the day they all coexist. At the end of the day these formats are made by humans to make it easier for humans to do their thing so more variety will help more people express themselves.


NME: Great – thanks. @PathOfDunc: Did you compose anything off the new album using the Fibonacci sequence (nature’s numbering system)?

Bjork: I did read a book about him and think about using it, but I didn’t in the end. The only thing that’s slightly influenced by it are the time signatures of the song. Mostly prime numbers. But I did it in a more impulsive way so its not rigidly attached to any model.

NME: From @journalin: What inspires you to include Indonesian influences in your work? Where did you hear them?

Bjork: I heard gamelan music first as a teenager. I thought of going to Indonesia for this project and recording there but it didn’t feel right. I guess because ‘Volta’ was an anthropology project and this project is more about science. I also wanted it to be something which you could connect with a touchscreen for kids to play with so in the end we gutted my old celeste and gave bronze notes (like the gamelan) so it’s a hybrid. But I would love to get to sing with a gamelan orchestra in Indonesia, hopefully before I die. I’m chuffed by your interest. Thank you very much. Can I ask you a question?

NME: Sure.

Bjork: have you heard the Omar Souleyman remix and what do you think?

NME: We love it in the office. @mackstress especially.

Bjork: Great! I’ll see you at Bestival! @NMEmagazine

NME: For sure. Thanks for taking part. Tim / NME

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