Union chapel, London England
Dec. 9 & 11, 1999

Culmination

The Union Chapel Concerts are the epitome of Bjork and Brodsky's relationship. The concerts were candlelit, acoustic and recorded. Plans were made to release them officially but perhaps because of the poor quality of the recordings or because Bjork changed her mind, this is another project that was shelved indefinitely. Even though bootlegs are available on the internet, fans have pined for a clean official copy. The arrangements with the strings and Bjork's voice are so fine an achievement they ranks perhaps as the best concerts Bjork has ever done.

December 9, 1999

1. Unravel 
2. All Neon Like 
3. Cover Me 
4. I've Seen It All 
5. Gotham Lullaby 
6. Come To Me 
7. Who Do You Think You Are? 
8. Modern Things 
9. Hyperballad (called cowboy lemmings on the setlist)
10. Like Someone In Love 
11. Sod Off 
12. 5 Years 

Encore

13. Anyone Who Has a Heart

14. Downtown

15. Its Oh So Quiet

December 11, 1999

1. Unravel 
2. Joga 
3. Cover Me 
4. All Neon Like 
5. Gotham Lullaby 
6. I've Seen It All 
7. You've Been Flirting Again 
8. Come To Me 
9. Like Someone In Love 
10. 5 Years 
11. Hyperballad (called cowboy lemmings on the setlist)
12. Why 
13. Possibly Maybe 
14. Anchor Song 
15. Bachelorette 
16. Play Dead 
17. Hunter 

Encore
18. Anyone Who Has a Heart
19. Downtown 
20. Silent Night/It's Oh So Quiet

 

pics above from bjork.com special, 

below from bjorkish.net

Covers from the concerts:

Gotham Lullaby: Meredith Monk

Who Do You Think You Are?: Elvis Costello

Why: Elvis Costello 

Any One Who Has a Heart: Elvis Costello

Down Town: Petula Clark

Some of the songs performed on these nights as well as some studio recordings were released on the Family Tree strings discs:

Family Tree strings disc 1

1. unravel
2. cover me
3. possibly maybe
4. the anchor song
5. hunter

Family Tree strings disc 2

1. all neon like
2. i've seen it all
3. bachlorette
4. play dead

What Bjork said in a chat about singing acoustically:

"Im doing a gig with the Brodsky Quartet in December in London where I will sing acoustically (without a microphone that is). Im looking really forward to it. I always thought since I learned to sing acoustically that about 60% of the nuances disappear in microphones live so: FINALLY !!"

 

from dancerinthedark.de

The Union Chapel in Islington (North London) is famous for its brilliant acoustic. Concerts held here include folk, jazz, world music, classical music, indie, and much more. There have even been live albums recorded in here, for example Peter Hammill's and Guy Evans' The Union Chapel Concert (1997). The Union Chapel, built in 1876, also features an astonishing octagonal interior and a 50ft high ceiling. A mystical artefact is a section of the rock which the Pilgrim Fathers allegedly landed on when they first reached America.
Moreover, the Union Chapel Project is an organisation which houses arts projects, multicultural groups, a homelessness programme, a refugee nursery and more. Read more about it here.

Emails sent to the Ultimate Intimate and lunargirl from Andrew. source UI news archive december 16, 1999 and web archive.
BBC Radio 1 interview of Paul Cassidy, a member of the quartet
About their working relationship he says:
"...Bjork phoned up, and asked if I would make an arrangement of Hyperballad. well she was an artist that we were very much intrigued with and she's an extraordinary person so we jumped at that. and we got along extremely well and then very very gradually we developed a relationship until it got to a stage where we were playing at St. Goerges at Bristol and here at the Union Chapel in London where were doing 23 songs."
About her vocal technique he says:
"I can't think of anything like it in any form of music. She sings perfectly in tune always, which in itself is not an inconsiderable feat. And she can do things with her voice that defy belief. You know for instance in the Anchor Song at the Union Chapel, she did something that was like the depths of the ocean, like an anchor hitting the bed of the sea...everyone after that moment was just open mouthed."
Adam Sweeting, Gramophone
"Performing with Bjork propelled the quartet into quite a different dimension...Bjork astonished the Brodskys not just with her intimate knowledge of the complete works of Webern, but with her ability to mimic the bizarre vocal stylings of Meredith Monk, pioneer of socalled 'extended vocal technique'. Says Cassidy: 'Monk can do all these sort of horse noises, and Bjork just suddenly did it, she suddenly let out this noise which was earth shattering."
Links (please respect the copyrights of these sites): Bjork.com meester fly special...roarsmcg...angelfire site...Sobjork special (archive)...union chapel...Guardian review...bjork.com family tree special...
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