August 19, 2004

Bjork defines 'Medulla'

Bjork explains how the much anticipated album MEDULLA came about:

"I was going to call the album ‘Ink’, because I wanted it to be like that black, 5,000 year-old blood that’s inside us all; an ancient spirit that’s passionate and dark, a spirit that survives. Something in me wanted to leave out civilisation, to rewind to before it all happened and work out, ‘Where is the human soul? What if we do without civilisation and religion and patriotism, without the stuff that has gone wrong?’ When I first moved to New York there was room for immigrants and eccentrics and whoever, then suddenly it became the most scarily patriotic place on earth. “Then”, Björk continues, “I got drunk – surprise!- with my artist friend Gabriella and she came up with the title Medúlla. It basically means ‘marrow’ in medical language, in Latin. Not just you’re bone marrow, but marrow in the kidneys and marrow in your hair, too. It’s about getting to the essence of something. And with this album being all vocals, that made sense."
"I used to write lots of lyrics that were like: ‘I am HERE, and I’m walking down THIS street”, she says, “but on this album there are no rules with the words. If you want to sing about a candle-flame, then go for it, and if you want to sing about existentialism or a celibate nurse from Boston, then go for that, too. Some of the time, I’m just following a train of thought. There are no flashing neon signs.”
“Sometimes there’s a kind of weave or blend where nobody is more important than anybody else; other times I wanted each singer to have a sort of solo.”
“It wasn’t working”, she says, “and I was trying to figure out why; wondering, ‘Where are the songs in all this mess?’ Then I sat down at the mixing-desk and started muting the instruments, and it was like, ‘Oh! There they are.’”
“The only other rule”, she says smiling “was for it not to sound like Manhattan Transfer or Bobby McFerrin. After that, it became a very spontaneous, kind of carefree album to make. I didn’t want to spend another two years making it just a tiny bit better - fuck that.”
“I liked all of us to make any special noises we could on the new album”, she says. “Sometimes there’s a kind of weave or blend where nobody is more important than anybody else; other times I wanted each singer to have a sort of solo.”
“There are lot of little things about this record that seem to fit together”, concluded Björk, “and it feels good to trust nature and my subconscious. You start some kind of universe, and because you’re doing it from the right place, it completes itself. I definitely feel that I’m getting better at what I do, too. Not that it’s good, necessarily; just that there is an improvement. The best thing, maybe, is that I’m enjoying all those little nuances with people, all those micro-moments that I used to think were just pauses between real life.”

>>click on above graphic for more Bjork.

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