|Promotional single by Björk from the album Medúlla|
|Genre||A cappella, vocal, beatboxing, avant-garde|
|Label||One Little Indian|
|Writer||Björk and Sjón|
|Producer||Björk and Mark Bell|
|Medúlla track listing|
"Oceania" is a song by Icelandic singer Björk. It was formerly planned to be the first single release from Björk's Medúlla album. Later it was just released as a promo. It was written for the 2004 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, where she performed immediately following the Parade of Nations. As with most of Medúlla, the track is composed purely of human vocals and features a London choir and Leeds-based beatboxer Shlomo. The lyrics are written by her friend, Sjón, who is an Icelandic poet and novelist. They are written in the point of view of the ocean who sings about the evolution of humans from her waters. This was the last song written and mixed for the album.
The video, directed by Lynn Fox, features a jewel-encrusted Björk in dark watery depths, with a colourful sunset and swirling floral creatures above her. Lynn Fox also made visuals for Björk's Greatest Hits Tour and the music video for "Nature Is Ancient" which is available on the greatest hits DVD Volumen as a bonus.
A re-recording of "Oceania" was featured as a B-side to the "Who Is It" single. This version features vocals by Kelis and additional lyrics she had written herself from the continent's point of view. A piano version also appeared on the DVD single, which was assisted in its creation by Nico Muhly.
At the 2004 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, where Björk performed the song for the first time, she wore a very large dress which unfolded during her performance to eventually occupy the entire stadium and showed a map of the world in sign of union.
Being a fan favorite, "Oceania", along with several other tracks from Medúlla, surfaced on the 2007-2008 Volta tour. It was first introduced on April 4 at the Laugardalshöll in Reykjavik, Iceland, where sweeping brass arrangements replaced the choral voices from the album version.
The music video directed by LynnFox, premiered on August 23. It's a sort of tour visual showing Björk with crystals encrusted on her face, standing in an underwater scene, amidst floral forms and jellyfish with liquids flowing around her while singing the song.
A different version of this video was shot especially for the Olympic Ceremony since the version used there differs from the album version.
Promo CD track listing
- "Oceania" (Remix featuring Kelis)
- Acapella Version - 3:12
- Album version
- Piano and vocal mix – 3:04
- Radio mix featuring Kelis – 2:55
- Olympic studio version – 3:14