A Twist of Citrus

Trippy stop motion space visuals and Björk's vocal stylings and sartorial choices aside, the real star of this music video isn't even on screen. Björk, regardless of whether you enjoy listening to her work, is a musical pioneer.

Unsatisfied with the existing plethora of instruments available, she has commissioned numerous new instruments, often combining elements from widely different cultures and traditions to create a novel sound which she then weaves into her music.

Have a listen to "Crystalline", for example.

One of the new instruments she commissioned for her latest "album," Biophilia (Album in quotes because it always seems to me the album for Björk is less about the album and more about the soundtrack to a greater artistic work she is trying to produce.) is being called a "gameleste". So called because it combines "tuned Bronze tone-bars designed to have that Indonesian Gamelan sound" and a traditional Celesta (also known as a Celeste), which usually is comprised of a set of crisp-sounding steel plates mounted over hanging hollow tubes. The instrument looks a bit like an upright organ with a keyboard, and the sound it produces isn't entirely unlike a more sophisticated toy piano. The creation of the instrument was spearheaded by Matt Nolan and the Icelandic organ craftsman Björgvin Tómasson.

I'll leave you with a "making of" video produced by Mr. Nolan, which should give you a better idea of the inner workings of the instrument. Pretty incredible stuff. I'd love to get my hands on something like this.

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