Archive for July, 2011

Biophilia for the Deaf!

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

A review from a deaf person who finds Biophilia brings music to life.

“But then I tried the ‘animation’ option and proceeded to listen, holding the iPad, to one of her songs playing with lyrics on screen and a beautiful, simple animated timeline showing the shapes and colours of all the instruments and vocals as the song progressed. As I felt the vibrations of the music through my fingertips, the iPad vibrating and rumbling in my hands, hearing the higher pitches through my hearing aid, I had something of an ‘experience’. It was beautiful, lyrical and haunting. I immediately went and downloaded another track – and I can’t wait to experience the rest of the songs on the album in the same way.”

WIRED NEWS: Björk’s Lead App Developer Riffs on Music, Nature and How Apps Are Like Talkies

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

A two-part interview on the nitty gritty details of Björk’s Biophilia, the future of interactivity and music on the iPad and how sheet music was the app of the 19th century:

Björk’s Lead App Developer Riffs on Music, Nature and How Apps Are Like Talkies (Part 1)

How Björk’s App Album Was Made: Mixing for iPad, Visualizing Music as Tunnels (Part 2)

“in some reviews of Biophilia, people said, ‘Wow, I haven’t had this experience in 20 years. Before CDs came out, I’d buy an album and hold the 12-inch cover in my hand, sitting cross-legged on the floor while I listened to the music, read the liner notes, and looked at the pictures.’ People used to have this very tactile, multimedia experience when they bought an album.

But with the digitization of music, we’ve lost that special moment. You can think of the app as, finally, that chance to unwrap the box and have a personal, intimate experience again with music. It might be the case that people spend a lot of time with the app when it first comes out [as they did with album covers] and then perhaps they’ll move on to purely enjoying the music after that. But we’ll really have to wait and see.” Bjork’s App Designer Scott Snibbe Talks In-Depth About ‘Biophilia’

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 features a longer interview with Scott Snibbe on the future of apps and music after Björk’s Biophilia.

“This is like the birth of cinema. It’s an extremely exciting moment for musicians, for artists, and I think this project is a nice step towards fully leveraging the medium with one of the world’s great artists to see what you can pull off when you get one of the world’s greatest musicians and some of the world’s top developers in interactivity to work together. And I think you’ll see a lot more of it. I know the artists want to embrace it, and if the record companies and labels can find a way to make this work financially and contractually for the artists, I think everyone will really thrive.”

Billboard cover story on Björk’s Biophilia

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Billboard’s cover story this week is Björk’s Biophilia, and includes interviews with Björk, Michele Gondry on the Crystalline music video, and Snibbe on the future of apps and music.

WIRED UK Cover Story: How Björk’s ‘Biophilia’ album fuses music with iPad apps

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Wired UK’s cover story for August includes an in-depth interview with Björk about the whole Biophilia project. So exciting they seem to have made two covers for the issue – the second features Drew Berry’s incredible DNA portrait of Björk:

“The app model is one Björk hopes to use long-term. ‘I have a feeling that for many years I won’t have to tear things up by the roots again. I can [release] songs in my own time and I have an iPad app I can write from,’ she says. For now, apps will also replace her music videos — she isn’t making any for Biophilia — and in the future she may stop producing physical CDs, to free herself from the production deadlines they involve.”

PRESS RELEASE: Björk Unveils Biophilia

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011






Björk today announces Biophilia, her most ambitious and interdisciplinary project to date, with the release of lead single “Crystalline” exclusively on the iTunes Store worldwide ( Biophilia is a multi-media project, comprising a studio album, apps, a new website, custom-made musical instruments, live shows and educational workshops.

Björk has collaborated with app developers, scientists, writers, inventors, musicians and instrument makers to create a unique multi-media exploration of the universe and its physical forces – particularly those where music, nature and technology meet. The project is inspired by and explores these relationships between musical structures and natural phenomena, from the atomic to the cosmic.

The album’s lead single “Crystalline” is available on iTunes now, with Biophilia Apps coming from One Little Indian/Nonesuch Records.

The Biophilia live show will have its world premiere on June 30 as part of the Manchester International Festival. Björk will be in residence at the festival for a three-week run which includes six intimate performances of her new songs at Campfield Market Hall – her first UK dates in over three years. The residency will also introduce companion apps, invented instruments and more. For more information:

Biophilia comprises five elements:

The songs from Biophilia will be released as a traditional 10-track studio album later this year, available digitally and physically across standard formats. The songs will also be featured within their accompanying Biophilia Apps, but with a more stripped-down structure for educational and game purposes, mixed by Damian Taylor and Björk. The album’s first single, “Crystalline,” is available now. The groundbreaking director and longtime Björk collaborator Michel Gondry is creating a music video for the song.

