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Middle School with Björk

Posted by Josh Rothman  January 6, 2012 11:30 AM

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For Boston residents, this might be worth a ticket on the BoltBus: Bjork will be performing ten concerts as part of a "residency" at the New York Hall of Science, and running a three-week long musical education program for middle-schoolers. (Apparently, her musical program is now a standard part of Iceland's middle-school curriculum!)

The intimate performance finds Björk accompanied by a set of unique musical instruments created by a team including an Icelandic organ builder and a graduate of the MIT Media Lab. Among these creations are four 10-foot pendulum-harps, a midi-controlled pipe organ celeste re-fitted with bronze gamelan bars, and twin musical tesla coils. The performance also features an award-winning 24-piece Icelandic female choir and visuals from the Biophilia Apps with app developer Max Weisel performing on stage.

For the middle-school program, meanwhile,

Björk has collaborated with app developers, scientists, writers, inventors, musicians, and instrument makers to create a unique multi-media exploration of the universe and its physical forces—particularly those where music, nature and technology meet. The project is inspired by and explores these relationships between musical structures and natural phenomena, from the atomic to the cosmic.

In the video above, you can see one of the "musical tesla coils" at work; you can see it in a live performance here (introduced by David Attenborough!).

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.

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