Review - Björk: The Music From Drawing Restraint 9
Björk has made a handsome living from defining and recreating boundaries in the aural arts. One of the key characteristics made throughout her career has been the tremendous lack of separation between what is recorded and what her fans marvel at. As her career progresses she has been given the liberty of continually defining herself through any number of experimental projects, as many to critical acclaim as to critical question. As time goes on there is a sense of connect to Björk that I hadn't previously had, much due to the lack of artificial influence in her work. Her music is genuine, in that she isn't making it with hopes of spiting modern radio, and nor is she making it for the simple credibility that is associated with her (lack of) genre. She admirably makes the music that she loves, whatever form it may take. A Drawing Restraint 9 site comments wisely on her style, in that she is "refusing to choose between pop pleasure and restless experimentation, Björk's musical vision weds technology and emotion, countering gut-level expression with an insistence upon formal modernity and innovation."
The Music From Drawing Restraint 9 accompanies the film in a manor uncharacteristic of the majority of scores. The audio accompaniment engulfs the visuals throughout the film and directly serves as well placed keys to emotional targets, carefully lending itself as the only dialogue to the film for all but one of the scenes. As the description surmises, this is a stage well suited for Björk's composition skills. As she only contributes orally to 2 songs it is amazing to see how her production and arrangement skills transfer some precise characteristics of her music to other musicians' work. Far from much of her 2004 release Medúlla comes an increasingly raw track performed by throat singer Tagaq. "Pearl" is much like the rest of the album as it is a traditional track, distancing itself from much of the hip-hop and dance influenced music found on Björk's experimentation with the outlet.
As is the case with much of Björk's catalogue there is a dramatic learning curve, of sorts, in that it takes a number of listening sessions to begin to understand and appreciate what is actually on the recording. The Music From Drawing Restraint 9 is no different as its shocking first listen initially startles before settling in; showing that it takes time to familiarize oneself to a new, alien piece of music. The artistic beauty is lost at times however as the accompanying visuals aren't provided to aid in the music. The tracks admittedly provide a great deal of their own visually warming aids on their own, however, symbolic of not only Björk's influence but of the dramatic role each character plays in the sonant.