Back in January, I traveled to Iceland to work on a profile of Björk, which appears in this week's New Yorker. I later went to Salvador, Brazil, and London, England. Here I'm posting scattered snapshots from the Iceland and Brazil trips, fleshing out scenes described in the profile. Some of the pictures will already be familiar to close readers of the blog. I did not photograph Björk herself, for obvious reasons. I was grateful enough that she'd let me in to her extraordinary world.
Below are various views of Reykjavík, beginning with Mt. Keilir as seen from the airport road:
What I saw when I talked to Björk about the "Nordic idea":
Moving on to Brazil, this is the view from the house where Björk worked on Medúlla for several weeks:
Here is a shot of the Cortejo Afro drummers, whom Björk recorded for "Mouths Cradle" and then left out because they didn't fit the (nearly) all-vocal concept of the album:
Next are several shots of Matthew Barney's float in the Salvador Carnaval, taken from the balcony where Björk was observing the procession. Valgeir Sigurðsson, who engineered Medúlla at his Greenhouse Studios, can be seen in the white coat on the right-hand side of the top of the float.
The man in the green and pink shirt is the great Caetano Veloso:
At this point, alas, the battery in the camera gave out, and the next day I was flying back to New York. The remaining drama of the making of Medúlla was sonic rather than visual.