Björk vindicates her great work as an arranger in her latest orchestral concerts

Björk has always highlighted her work as a composer and arranger, especially in the last stage of her career, to the point that she has her own published scores. It’s no secret how much you like to sing accompanied by a good orchestra, and has even released a version of ‘Vulnicura‘composed only of voice and strings. On that album the strings were especially important as Björk wrote it during her divorce from Matthew Barney and went on to state that her way of dealing with such a traumatic experience was to become “a fiddle nerd” and compose songs for “ensembles of 15 strings ».

How far could Björk carry her fascination with orchestras? His concert series ‘Orkestral’ gives a rough answer. Between the months of October and November, the author of ‘Homogenic‘He has offered a series of concerts at the Harpa de Reykjavík venue that have been transmitted by streaming for payment, and with which he has wanted to celebrate the exit from confinement, but also to pay tribute to the people most affected by the coronavirus, the Black Lives movement Matter and the Icelandic musicians he has worked with throughout his career. The last of the four recitals took place tonight without, at any time, entering into political matters of any kind. Björk, her orchestra and her songs have been the absolute stars of the evening.

In each of the ‘Orkestral’ concerts, Björk has performed a different setlist focused on a specific strip of records from her discography, accompanied in each case by a different orchestra chosen for the occasion, such as the Viibra flute orchestra or the choir. Hamrahlið Choir, which includes an organist; and the setlist of each of the recitals has been known in advance because, in the days and hours before each concert, the Icelandic singer has been publishing interesting explanations of each song on her social networks. With these explanatory texts, Björk seems to have wanted to bring her audience closer to her work as a composer of arrangements, since in some texts she seems to be talking about classical music, as in the ‘Hidden Place’, whose musical base is composed of a “thick current” because it represents the secret love that he feels for a person, a love that is “repressed under the earth.”

At tonight’s concert, Björk has played songs from ‘Debut’, ‘Homogenic’ and above all ‘Vulnicura’ accompanied by the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. Anyone who has attended the recital via streaming will have been able to read the credits of each song before each performance, and also at the end, a sign of the utmost importance that the Icelandic woman attaches to the arrangements and to their authorship, which varies (the of ‘Jóga’ are composed by herself, not so those of ‘Come to Me’, and some arrangements of ‘Vulnicura’ are shared with Arca). The ‘Orkestral’ concert series appears to serve as Björk’s last ‘orchestral’ tail flick before the artist locks herself back into the studio sometime in the next few months to wrap up. the album “clubbing in the living room” that he is preparing, although before the last concerts of his residence ‘Cornucopia’ await him, which, like the orchestras, had to be postponed for reasons that we all know.

Especially the songs of ‘Vulnicura’ have grown in the context of an orchestral tour to the surprise of absolutely no one. During tonight’s concert, the artist has managed to keep the audience glued to the seat to listen to each of the words that have come out of her mouth during her interpretation of ‘Black Lake‘, the’ odyssey ‘from’ Vulnicura ‘; and he has also made a song like ‘Mouth Mantra’ that talks about a subject as uninteresting in principle as its vocal nodules sound intriguing and cinematic thanks to its arrangements. Björk has danced with the strings as if it were techno music … which has been definitely reflected in the orchestral arrangement of ‘Pluto’, which has reproduced the synth riffs and the techno beat of the original recording in a very convincing way. final screech included from the Icelandic. The imperial dance-style arrangements of ‘Notget’ have not worked as an encore, but the orchestral performances of ‘Lionsong’, ‘History of Touches’ and ‘Quicksand’ have led to question why such highly melodic songs receive so much criticism for supposedly being the thing. contrary.

Obviously, Björk’s classics have sounded especially grateful in the recital, which has started out strong with ‘Jóga’, has continued with ‘Come to Me’ and has also included ‘5 Years’, which was already one of the best orchestral compositions of the band. artist. Björk is in very good vocal shape and her renditions of these old songs have been more than satisfactory. It didn’t seem like it was going to be the case due to some comments left on the forums about the previous concerts of the tour, and that they alluded to a pounded voice that no longer reaches the high notes. However, in tonight’s recital, the artist has alternated between her fragile snowflake-type register and her aggressive wild-animal-type low register without any special problem and under total control of her voice, and she has crossed both vocal thresholds without skipping the most difficult notes. No, his voice is no longer the same as 30 years ago, but he is still capable of expressing very extreme feelings, and the repertoire of this last concert has benefited him in this regard.

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Björk vindicates her great work as an arranger in her latest orchestral concerts