The Biophilia Apps ( are a collection of ten apps, one for each song, which will be available via the central Cosmogony “mother app,” coming from One Little Indian/Nonesuch Records.  This platform will serve as a three-dimensional galaxy in which the initial apps appear as constellations, and the others are added to the collection at regular intervals thereafter.

Every app has its own theme (in connection with its corresponding song) and combines a natural element with a musicological feature. The layers of content in each app include: an interactive game based on the song’s scientific and musical subject matter, a musical animation of the song, an animated score, lyrics, and an academic essay. The game enables the user to interact with musical elements of the song and to learn about different musical features while creating their own version; the musical animation and animated music score bring together conventional and innovative ways of representing music visually; and the academic essay explores the ideas behind each song and app and how they are realized musically.

The Biophilia Apps have been developed with a team chosen by Björk, comprising ten of the most groundbreaking and commercially successful app developers working today. The team is lead by Scott Snibbe Studio, creator of the bestselling apps Gravilux and Bubble Harp, and includes the creator of Sim City, TouchPress (pioneering designers behind the two top grossing apps Elements and Solar System), and a host of award winning designers, animators and leading experts in coding and encryption.

The Biophilia live show will have its world premiere on 6/30 as part of the Manchester International Festival and continues as a three-year world tour of six-week residencies in eight different cities. In each city Björk will perform Biophilia twice a week, using the apps to play live a set of custom built musical instruments and evoking an atmosphere similar to being inside the app itself. For the rest of the week the venues will host a series of music-education workshops in collaboration with local schools.

Björk has commissioned a set of unique musical instruments to accompany her on the live tour. The team who created these instruments include an English inventor, an Icelandic organ builder and a graduate of MIT Media Lab. Among these creations are four 10-foot pendulum-harps, in which the swinging motion plucks the strings and illustrates the songs’ gravitational subject matter. There is also a unique 10-foot pin barrel harp called the Sharpsichord, a midi-controlled pipe organ and celeste (re-fitted with bronze gamelan bars), twin musical tesla coils, a hang player and an award-winning 24-piece Icelandic female choir. The Biophilia Live Show takes place in specially chosen spaces and museums, rather than traditional music venues. Björk will perform in the round to audiences of less than 2,000 people to create an intimate experience in which all audience members are within 20-feet of the stage.

A 90-minute documentary on the Biophilia project is currently being filmed by Pulse Films. The film will be an exploration of Björk’s creative process as she puts together the different elements of the project. Here we will see her at work in the rehearsals for the live show, in the studio working on the album, and through observational footage, interview and demonstration we will discover how the project was conceived and realized. Along the way we will also discover more about the fascinating relationship between music and the natural world. The climax of this element of the film will be the unveiling of her project; the premiere live performance of Biophilia.  The documentary will be broadcast later in the Biophilia campaign.

V. WEBSITE has been re-launched for Biophilia, using the very latest HTML5 technology. The site is now uniquely animated and interactive to provide an artist website experience totally unlike any other. It features a unique immersive 3D galaxy with versions that can be enjoyed on almost all devices, and will be the hub for all Biophilia information.

For more information, please contact Krista Williams or Carla Sacks at Sacks & Co., tel: 212.741.1000. OscilloScoop: Carve Rotating Cylinders, Make Music on iPad

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Great review by Eliot Van Buskirk: OscilloScoop: Carve Rotating Cylinders, Make Music on iPad

OscilloScoop wins ZKM App Art Award

Monday, July 11th, 2011

OscilloScoop has won the 2011 ZKM App Art Award for Technical Innovation. Only three awards are given in this first-ever prize for apps created with artistic vision and purpose. The winners were chosen from thousands of submissions worldwide, and acknowledged with cash awards totaling 25,000 euros. The OscilloScoop app, combining innovative 3D graphics with real-time electronic music creation, was developed by interactive artist Scott Snibbe, musical interaction designer Lukas Girling, and software engineer Graham McDermott.

Manu Delago jams on OscilloScoop

Monday, July 4th, 2011

An impromptu video of brilliant percussionist Manu Delago jamming on OscilloScoop between rehearsals for Björk’s performance at Manchester International Festival.