“This tunnel has enabled thousands of sounds,” Björk sings in “Mouth Mantra.” “I thank this trunk—noise pipe.” The song is an ode to her own throat, so it makes sense that most of the music video for “Mouth Mantra,” off last winter’s stirring Vulnicura, was filmed there. The result is five minutes of squeamish close-ups of the singer’s teeth, tonsils, and tongue, as well as tight shots of her lipstick-stained teeth and dance sequences in which ribbons trail her thrashing limbs.
Director Jesse Kanda evidently spent about a year making “high-tech mouth models” and inventing special cameras for the video. In a statement to Dazed, he calls the process “as much a terrifying horrific experience as it was pure ecstasy,” which just about sums up what it’s like to watch.
Björk also issued a statement to Dazed which, frankly, deserves to be quoted in full:
“i am so extremely grateful to jesse to be up for going on this journey …. it was brave of him to take it on and i feel spoiled having witnessed him grow , making hi tech mouth models and inventing cameras all to match a little therapeutic song about the throat . his dedication and devotion is overwhelming !!!
i am especially grateful for those sassy dancefloor moments we managed to squeeze in there aswell : true magic !!”
True magic, indeed. The “Mouth Mantra” video will be released, along with those for “Black Lake” and “Stonemilker,” on the singer’s forthcoming virtual reality app.