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The New Bjork Crystalline App Is Out, Biophilia Begins

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By: Corey Tate
July 22, 2011
The first of the new Bjork apps were launched this week, with the Cosmogogony "mother app" and the Crystalline app being the first two offered up. The video above shows you what you'll see when you open the Cosmogony app. It runs through a 3D environment of the cosmos, before letting you navigate through it yourself.

"Some things are being released : several different versions and mixes of crystalline and cosmogony all formats are born equal : apps for iphone , ipad , music "only" in vinyl , cd , download if you are interested biophilia is available to pre-order too" said Bjork in an announcement from her web site.

"Headphones recommended" it says ironically upon launch. The Cosomogony app is the one that runs all of the other apps, and serves as a sort of main menu. It allows you to navigate through a three-dimensional cosmos and choose from what will eventually be all of the Biophilia apps.

So far, the Crystalline app is the only one available, and it offers the ability to "travel through tunnels and collect crystals to make your own structure of the song," Bjork says on her web site. It offers 1) an animated score of the Crystalline song, 2) a sort of game where you navigate through tunnels and pick up crystals, each move effecting the way the song plays as you pick crystals along the way. Different crystals have a different effect. You can also just let the song play if you want to.

The Biophilia experience will have central themes of science, earth, and space; it seems to be at the forefront of the new interactive music cool, with the combination of digital music and interactive experiences on the rise.

The series of Biophilia apps looks unique and innovative. There's a separate app for each song, with each one available individually. These will also be controlled by the larger Cosmogony app. The Virus app is already known to be an interactive game. The individual apps are a complex weaving of a number of elements: an interactive game, a musical animation, an animated score, lyrics, and an academic essay. Bjork put together a team of developers to build these, and it includes designers, animators, and leading experts in coders and encryption experts. Scott Snibe is one of the developers.

The Biophilia app idea started out with the transition from a Biophilia movie she was working with Michel Gondry to a more interactive experience when the movie thing didn't happen. When the iPad arrived on the scene a few years ago, she knew this was the direction to take.

"... but at the same time, the iPad came out. And we just got so excited about the first apps for it and thought, this is exactly what we've been doing for two years -- maybe the natural home for this project is not a film or a house, but this," she tells Ryan Dombal in an interview with Pitchfork.

Then she brought together all sorts of rival app makers, went to dinner at a restaurant in Iceland and started cranking out ideas based on Bjork's original concept. And now it begins.

Tags: Bjork, Digital Music News

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