The song features the chatter of birds that sound like the Star Wars
character R2-D2. Bjork explained to Pitchfork
"I used a vinyl album of Venezuelan music I had, [Hekura–Yanomamo Shamanism From Southern Venezuela], that was recorded in the '70s - Venezuelan birds. The birds there sound completely different. They sound like R2-D2, or techno.
There's one beautiful sound that ended up in the beginning of 'The Gate,' a recording of these birds that Venezuelans believe are the ghosts of fetuses. If they have stillborns or young children that die, they think they go into the jungle and make these sounds.
They sound like '70s analog synths. It's one of my all-time favorite noises. I had sentimental feelings about that particular album. You can actually hear the scratches of the vinyl on the birds. It's a layered affinity for me."