PJ Harvey: ‘Carrying veil in Afghanistan was a liberating expertise’

PJ HarveyPicture copyright
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PJ Harvey has described carrying a veil, whereas filming on location in Afghanistan, as a “liberating expertise”.


The UK singer’s new movie, A Canine Known as Cash, examines the making of her hit album, The Hope Demolition Undertaking.

It sees Harvey and director Seamus Murphy journey to the Islamic republic, in addition to Kosovo and Washington DC.


“You realize there was nothing about me that was ‘PJ Harvey’ in any respect. I used to be only a lady’s pair of eyes,” she instructed BBC Radio 6 Music.

“Carrying a veil as a girl there was very attention-grabbing to me,” she defined.

PJ Harvey scores first primary albumListen: PJ Harvey and Seamus Murphy interview with Miranda Sawyer

“As a result of I hadn’t actually performed that earlier than.

“The way it virtually feels just a little bit like a masks and in doing so frees you as a result of no person may see me or I used to be simply searching of a small space of my face, and it freed me to be totally within the second.”

The 2016 file gave the 50-year-old her first primary LP and was nominated for the perfect different music album prize on the following 12 months’s Grammys.

Now the characteristic documentary captures Harvey and Murphy’s encounters with individuals on their travels, and the distinctive recording of the album they impressed – as a stay sound-sculpture at London’s Somerset Home.

Talking to broadcaster and author Miranda Sawyer on her 6 Music present, Sound and Imaginative and prescient, Harvey mentioned her favorite piece of filming by award-winning photographer Murphy, concerned her strolling anonymously by way of the streets of Afghanistan carrying the standard Muslim head scarf.

“I simply bear in mind it so effectively – that extraordinary feeling of newness. I would by no means been right here earlier than. And likewise it took away every part I would shaped of myself thus far as an individual – if that is smart – as a result of I used to be in a state of affairs I would by no means been in and fully lined,” she added.

“And loads of the time I used to be mistaken for an Afghan.

“Different Afghan ladies would speak to me as a result of all they might see was my eyes – and I’ve bought fairly darkish eyes. It is only a sense of totally being in a spot and nothing else however the second you are in. That is why that shot specifically means so much to me.”

Creative freedom

Other than her personal movie, which is out on eight November, Harvey additionally spoke of the equally “liberating” expertise of composing soundtracks for TV sequence like Peaky Blinders and Shane Meadows’ new drama The Virtues, as effectively her work on the theatre manufacturing, All About Eve.

“Many of the music that I take heed to are soundtrack compositions now,” mentioned the singer-songwriter, whose full title is Polly Jean Harvey.

“That is what I fall in love with. I believe that is the place a number of the most enjoyable music is occurring in the meanwhile.”

“It is what excites me essentially the most,” she went on, “I assumed Thom Yorke’s soundtrack for [horror film] Suspiria was a number of the finest work he is ever performed – it was wonderful and I can see the way it’s moved him into a special space now as a musician.”

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