A live audience will be able to watch PJ Harvey record the much anticipated follow up to her award winning 2011 album Let England Shake as the English musician, her band and production team will work their magic on her ninth studio effort behind one-way-mirrored glass as part of an art installation.
The living art exhibit, named Recording In Progress, will start on January 16th and continue through to February 14th at Somerset House in London. Reports The Guardian, Harvey will work again with producers Flood and John Parish, who collaborated with Harvey on the Mercury Prize-winning Let England Shake, to make the new album in what used to be the Inland Revenue’s staff gymnasium and rifle range.
Spectators will pay up to £15 (AU $28.40) for 45-minute slots to watch the recording process at various stages. The idea is reminiscent of Regurgitator‘s 2004 Band In A Bubble project, although this time the musicians and production team in the glass box won’t be able to see the onlookers. According to BBC News, tickets have already sold out.
“I want Recording in Progress to operate as if we’re an exhibition in a gallery,” Harvey said in a statement. “I hope people will see the attention and the labour and the care that goes into making a recording. I hope people will see the interactions between everyone involved.”
Arts group Artangel have been collaborating with Harvey for more than a year on the project. “It will be warts and all,” said Michael Morris, co-director of Artangel.“There will be some visitors who experience longueurs, the tuning-up of a bass guitar, the integration of a horn section. There will others there when she happens to run through a couple of songs from start to finish. It is very much a lottery.”
“The truth is none of us really know what it will be like,” he added. “Polly doesn’t know. We don’t know. We think we have an idea but I suspect we’ll be surprised when it unfolds. It is uncategorisable.” It is not yet known when the album will be released.