a great singer, she is a great listener. Her
mind is so acoustically generous that music is generated for her by symbol, by virus,
by tectonic plates. In an infinity of space
there is an infinity of music, and an infinity of time, as the song title “Cosmogony”
suggests —an appropriate introduction for
music about the origins of the universe.
“Cosmogony: music of the spheres:
equilibrium,” says the Voice of God. It is in
the heart of music where equilibrium could
happen, a state of pure harmony, balancing
nature and technology. The spirit of order
may make friends with the spirit of deep
chaos. In terms of the human brain, mind
harmonies may be sung with the cooperative workings of the two hemispheres. In
musical terms, the rational part of music,
its scales and strictness, its gradations
and fugues and arithmetic, is Apollonian.
Meanwhile, the fire and passion, the wild
and instinctual part of music, is Dionysian.
Björk’s invitation is inclusive, welcoming
both Apollo and Dionysus.
Nothing, in fact, is unwelcome. The
whole show makes an enormous statement
of species humility: we humans are not
all there is. One film clip shows colorful
starfish and worms wriggling and bounc-
ing delightedly through a seal carcass. In
the camera’s limpid, ecocratic gaze, there
is nothing either sad or disgusting about
this—that would be mammalian chauvin-
ism. It simply is, and everything is wel-
come at the biophilia party. The virus has
as much right to be here as the moon, and
size doesn’t matter: from the atom to the
solar system, each scale is perfect to itself.
pHo TogRApH l couRTESy of BjöRk