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Björk The Music from Drawing Restraint 9 (OST) album cover
2.10 | 30 ratings | 2 reviews | 3% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Gratitude (4:59)
2. Pearl (3:43)
3. Ambergris March (3:57)
4. Bath (5:07)
5. Hunter Vessel (6:37)
6. Shimenawa (2:48)
7. Vessel Shimenawa (1:54)
8. Storm (5:32)
9. Holographic Entrypoint (9:58)
10. Cetacea (3:13)
11. Antarctic Return (4:18)

Total Time 52:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Björk Guðmundsdóttir / bassline (1,5,7,9), choir arrangement (1,3,4), vocal editing (4,11), music box arrangement (5-7), programming (2,5,12), drum programming (7,9), harp arrangement (3,5,7,12), producer

- Will Oldham / vocals (1)
- Tanya Tagaq / throat singing (2)
- Shiro Nomura / vocals (9)
- Nico Muhly / keyboards (1)
- Jónas Sen / celesta (1,10)
- Zeena Parkins / harp (1,6,10)
- Samuel Solomon / glockenspiel (3), percussion (5), crotales (10)
- Guðrún Óskarsdóttir / harpsichord (3)
- Akira Rabelais / piano treatments (4)
- Leila Arab / programming (8)
- Valgeir Sigurdsson / programming (1,2,5,10)
- Shonosuke Okura / percussion (9,10)
- Mayumi Mayata / sho (2,6,10)

Releases information

Soundtrack for "Drawing Restraint 9", movie directed by Matthew Barney

CD One Little Indian - TPLP459CD (2005, UK)

Thanks to progshine for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BJÖRK The Music from Drawing Restraint 9 (OST) ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(3%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(13%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (30%)
Poor. Only for completionists (33%)

BJÖRK The Music from Drawing Restraint 9 (OST) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
1 stars "Music From Drawing Restraint 9" is the soundtrack to Bjork's partner/ director Matthew Barney. I haven't seen "Drawing Restraint 9" but the film trailer looks very disturbing, and the soundtrack sounds weird and off kilter. Mayumi Miyata is one of the best sho players, a 16 reed Japanese instrument and her talents are utilised here on the soundtrack. I read that the art house movie focusses on events onboard a Japanese whaling vessel. The first hour or so has no dialogue at all, it is certainly not the average film, and there are surreal images of the guests eating black jello and acting like a bizarre cult. Bjork is one of the guests who is invited to partake in a formal Japanese tea ceremony. Things get very bizarre as they indulge in Shinto marriage rites, that end up with them emerging themselves in a kiss that reunites the lovers in a limited matrimony and with the ocean itself. There is apparently a disturbing scene where the lovers turn into whales and are consumed by the guests like sushi. Well, it is what it is and the music here is as bizarre and off kilter.

'Gratitude' is minimalist harp chimes, musical boxes and the male vocals of Will Oldham. To be honest I was not that taken with this as I wanted to hear Bjork as I kind of like her Icelandic high register vocals.

A raspy breath is heard next with unsettling death rattles and then some off kilter gasps and inhales with 'Pearl'. This is back to "Medulla" and I had no idea this was going to be here but it certainly grabs my attention. Bjork is absolutely at her weirdest here. The backwards harmonica really is disturbing along with Bjork's manic gasping. Avant garde experimentalism and not one for the squeamish. It may represent a nightmare or death, or a sexual encounter, but a pretty disturbing one; absolutely off the wall.

Next is 'Ambergris March' with loud clanging Oriental chimes, similar to those heard on "Volta". This is quite chilling. It is an instrumental with Japanese instrumentation, and Bjork studies Japanese music for this album so it is replete with Japanese influences.

Bjork's trademark mixed to the front vocals are next with some odd Japanese chimes on 'Bath'. It is awful really and I have no interest in this style of Bjork; no melody, raspy warbling, overlayed discordant inharmonious and depressing.

'Hunter Vessel' has a downbeat brooding brass sound, that builds to a staccato horn section. It goes on and on and gets interminable after a while.

'Shimenawa' has a chilling high pitched sound that grates on my nerves immediately. I couldn't sit through this. 'Vessel Shimenawa' is an instrumental of dramatic brass blasts that builds dramtically.

Next Bjork's vocals return for one of the best songs here, 'Storm', with icy waves splashing and a very powerful vocal. Perhaps this is the best song on offer here.

'Holographic Entrypoint' features Shiro Nomura on vocals and a Noh score, used in traditional Sino- Japanese dramatic theatre. It is really an album that is permeated by the Japanese tradition and as such a real oddity, though Bjork has always been fascinated by Japanese culture. It feels odd and I have no love for the wavering vocals, but it still has a place in the film no doubt. At 10 minutes in length this one really outstayed its welcome for me.

