Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Soundtrack of My Life. (“All Is Full Of Love”)

allisfull

I first experience this song in its spare, ethereal album form from Homogenic. It’s a nice, peaceful coda to an otherwise astonishing album, but it fails to register beyond such.

I next experience it via Chris Cunningham’s extraordinary video. In the context of the video, a cold, blindingly white, and utterly unmanned set of machinery moves about a stiff series of tasks that slowly build a pair of vaguely humanoid robotic beings, both of which have Bjork’s face. The beings notice each other, sing to each other in alternating expressions of joy and tenuousness, and finally, in the climax of the song, kneel in front of each other and display a kiss far too sensual to be expected of machinery. It’s long, and lingering, and you feel ashamed for spying on an intimate moment. The video is, ostensibly, about lifeless automatons that have somehow made two creatures for the express purpose of being in love with each other.

The next day, I find myself in a local Borders, listening to this Video Remix of the song through a pair of headphones. There are several remixes of the song, but the Video Remix is the best of these. Eyes closed, hands pressing the earphones into the side of my face lest a single wondrous second of the song seep away and vanish, I stand miles away from the rest of the world as the song changes the rhythm of my heart.

This never happens again. I cannot tell, however, if this is because the change was imperceptibly permanent; if the transformation was so complete that I can no longer even remember what my heartbeat was before “All Is Full Of Love” happened to it. I do not remember and I do not miss it.

There are other of Bjork’s songs I like better than this one. This isn’t even my favorite song on Homogenic (that would be “Alarm Call”). But this is the only one that, as I listened to it, extended some sort of metaphysical strand of itself out towards me; reached inside individual fibers of my being and changed them outright. All Is Full Of Love, and I am All.

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This entry was posted on March 3, 2004 by in Critique, Music, Soundtrack.
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