Björk does a few of my favourite things

It’s no surprise to anyone that I’m interested in viruses. Many know of my on-going affair with Indonesia. Some will have heard me obsess recently about using art to make people think differently about science. And a handful will know of my growing interest in digital media.

Conveniently, Icelandic singer Björk has brought all those interests together into a single tidy package. Her new Biophilia album is a great big muscial sciencefest. One of the first “single” apps released is called “Virus”. Just when you thought there was no new angle on soppy songs about codependent love, she’s written a song about, well, a virus, and its interaction with host cells. Among the lyrics:

“The perfect match, you and me
I adapt, contagious
You open up, say welcome”

It’s played on a sort of mish-mash adaptation of a gamelan, Indonesia’s favourite instrument. And its being released as an app which people are invited to remix, play with, adapt, take forward. Which doubtless has many in the music industry wondering: if this mutate into something truly virulent, how soon will it kill its host?

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This post was published on 16/08/11 in Science.

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