Whatever happened to Bjork?

Whatever happened to Bjork?

In the ’90s, Icelandic singer, songwriter, and actress Björk made a name for herself with her ethereal, otherworldly music and boundary-pushing music videos. An especially memorable appearance at the 2001 Academy Awards, at which Bjork donned a “swan” dress, sealed her global status as an aesthetic pioneer and risk-taker.

So, what has our favorite Icelandic warbler been up to since then? Quite a bit, as it turns out.

Björk has been singing, writing music, and performing for four decades, so it’s not surprising that she’s got quite a few compositions under her belt. June 2017 will see the publication of a career-spanning songbook entitled 34 Scores for Piano, Organ, Harpsichord and Celeste, the first time that any sheet music for her songs is being released.

Björk discussed the origins of the project in a statement, in which she explained her desire to test the boundaries of what music means in this day and age. “I … wanted to question how I felt about musical documentation, when CDs were slowly becoming obsolete, I was curious about the difference of midi (digital notation) and classical notation and enthusiastic in blurring the lines and at which occasions and how one would share music in these new times [sic].”

Over the course of her career, Björk has performed worldwide, and in fact you can still catch her on the road if you’re lucky. 2017 alone had her performing in Los Angeles (with a full orchestra) and Japan.

From the sounds of it, she’s never deviated from putting on quite the show; recent performances came complete with jellyfish dresses and masks. Entertainment Weekly lauded a 2015 performance at Carnegie Hall as “a memorizing act of catharsis.”

In case you’re looking for any further proof that Björk has been one of the most influential and iconic musical artists in the past couple of decades, MoMA had you covered in 2015.

The famous NYC art museum hosted a massive retrospective of her work, including “an interactive, location-based audio experience through Björk’s albums, with a biographical narrative that is both personal and poetic, written by the acclaimed Icelandic writer Sjón, along with many visuals, objects, and costumes.”

Okay, okay, so admittedly reviews weren’t exactly glowing; but still, being selected to share the same halls as artists like Picasso and Warhol is undeniably awesome.

As the law of attraction asserts, like attracts like; accordingly, Bjork was in a relationship with equally experimental multimedia artist Matthew Barney for over a decade. After many years together and even sometimes collaborating as artists, the pair went their separate ways in 2013.

Unfortunately things became acrimonious between the famous exes, and Barney sued Björk in 2015 for custody of their then 12-year-old daughter, Isadora.

For her part, Björk was able to channel her feelings around the breakup into art, using the pain of the experience to inspire a number of tracks on her 2015 album Vulnicura. Barney’s loss, our gain.

Good news, Björk-nuts: word has it that Björk is actively working on a follow-up to her most recent album, 2015’s Vulnicura.

Her collaborator, artist and filmmaker Andrew Thomas Huang (who produced several music videos for her) told Fader in March 2017, “Björk’s already written quite a bit of it. We just want to evolve what we did in Vulnicura, which was so personal and introspective … What I can say is this new album’s gonna be really future-facing, in a hopeful way that I think is needed right now.”

 

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