Björk: Biophilia

between sound and space: ECM Records and Beyond

The 2004 Summer Olympiad was an unprecedented event for its host city of Athens. Under the motto “Welcome Home,” 10,625 athletes representing 201 nations competed in 28 distinct sports: a veritable sea of bodies representing the human form at its finest. All the more appropriate that, following the Parade of Nations, Björk should fill the stadium with her anthem, “Oceania”—a homecoming of a different sort, concerning currents more powerful than all those bodies combined. “You have done good for yourselves since you left my wet embrace and crawled ashore,” she sang, Mother Nature presiding over her children before they ran, leapt, and tumbled their way through hundreds of demanding events. Here, conspicuous yet perhaps unnoticed, was the deeper origin story of the games: somewhere within, at the mitochondrial level, proliferated feats of prowess that we could only dream of replicating without. As Björk stood rooted, her dress unfurled to cover…

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