'Cetacea' is another Bjork song, and it was pleasurable to hear her high voice after the wavering vocals previously. Again it perhaps works better with the film visuals.

Before listening to this album I expected a Bjork album with highs and lows but I didn't expect it to be Japanese influenced and to only have three songs sung by Bjork, "Bath", "Storm", and "Cetacea". "Gratitude", "Shimenawa" and "Cetacea" have the harp playing beauty of Zeena Parkins, who collaborated on "Vespertine", but is so much better when the harp is juxtaposed with Bjork's vocals. This was disappointing as the real drawcard to Bjork for me is her inimitable vocals. When these are absent the album gets boring. This is a soundtrack of course but nothing really that special in either musical approach or compositional structures. Strike this one down for diehard fans only.

Review by Lewian
3 stars I was inspired to review this because I saw that this was rated 1.59 before. This is not the Björk album I listen to most often as much of it is not easy to digest, but surely this is adventurous interesting music that should get some appreciation. It's apparently a soundtrack, which may explain a few of its peculiarities, but I don't know the film, so the music needs to speak to me on its own, which it does very nicely. I think this is mostly rated low because people expect something else rather than the album actually being bad. It's experimental music, and it doesn't have that much vocals of Björk, which is obviously why many would buy a Björk album in the first place. Tough luck. But let's face it, 99.9% of the music on this site doesn't have Björk singing and isn't criticised for that at all.

It starts off very nicely with "Gratitude". I love the shimmering glockenspiel-sound arrangement and the vocals are very well delivered by Will Oldham and some children, vulnerable and sensitive. Yeah, Björk doesn't sing herself but give the lady a rest!

"Pearl", a little calm experimental piece, fine for what it is if you don't have expectations. "Ambergris March" has some folk percussion and Japan-inspired light touch electronic sounds and melodies. Björk has managed to combine this influence here well with her own aesthetic, nicely balanced between sensitivity and machinery. "Bath" finally has Björk singing, but in a very experimental performance in which we hear her notes together with lots of breathing noises without clear melody. Again this sets up a vulnerable atmosphere, rather than being a "song" with "direction". Once more, the story of this album, when rating this against certain expectations that people have about a Björk album, it will disappoint, but in its own right it achieves what it tries to achieve.

"Hunter Vessel" - slowly marching brass oriented contemporary avantgarde music; or rather slowly marching in the beginning, then it changes between long flowing sounds and more intense marching parts with increasing speed. Somewhat formal but interesting and well composed. "Shimenawa" counters this with much softer thinner keyboard pads, the composition again being minimalist and atmospheric. "Vessel Shimenawa" takes it back to the brass again, though somewhat softer than "Hunter Vessel"; I'd expect this to be appropriate in a soundtrack, but on its own it doesn't add much to the two pieces before. On "Storm" Björk's voice is back, this time in a more characteristic fashion plus some electronic noises for which we knew she has a weak spot already before this. For once she fulfills expectations, although the song is rather haunting and monotonic, a far stretch from what got her in the charts once. Her vocal performance is impeccable, although I can see how some may find the noises annoying. "Holographic Entrypoint" is based on some (I'd think) intense experimental Japanese vocals by Shiro Nomura plus a second voice and very minimalist percussion. Fans of Japanese avantgarde may be used to this kind of stuff but most Western ears will struggle to get into how this works as "music". Undeterred, Björk lets this go on for a full 10 minutes. Well you get it or you don't. No complaints from my side about being exposed to this experience (and an experience surely it is!) although it's not going to enter my top 500 songs any time soon.

On "Cetacea", sequencer-like glockenspiel sounds are back, together with voicemaster Björk herself. The instrumental background is about as minimalist as it gets but I like this sound. The vocals are dynamic in intensity but static in speed; the whole thing goes round in circles. Another one that creates its very own special atmosphere, another one that isn't a proper song with direction for those who look for them. "Antarctic Return" is another minimalist soft and thin keyboard theme. It delivers a bit of intensity at the end, well, a very minimalist interpretation of "intensity". Not a real highlight at the end unfortunately, rather one of the tracks that probably rather served the film than a standalone album of music.

I'm fond of much contemporary avantgarde music, so my ears are open and prepared for this kind of thing. Some of the music on this album is very good, some quite challenging, with which I'm fine. Some parts are probably just there because they serve the film. Although they don't do much harm on their own, overall the fact that this is made as a soundtrack and doesn't therefore follow an entirely musical logic and flow keeps the album in some distance from the highest marks. This is what you have to live with when listening to soundtracks, so it's not really a complaint, but will make me round the 3.5 stars rather down than up. Anyway, a good and interesting album and its flaws as a work of "pure" music are all in my view down to the fact that it's actually a soundtrack.

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