Of course while everyone else is lost in the undertow of a wave of despair in 2016, Björk is feeling “an enormous positive current” in the sky. The eccentric Icelandic singer-songwriter used that feeling to shed light on sexism in music coverage and criticism. She has been behind the turntables on stage recently exploring the DJ in her, and some media outlets were disappointed that she didn’t “perform” at Houston’s Day For Night festival but didn’t express that same disappointment in Aphex Twin, Arca, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Matmos. She’s written an open letter to “little miss media” on Facebook and used her experience from the event as a sounding board to address subtle sexist leanings in music writing that she believes has a larger impact than both readers and writers realize. It’s not a scathing indictment, but she shares great observations and message of hopefulness that things will change in the near future. Read the letter in its entirety below.
dear little miss media
!!!! happy winter solstice !!!
as you know the majority of my career i havent moaned about sexism and just got on w it . but im feeling there is an enormous positive current in the sky , a flow w possible changes
so i wanted to mention one thing
last weekend i dj’d twice at a festival in texas . it was a magical event with some of my favorite musicians djing : aphex twin , arca , oneoh trixpoint never and matmos … the list is endless !!
most of us played mostly other peoples music and would slide in instrumentals of what we’ve been working on recently
i am aware of that it is less of a year since i started djing publicly so this is something people are still getting used to and my fans have been incredibly welcoming to me sharing my musical journey and letting me be me . its been so fun and the nerd in me editing together pieces of others peoples songs for weeks, gets to share the different coordinates i feel between some of the most sublime music i know .
but some media could not get their head around that i was not “performing” and “hiding” behind desks . and my male counterparts not . and i think this is sexism . which at the end of this tumultuous year is something im not going to let slide : because we all deserve maximum changes in this revolutionary energy we are currently in the midst of
its gotta be worth it
women in music are allowed to be singer songwriters singing about their boyfriends . if they change the subject matter to atoms , galaxies , activism , nerdy math beat editing or anything else than being performers singing about their loved ones they get criticized : journalists feel there is just something missing … as if our only lingo is emo …
i made volta and biophilia conscious of the fact that these were not subjects females usually write about . i felt i had earned it . on the activist volta i sang about pregnant suicide bombers and for the independence of faroe islands and greenland . on the pedagogic biophilia i sang about galaxies and atoms but it wasnt until vulnicura where i shared a heartbreak i got full acceptance from the media . men are allowed to go from subject to subject , do sci fi , period pieces , be slapstick and humorous , be music nerds getting lost in sculpting soundscapes but not women . if we dont cut our chest open and bleed about the men and children in our lives we are cheating our audience .
eat your bechtel test heart out
but i know the change is in the air . we are walking inside it . therefore i leave this with you in kindness at the end of this year and i hope that in the next year even though i was brave to share w you a classic female subject matter : the heartbreak , i get to have a costume change and walk out of this role . you froze edith piaf and maria callas in it ( not one documentary i have seen about her doesnt mention onassis but no mention w male musicians the women they loved or broke their hearts )
lets make 2017 the year where we fully make the transformation !!!
!!! the right to variety for all the girls out there !!!