Classic 90’s Artist Called: Björk

Björk Guðmundsdóttir

Charming and extravagance, but blessed with artistic talent. A musical avant-garde and a voice that oscillates between howls and sighs of children, this is Björk Guðmundsdóttir.

“She was born in Reykjavik, Iceland and when she was a child she showed signs of the musical nonconformity that would mark her career,” recalls Sophie Harris, a BBC collaborator in London. “She started singing alone in caves and by the age of eleven she had already recorded a solo album.”

Then “some avant-garde punk bands followed, the most famous of which was The Sugarcubes. But when the band got their first international hit in 1991, Björk decided to quit: I wanted to feel the danger and the threat.”

She started a fascinating solo discography, with a rock attitude and pop sweetness, with jazz improvisation and electronic aggressiveness.

She was two years old when his parents, Gudmundur Gunnarson and Hildur Run Hauksdóttir separated. Her mother married Saevar Árnason, a member of the local group Pops, which made her very familiar with the world of music.

At age five, Björk entered the Barnamúsikskóli Reykjavikur music school, and it was a rarity: her favorite hobby was collecting insects. But singing was more than just a hobby. At the age of eleven she played on the radio a version of the hit Tina Charles I love to love and got a record deal. Her first album, Björk, sold seven thousand copies, which is like saying that she bought 35% of Icelanders. Despite this childish success, she continued her studies of flute and piano until the age of fifteen, when she decided to emancipate herself and leave her home.

In 1979, when punk agitated to the British society, Björk formed her first group, Spit and Snot and after its dissolution, peregrinated by other bands, like Exodus, Jam80, Tappi Tikarrass and Kukl. With this last one and with several elepés edited to her credit, in 1984 it was sent to the conquest of England. At that time she cultivated a gothic-sinister and after-punk rock or, according to her definition, “existential jazz-punk-hardcore”; Then renamed Sykurmolarnir, were passed to the most insignificant pop and the success was ephemeral.

Her luck changed at the beginning of the last decade of the XX century, after her meeting with Gudmundur Steingrimsson, Pórdur Högnason and Gudmundur Ingólfsson and the launching of his most personal and ambitious project until then, Gling-Gló. After twenty-five years of career, the popularity of this unique Icelandic singer was shot after starring in the film Lars von Trier Dancer in the dark, 2000. The critical and commercial success of the film, its well-deserved prize at Cannes, the Golden Globes as best actress and best original song (I’ve seen it all) and its exotic performance at the Oscar gala shot the sale of its discs. Vesperine, released in August 2001, endorsed her mutation from minority singer to mass artist.

The subsequent stability and her exceptional passage through the cinema would allow her to record in London with musicians, choirs and singers of her choice, to establish her base of operations in New York next to her boyfriend, Matthew Barney (her son Sindri was in the care of her ex Husband, Thor Eldon) and act in such chosen settings as La Sainte Chapelle in Paris or the Barcelona Lyceum.

In November 2002, she released Family tree, an album of great hits accompanied by songs not previously published. At the same time, her successful world tour (in which she was accompanied by new electronic music gurus, a chorus of Icelandic singers, a harpist and a chamber orchestra) filled the capacity of the finest theaters in the world.

In 2004 the Icelandic presented her new album, Medúlla, in which the voice is the main instrument. In her own words, wanted to undress her from the usual artifice of her previous albums and use only the voice for all kinds of effects. In 2005 she presented the recording Drawing Restraint 9 in collaboration with Matthew Barney.


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