Biophilia is a project/album by Icelandic singer-actress-composer Björk. What makes it so special is that it’s the first interactive ‘app album’ putting as much importance on the experience and visuals as the music. Björk has composed part of the album on an iPad and so completing the circle the application has been released, in collaboration with Apple, on iTunes for iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch).
The ‘host’ application is free to download and includes the theme song, Cosmogony. The host app is an interactive 3D map of the ‘cosmos’ made up by the different songs. Each additional song takes the form of an in-app purchase for an eventual total of ten songs for the album. Every song operates as a mini-app with different visuals and animations, a game, moving score for the song with karaoke playback and an essay. There are currently two songs that have been released, Crystalline and Virus, each available for $1.99.
Putting any discussion on excessive commercialization to the side, this is one of the most exciting and ground breaking music related productions we’ve seen. What’s important is that you are not checking your friends’ status on Facebook or sending an email while listening to the music, but actually interacting with the song. Art direction by interactive artist Scott Snibbe is excellent, though quite abstract, and certainly the experience is engaging. Although this is something that could have ended in just being a gimmick it certainly is not. We only lament the fact that this is an iOS app only.
You can find more about the app in the intro video narrated by the man himself, David Attenborough, together with the song Crystalline, after the break.