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Björk is blinding us with musical science

This photo taken on November 6, 2008 shows

This photo taken on November 6, 2008 shows Icelandic singer and UN campaigner for the environment Bjork holding a press conference at the European headquarters in Brussels. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Americans may know Björk Guõmunsdóttir best for that strange swan dress she wore at the 2000 Oscars. But now, after selling millions of recordings and videos -- not to mention being named best actress at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival for "Dancer in the Dark" -- at the age of 45, the Icelandic musician is turning into a teacher.

In February, she is presenting 10 New York performances -- sold out already -- of "Biophilia," her interactive iPad app musical science project. It's interactive because each of the 10 tracks includes a computer game and a miniature recording studio for the user to mess around with. Six shows will be at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, and four at Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan.

The Queens shows are part of a set of music-education workshops. The performances feature MIT-developed harp-playing pendulums, lightning-zapping Tesla coils, a 24-voice Icelandic female chorus and a sharpsichord (a sort of enormous, many-geared music box). It's all about science, from DNA to plate tectonics and the origins of the universe. In the song "Virus," by the way, you have to let the viruses win.

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