Wednesday 20 November 2019

Björk - Cornucopia @ O2 London

Björk - Cornucopia Live @ O2 London

Björk takes us to another planet.

It is beautiful and terrifying. It is filled with creatures and mutations, darkness and luminescence, all feathers, tentacles and limbs morphing and merging like bubbling lava. A curtain of shimmering projections curls around the stage.

Björk is at the centre of it all. She is our mythological guide, singing in spiritual, hushed whispers. She is Mother Earth, crying out in agony, in a guttural, yearning song. She is the planet itself, petals and growths and tendrils. She is a god.

Around her is a futuristic rural idyll. A collection of nymphs play flutes while dancing balletically around the stage. A young choir release a wash of polyphonous textures and harmonies before jumping and raving wildly. It's like the Rite of Spring for a sci-fi age. Delicate melodies and birdsong are countered with deep percussion that bellows from the depths of the earth and shudders around us.

It is an otherworldly, out of body and out of mind experience. A hallucination. It's the familiar sound of harps and flutes, with a technical undercurrent that distorts. Above it, Björk sings poetry in broken melodies.

Though older songs are included - often in beautiful new arrangements to match the sound of the latest album - we hear songs for a new world. Songs of love, songs loaded with politics, songs that empower us, songs that urge us to do better. These are songs for a world we need to create, a world we need to protect, performed with space and urgency. She is apocalyptic, but she is also rebirth.

Björk takes us to utopia.

Take me back.