Bjork and Bernard Willhelm

Join us for a chat with Iceland's best known export, Bjork, and the German designer Bernhard Willhelm.

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Sparks flew when Bjork met outlandish German designer Bernhard Willhelm and the two have been busy collaborating since Bernhard created a series of looks for Bjork and her all-girl brass band that have been touring with her this summer. He also created the garish sculpture that is on the cover of her 2007 album, Volta.

BW: What are more fun to play: festivals or your own concerts?

B: I like a mix: Recently we did many festivals in a row and then it was our first solo show for a long time and we were like, “Yes! It's our atmosphere.” But then it's also nice to see other bands and meet other people. Glastonbury was fun, but then we played in Belgium in between Marilyn Manson and Muse! That was late at night and it was full of lager louts. It's funny but at the same time it isn't.

BW: It was funny to see the audience, because I think the girls react in a different way to your music from the boys; they are very happy and dancing whilst the boys are all standing still.

B: But when you where in Amsterdam, I could pick more calm songs, which was the first time in a long time. Being put between crazy bands and playing at midnight, then you have to skip all the quiet songs and just... [pretends to rave]. There is no space for ballads then!

BW: What was that electronic table you where using onstage? It was really interesting...

B: Yeah, they just made it and there’s only two in the world. It’s hard to explain what it is, it’s sort of like a table made of plastic with a computer projector at the bottom, and a series of cubes that you move around. A few of them are a beat, a few of them are a base line, a few of them are echoes, and they all work as catalysts. It's kind of like a Ouija board. I think it’s good because with computers, you go into this page and then you click on this, and then you go to this and it’s like a brain thing. But what’s great about this is that it becomes a physical thing, because when you are playing live you don’t want to sit there and programme, you just go like this [moves cups of tea around table as if it's a chess piece] and you make a decision. Anybody can do this, you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to do it.
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