Thank you PJ Harvey for my New Year gift! I read in today’s Guardian she’s going to record her next album in public as part of an art installation. Excuse me as I quote extensively from the newspaper:

Polly Jean will spend four weeks creating her ninth album with her band and production team behind one-way-mirrored glass at Somerset House in London.

The Recording in Progress project will be staged in a box in a recently opened wing of the venue and has been described as “a mutating, multidimensional sound sculpture”.


Harvey’s last release, 2011’s Let England Shake, a collection of songs inspired by conflicts around the world, was her second Mercury winner, taking the prize for the best album of the year a decade after Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea was honoured.

Harvey said: “I want Recording in Progress to operate as if we’re an exhibition in a gallery. I hope visitors will be able to experience the flow and energy of the recording process.”

She will work with producers Flood and long-time collaborator John Parish to make the album in what used to be the Inland Revenue’s staff gymnasium and rifle range.

Visitors, who will pay up to £15 for 45-minute slots, will be able to watch the various stages of the process as the band work on ideas for tracks, record new parts or simply discuss how to make progress.

The project is being presented by Somerset House and the art-commissioning organisation Artangel.

The co-directors of Artangel, James Lingwood and Michael Morris, said in a statement: “The working process of a project has always been as important to us as its public presentation and here both can be fully explored and revealed at the same time.”

Recording in Progress will take place from 16 January to 14 February