She’s a bit wacky, a bit odd, and can sound like a scalded cat but Björk is anything but dull. I find her public persona a bit annoying and far too artsy-fartsy for my tastes but appreciate her talent and eclectic music sense. She’s innovative and usually comes up with something that sounds little or nothing like anything else available. And that’s a good thing in the midst of the bland, boring and predictable (yes, even YOU Gaga!) crap being spoon-fed to our young.
A case in point is her newest music online offering which combines a cool iPad/iPhone app with her latest CD (does anyone even buy CDs anymore?). She’s rolled the two into something called Biophilia which is available free from the App Store. Here’s how Apple describes it:
Biophilia is an extraordinary and innovative multimedia exploration of music, nature and technology by the musician Björk. Comprising a suite of original music and interactive, educational artworks and musical artifacts, Biophilia is released as ten in-app experiences that are accessed as you fly through a three-dimensional galaxy
Sounds interesting, right. It’s a brilliant way to sell music other than the usual iTunes or website downloads or, God forbid, by visiting one of the few remaining antiquated music stores and purchasing one of the aforementioned CDs. But let’s be realistic. Isn’t it much cooler to download a free app to your iPhone or iPad and listen and watch as the aural and visual offerings meander across the screen? And isn’t it cool that parts of the music were recorded using Björk’s very own iPad. Well, yes…and no.
It’s a great idea and perfect for the artist that wants more than just a simple CD release but will it last? Will fans and casual listeners take the time to start the app every time they want a listen? And what’s with the music stopping when the app is closed? Wouldn’t it be nice if the music played while you were browsing the web, checking your email or using one of the other 1,024 apps available on your iPad or iPhone? I think so.
I’ll probably buy a few more tracks to accompany the single available with the free app download just to see how it plays out but good or bad one thing is certain. This may be the beginnings of a brand new, innovative revenue stream for the greedy, litigious and technologically challenged music industry. Or it may be just another interesting freebie app you’ll delete in a month. One way or another you’ve gotta give it to the nutter from Iceland. She knows how to sell her shit.