Nature, Music and Technology – Björk’s Biophilia

Icelandic musician Björk has launched a new album – Biophilia.  The most remarkable thing about the album is that it is the first album to be launched as an iPhone and iPad App available from the Apple App Store. As will be obvious to almost nobody from its title, the album celebrates nature and does so using a combination of music and technology. The imaginative App provides video to accompany the songs and even streams the lyrics of the songs.

The app is introduced with a short video narrated by David Attenborough.

The use of the word ‘Biophilia’ is unfortunate. Coined by eminent biologist EO Wilson, biophila converts a concept that is emotionally appealing and that everyone understands – the love of nature – to a word that nobody understands and that fails to generate any emotional response. The conservation community has already performed the same trick with the incomprehensible (to most people), emotionless and wooden terms ‘biodiversity’ and ‘ecosystem services’ to replace understandable and well-loved concepts like the web of life and the bounty of nature.

Still, title apart, it is encouraging to see a young artist like Björk bringing attention to the beauty of nature and all its many attractions and to do so using the latest technology in an innovative way. The artist’s web site explains some of the thinking and work behind the album.

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