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Björk talks her 'post-ecstatic' tour and new album

by Judy Morgan | January 20, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.

By Jim Harrington

The Mercury News

The phone rings, revealing not just a call from a new number -- but one from a new country as well (at least for me).

So, I answer my first-ever call from Iceland and hear a wonderfully familiar voice greet me on the other end:

"Good morning. My name is Björk."

Thus begins a very cool ride of a conversation with one of the greatest pop artists of the last 30-plus years, one who got her start with the legendary avant-rockers the Sugarcubes in the mid-'80s and went on to an even more accomplished solo career beginning with 1993's appropriately named "Debut."

Since then, Björk has released eight other full-length albums, compiling a daring, far-reaching and ultimately fulfilling body of a work that rivals David Bowie and Roxy Music.

To put it very bluntly, it's absolutely absurd that this groundbreaking artist has yet to even be nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

But that's a discussion for another day. On this day, the conversation focuses on the epic Cornucopia Tour, which is based on the artist's most recent release, 2017's "Utopia."

Q: Moving from the future to the present, let's talk about the Cornucopia Tour. Now, I've been fortunate enough to see many of your other tours -- and a number of them, such as the Biophilia Tour, have been very elaborate. Yet, you've called this one the most elaborate to date. How so?

A: I think because we are doing like digital theaters. So, I wanted to have a lot of screens. Sort of an overload of screens -- kind of like Times Square (times) 10. That was sort of the idea -- like abundance.

So that was sort of, both sonically and also the visual, kind of the starting point from "Utopia," the album. This idea of plenty.

Q: Thus the title of the tour -- Cornucopia, which means to have plenty or an abundance.

A: It's more a state of mind -- if you are happy and that (is) enough. Obviously, the songs are very different – very, very different subject matter. But maybe what unites all of the songs on "Utopia" is that it is sort of about surviving after the pollution.

It's not post-apocalyptic. I would say it's post-ecstatic.

Q: That's a very interesting unifying theme. Tell me more about this "Utopia."

A: It's sort of about finding ecstasy. I made like a sci-fi idea for a novel, where we would all go to an island and start anew and make flutes from sticks. And we might, because of a nuclear accident, have mutated into birds or birds mutated into synthesizers. But, still, we do OK.

I think it is very much about, I guess, maybe an idea of making a safe haven without violence. And maybe being exhausted how 90% of stories (set) in the future are very dystopian and with no hope.

Print Headline: Björk talks her 'post-ecstatic' tour and new album


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