Björk recently released an innovative music video for her single, ‘Stonemilker’; the first off the January-released album, ‘Vulnicura’. The video unveiling originally occurred at a Björk art installation at the New York Museum of Modern Art and allowed the viewer a 360° view of the singer performing on a rocky shoreline in Reykjavik (Full experience is for desktop only).
Up until now, the experience was limited to being viewed exclusively with virtual reality technology at MoMA in Long Island City, but with the help of some groundbreaking YouTube advancements you can view the incredible video online in all its glory. YouTube is using omnidirectional scrolling that allows viewers the ability to watch from various perspectives (think of having Google Earth controls while you’re watching).
The song itself is as dreary as the landscape we’re provided with in the video. Director Andrew Huang suggested that they return to where the song was originally written and most of the album is a commentary on Björk’s breakup with her long-time partner, artist Matthew Barney. ‘Stonemilker’ is strongly representative of this pervasive theme as Björk chants in the chorus, “Show me emotional respect// I have emotional needs”.
Björk described this process in a statement, saying, “We discussed [the 360° camera’s] potential for intimacy and Andrew then suggested we take it to the beach where the song was written. It immediately rang true for me as that location has a beautiful 360° panoramic view which matches the cyclical fugue like movement in the song. If the song has a shape it is sort of like a circle that just goes on forever.”
For such leading edge technology in a music video, the concept and shoot were actually seemingly simple. Huang added, “We only had time to plan the shoot the night before, and only 2 hours of filming due to the tide, and captured the performance in just a few takes.
Because of the all-seeing nature of this camera, my whole crew and I ducked behind boulders, leaving Björk alone with the camera, not knowing what we would be ultimately capturing. All I remember is staring at the pearlescent purple seashells beneath my feet throughout the takes listening to her strings reverberating against the wet tidepool rocks, popping my head up occasionally to steal glances of Björk in her duet with the camera.”
Björk will be making appearances at various festivals throughout Europe this summer to promote ‘Vulnicura’ so follow The NU for future Björk videos and experience ‘Stonemilker’ below for a sneak peek at what the future of music videos may entail.