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Björk Celebrated at Museum of Science Tonight

SubSpace Project creates stunning visuals to accompany Icelandic singer-songwriter’s music


Music and light converge tonight in the Museum of Science’s SubSpace Project, a monthly mash-up that pairs playlists by different musical icons with breathtaking light shows illuminating the dome of the museum’s Charles Hayden Planetarium. This month’s tribute (tonight only) will feature music by the legendary Icelandic singer-songwriter, Björk. Tickets are just $10 for the opportunity to experience her in a completely new way.

She is known for her eerie, ethereal voice and a musical style that defies easy characterization: it combines elements of electronic, hip-hop, experimental, pop, and classical music. Björk’s often outlandish fashion choices (remember the infamous “swan dress” at the Oscars?) and controversial music videos have made her famous also for the visual artistry that accompanies her music. (She was the subject of a retrospective last year at the Museum of Modern Art). Her prolific body of work, including nine albums and more than 40 music videos, have earned her multiple Grammy nominations and an Oscar nomination in 2000 for best original song, “I’ve Seen It All.”

The intensely visual nature of Björk’s work, combined with her eclectic musical style, make her the perfect candidate for a SubSpace Project performance, say organizers of the series. They select only those artists who have a strong visual component to their music.

The Subspace Project began in May with an homage to the late, gender-bending pop icon David Bowie. Tickets sold out almost immediately. Organizers selected Prince and his Purple Rain album, which is generally cited as one of the best-made albums in music history, for the June performance. Music by Beyoncé, who recently released the explosive, critically and commercially acclaimed visual album Lemonade, will light up the planetarium on August 24. The program is scheduled to run through the end of the year and will feature the English alternative rock band Radiohead on September 21 and American singer-songwriter Tom Waits on October 12. Lady Gaga will inspire the last show of the year, scheduled for November 9, and guests will be invited to come dressed in Gaga attire.

Each show comprises a playlist of the featured artist’s music, accompanied by unique visuals projected around the planetarium. The visuals for each show are designed by museum staff to correspond to the selected playlist and to be true to the artistic vision of each performer.

For tonight’s show, visitors can expect to hear music that charts the trajectory of Björk’s career, starting with early tracks such as her 1995 single “Army of Me” through to music from her latest album, Lionsong, which was released in 2015.

The museum boasts that its Charles Hayden Planetarium is the most technologically advanced digital theater in New England. The planetarium hosts a variety of programming, much of which is catered to children and students. The SubSpace Project is part of an effort to expand adult programming at the museum and to explore the ways in which music, art, and science can interact.

The SubSpace Project at the Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, will present music by Björk tonight, Wednesday, July 20, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Charles Hayden Planetarium. Tickets are $10 (separate ticket required). Via public transportation, take the MBTA Green Line E trolley to Science Park and walk a short way down Monsignor O’Brien Highway and take a left on Museum of Science Drive.

Liz Vanderau can be reached at vanderau@bu.edu.

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