On its release in 2011 “Biophilia “was acclaimed as the first “app album” and the birth of a new music format. It was greeted as the way forward for musicians and developers, at a time when the traditional album format was under threat. “Biophilia “is an album for mobile digital devices, conceived and creatively directed by Bjork, one the world’s most innovative musicians, and executed by a team including interactive artists, developers, and designers. Here, Nicola Dibben draws on her experience as a member of the creative team working on the app suite to provide an insider’s perspective on the creative process and product. The entire project’s conception and realisation are traced, drawing on dozens of original interviews and participant observation. Dibben explores questions including: the new potential for interactivity and multi-sensory experience of music; the implications of Biophilia’s visualisation of music for audio-visual aesthetics and music education; immersive versus ‘distributed’ modes of listening; and the creation of a curated artistic vision that counters the fragmentation and lack of multimedia experience associated with music consumption via MP3 download. The result is a brilliant exploration of a cutting-edge musical work and offers a unique perspective on the creative processes and ambitions of one of pop music’s most compelling figures.
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