Songs of Science #6: Björk

6 Apr

Last year, everyone’s favourite Icelandic songstress (that’s Björk, in case you’re wondering) released Biophilia, an album inspired by science and nature. The song “Moon“, for instance, features repetitive musical cycles that pay tribute to the lunar cycle, whilst the bassline in “Thunderbolt” is the sound of a Tesla coil’s electrical discharge.

Probably the most accessible track on the album, though, is “Cosmogony”, a hymn-like song about the birth of the universe, built around a beautiful, heart-rending melody. Each of its four verses describes a different version of the creation story: Native American, Sanskrit, Aboriginal, and then, finally, the scientific version:

“They say back then our universe wasn’t even there / Until a sudden bang / And then there was light, was sound, was matter / And it all became the world we know.”

Here’s a performance of the song recorded for Jools Holland last November. It’s slightly different to the album track, with some extra backing vocals provided by an all-female choir, and some marching percussion in the final verse. I defy anyone not to get at least a little bit emotional watching this:

For more science-themed music, click the image below to read an article based on my Songs of Science posts, written for the new issue of Guru magazine. There’s even an accompanying mixtape (well, a YouTube playlist anyway).


2 Responses to “Songs of Science #6: Björk”

  1. Six Glasses of Water April 11, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    I just love, love her. So creative and inspiring!

  2. Dr Fred July 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    Reblogged this on friziks.

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