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Entry updated 25 October 2021. Tagged: Music, People.

Björk Guðmundsdóttir (1965-    ) Icelandic singer and composer, widely celebrated for her idiosyncratic vocal style and a left-field eccentricity of musical focus that often shades into sf; she has worked on occasion with the singer-songwriter and author Sjón between 1995 and 2011. "Human Behaviour", her first hit (from Debut, 1993) takes the position of a Machine ingenuously baffled by Homo sapiens. Post (1995) evidences a fascination with postmodernism and simulacra via sf tropes familiar from Cyberpunk ("Army of Me", "Hyper-Ballad", "The Modern Things"). Subsequent Björk albums have moved in a less machinic, more autobiographical and indeed pastoral direction. Drawing Restraint 9 (2005), a Japanese-themed concept album in which two characters on a whaling ship metamorphose into whales to avoid drowning when the boat sinks, is more Magic-Realist than sf. "Earth Intruders" (on Volta, 2007) up-ends the form of the alien Invasion narrative; the invader in this case being manifestations of the Earth itself (see Gaia), rising against human Pollution. Also on Volta is "The Dull Flame of Desire", a song based upon Andrei Tarkovsky's film Stalker (1979). Her more recent album Biophilia (2011) is, in the composer's own words, "an exploration of the mechanic of music and the infinity of the universe, from planet systems to atom structures." Vulnicura (2015), a more personal set of songs, has been released in various versions; Utopia (2017) conjoins elements of focus from the previous two albums. [AR]

Björk Guðmundsdóttir

born Reykjavik, Iceland: 21 November 1965


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