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Björk

About Björk and her work:
Björk Guðmundsdóttir (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈpjœr̥k ˈkvʏðmʏntsˌtouhtɪr], born 21 November 1965), known as Björk (/ˈbjɜːrk/), is an Icelandic singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, and DJ. Over her four-decade career, she has developed an eclectic musical style that draws on a wide range of influences and genres spanning electronic, pop, experimental, classical, trip hop, IDM, and avant-garde styles. She initially became known as the lead singer of the alternative rock band The Sugarcubes, whose 1987 single ”Birthday” was a hit on US and UK indie stations and a favorite among music critics. Björk embarked on a solo career in 1993, coming to prominence as a solo artist with albums such as Debut (1993), Post (1995), and Homogenic (1997), while collaborating with a range of artists and exploring a variety of multimedia projects.

Several of Björk’s albums have reached the top 20 on the Billboard 200 chart, the most recent being her 2015 album Vulnicura. Björk has had 30 singles reach the top 40 on pop charts around the world, with 22 top 40 hits in the UK, including the top 10 hits ”It’s Oh So Quiet”, ”Army of Me”, and ”Hyperballad”.She is reported to have sold between 20 and 40 million records worldwide as of 2015. She has received consistent critical praise for her innovative vocal and compositional approaches, musical experimentation, and art direction; Salon described her as ”the most important and forward-looking musician of her generation” and Deadspincalled her ”the best non-pop female vocalist of the last 30 years.”She has been ranked twenty-ninth in VH1’s ”The 100 Greatest Women in Music”,  eighth in MTV’s ”22 Greatest Voices in Music”,sixtieth in Rolling Stones ”100 Greatest Singers of All Time”, and was recognized in NPR’s ”50 Great Voices” feature for her ”celestial voice.”

Björk has won five BRIT Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, one MOJO Award, three UK Music Video Awards, 21 Icelandic Music Awards and, in 2010, the Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in recognition of her ”deeply personal music and lyrics, her precise arrangements and her unique voice.”She has also been nominated for 14 Grammy Awards, one Academy Award, and two Golden Globe Awards. In 2015, Björk was included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She won the Best Actress Award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in the film Dancer in the Dark.A full-scale retrospective exhibition dedicated to Björk was held at the Museum of Modern Art in 2015. -wiki

The focus on Björk has become an opportunity for the artist to reaffirm her status as a producer, something that she has been underrecognised for arguably her entire solo career. In an emotional, much-circulated interview with Pitchfork from March, Björk garnered attention by addressing the degree of authorship that she is seen as having in her music. “I’ve sometimes thought about releasing a map of all my albums and just making it clear who did what,” she said. “But it always comes across as so defensive that, like, it’s pathetic.”

 

In interviews around the time of Homogenic’s release, Björk seemed preoccupied with electronic music and its relationship to nature. She told Q that “techno and nature” were “the same thing” and, in Ray Gun, she claimed that the album would fit best with the Icelandic mountain ranges, suggesting listeners take a ghetto blaster when camping for the full experience.

Björk quotes:

“I’m teasing myself about doing an album completely independently, just in a room alone. It’s not that I don’t love the process of working with exceptional, artistic people, but I’d like to try something where I do everything from A to Z.”

”I think women…are really good at zooming out and seeing the big picture and connecting all the dots, and editing is very much about that, and kind of not leaving anything out.”

”Sometimes I feel like I write and I sing the best when I’m on top of a mountain, and then I come inside the studio and I’m imitating that experience, so I want to try to actually make a recording facility that I can bring with me on more hikes.”

Björk, the Producer – Red Bull Music Academy

https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2008/aug/27/whybjorkisrighttostickup

Björk’s Vulnicura: First Listen

Björks Lecture at RBMA Montreal Podcast

 

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