The Icelandic iconoclast gives us a meditation on her homeland, the importance of family and a remarkable career guided by her musical intuition.
Over the last three decades, few musicians have matched the electrifying output and restless reinvention of Björk. On albums like Post, Vespertine, Medúlla and 2015’s Vulnicura, the Icelandic icon has used the transformative power of her voice to construct unforgettable sonic worlds, prizing collaboration as an essential tool for creation and linking ideas from across disparate generations and cultures. After a childhood education in classical flute and piano, Björk released her self-titled solo debut at age 11 and explored far-flung genres as part of Reykjavik’s invigorating punk scene and pop group the Sugarcubes. In 1993 she returned as a solo artist with her Debut LP, and since then has continued to chart her own path, a collision course between abrasive electronics, sublime symphonics and her own inimitable voice. In addition to her musical accomplishments – including album sales in the tens of millions – Björk has constantly pushed boundaries in fashion (who could forget her swan dress at the 2001 Academy Awards?) and the immersive experiences offered by virtual reality. In her 2016 lecture at the Red Bull Music Academy Montréal, she offers thoughts on her long and multifaceted career, how intuition drives her recordings and DJ sets, and what utopia means to her.