PJ Harvey Begins First Day of Recording In Public Exhibit
When PJ Harvey and collaborators ArtAngel announced that the English singer-songwriter would be letting fans see her record her next and ninth album in real time, they warned fans that the exhibit would give insight into every aspect of the recording process – even the seemingly mundane.
The exhibit, ‘Recording In Progress,’ opened to the public today (Jan. 16), allowing groups of fans -- in 45-minute intervals -- to watch Harvey collaborate with producers Flood and John Parish and fellow musicians through a one-way glass at the Somerset House in London. Witnesses said that on day one of recording, Harvey and collaborators seemed to be working on a song called ‘Near the Memorials to Vietnam and Lincoln.’
The Guardian reported that Harvey was heard saying, "I think the bit about the alien children would be good there," and asking, "Could you all sing like you're somebody else?"
Those in attendance said they saw Harvey play violin, harmonica and hurdy-gurdy. They also were able to read lyrics as Harvey worked on them, scribbling them on to the glass.
“The majority of the track had already been recorded – we saw violin being recorded over aspects of it,” one exhibit-goer told NME.
Another person in attendance told NME what they heard sounded “really similar to her previous album [‘Let England Shake’].” And as noted, the experience was nothing like going to see PJ Harvey – or any other artist – live.
“It was like a gallery or art installation, rather than going to see a performer,” another witness said.
Harvey’s ‘Recording in Progress’ will run through Feb. 14.