By Philippe GRELARD
Bjork called on tech billionaires to come up with greener solutions for touring musicians such as environmentally friendly cruise ships to host roving festivals, in an interview with AFP.
The Icelandic singer-songwriter has been on the frontlines of green activism in recent days, joining a protest against whaling in her country.
She has been looking for ways to cut the carbon footprint of her tours, and featured a message from Greta Thunberg during her shows.
“I was hoping Elon Musk and his tech friends would make electric tour buses or solar- and wind-powered cruise ships… could you pass that message to him please?” the Icelandic artist told AFP.
“(Maybe there) could be a Coachella-like festival boat that travels the oceans with no flying included,” she added. Coachella is a major arts and music festival held in the US desert.
Asked if she hoped the Covid-19 pandemic had boosted environmental politics, she said: “Unfortunately not. I think the turnaround is happening very slowly. It would be great if it was a lot faster, but I’m keeping my hopes (up).
“At least during Covid, we saw louder bird singing, cleaner air, less planes… and we know it is possible that if we want to act that fast, we can,” she added.
While she waits for innovations from Musk et al, Bjork has been touring some elaborate shows around the world, including a performance at Coachella in California that featured a light show by 864 drones.
“I felt because of the nakedness of the voice and orchestra-only music, I didn’t want to interrupt that by adding musicians or instruments, but rather sync something epic in the skies to the music,” she said.
“It seemed to work well in the desert.”
– ‘Self-care and discipline’ –
Bjork, 57, is preparing for a European tour, kicking off in September and featuring a huge choir.
But she had to cancel three dates in Iceland because no stage was big enough.
“It is the first time of all my tours that I have not brought it to Iceland and it made me very sad,” she said. “But I did try my best.”
The show was initially built around her 2017 album “Utopia” but she said she was “slowly adding more and more of (2022’s) ‘Fossora’ into it”.
Thirty years after her first international solo album, “Debut”, her voice remains a powerful thing to experience, and she welcomes the effort required to maintain it.
“Being a singer is a lot of work — self-care and discipline involved — but fortunately the side effect is that you are overall in good health, so not too bad…”
As for future projects, she prefers not to be pinned down.
“I like surprises,” she said. “It has to feel spontaneous for me.” — Agence France-Presse