Björk’s custom-made instruments to be showcased at London exhibition
A new virtual reality (VR) exhibition of Icelandic artist Björk’s video and digital works is coming to Somerset House in London. Taking place from September 1st to October 23rd, Björk Digital will feature the artist’s work with some of the world’s finest visual artists and programmers.
There will be a number of different VR experiences including never-before-seen work, and an interactive educational space showcasing some of the custom-made musical instruments that were created for Björk’s Biophilia album and mobile app.
For the Biophilia project, Björk commissioned the design of a number of unusual instruments for the recording and performance of the album, as well as the creation of an accompanying app.
Some of these instruments include the Gravity Pendulum Harp, which relies on the natural motion of four 11-stringed pendulums, with software controlling the rotation of each pendulum head to determine the note that is struck when it passes the equilibrium position.
There’s also the Sharpsicord, which has a studded cylinder that rotates, with each stud hitting a note, which is then amplified through a gramophone bell.
Björk also commissioned a Gamesleste, which is built like a piano but inspired by traditional Indonesian percussion, as well as Musical Tesla Coils, which use bolts of electricity to trigger sound.
The exhibition will include Black Lake, Björk’s groundbreaking immersive film commissioned by the New York’s Museum of Modern Art where the audience is treated to panoramic visuals and enveloped by a bespoke, cutting edge surround-sound system.
Filmed in the highlands of Iceland, the work was directed by the Los Angeles-based filmmaker Andrew Thomas Huang. Huang also collaborated with Björk on Stonemilker VR, a project that transports the viewer to a private performance of the first track from Björk’s critically acclaimed Vulnicura album. Shot on location on a remote, windswept beach in Iceland and viewable in full 360-degree VR, the viewer will be able to experience a one-to-one recital.
To coincide with the exhibition, Björk will be playing a one-off show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on September 21st her first gig in London since 2013. Get tickets here.