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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:43 pm 
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Just finished. Well, 'reverent' is barely adequate for the programme's approach. It's as though everyone involved is in the presence of a combination of Mozart and the Virgin Mary. If she wasn't the humble person she is it would almost be unbearable. It's brilliant for us, but I don't know what on earth the general public would make of it.

The strong implication is that Polly isn't even considering making traditional-form album music in the future. The music we do hear is very beautiful, I think, although the piano part of 'The Sandman' does remind me of 'Silence'.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:00 pm 
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I really enjoyed the documentary, very well done. Also, I'm in love with the excerpts of her scores from all the different theatre productions (especially with the one with Kenrick's freestyle drumming!), I hope an anthology of these will one day be released.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:04 pm 
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0002g8h


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:48 pm 
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Downloadable from here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p070ldw7

Companion page which distills some of the points and quotes from the program:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articl ... -pj-harvey


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:11 am 
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short videos of the 2 songs from PJ's official Instagram:
"The Moth":
https://www.instagram.com/p/BtvxdMYHkvs/
"The Sandman":
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bti1NJjnUio/


From https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/5SqMdwgvymZslrLRKCvWJkv/how-to-write-a-song-with-pj-harvey:

"How to write a song with PJ Harvey
Considered to be one of the greatest films of all time, the classic 1950’s melodrama All About Eve deals with fatigues of fame, the destructive nature of power and the prejudices of age when it comes to female performers. So, it appears to be the perfect piece of entertainment to revive in these image obsessed, fame hungry times.
Acclaimed director Ivo van Hove’s new production, starring Gillian Anderson and Lily James in the roles made famous by Bette Davies and Anne Baxter, is one of the most highly anticipated theatrical events of 2019. But there’s another reason to get excited for this stage adaptation.

PJ Harvey, the only artist to win the Mercury Prize twice, has not only written the score for the production, but has also penned two brand new songs for the show’s stars to sing. And John Wilson watched Polly Jean create these original pieces, revealing her own distinct process when it comes to making music. Here are just some of the elements she uses when creating a song…"


"1. Stay old school
Despite the immediacy and ease associated with modern, digital recoding, Polly still likes to use some decidedly old school equipment when it comes to making demos. These include a huge array of analogue instruments plus a creaky Tascam cassette four-track recorder: “I love the sonic glue that it gives things. It’s got a hiss and has character.”

Lily James on stage in All About Eve. (Photo credit: Jan Versweyveld)
It’s become the foundation of my character, the root. It’s been so instrumental in how I found out who Eve is.
Lily James on PJ Harvey's song for Eve

2. Move quickly
Once she has been inspired and has worked out the basic elements of the song, Polly writes and records demos incredibly quickly, for a very particular reason. “I can’t stand faffing about. You’ve just got to get it done. You’re finding your way through by listening and feeling and after a couple of takes you’ve lost that. You start getting too precise and all of the soul goes out of it.”

3. Explore the outer limits
Once a song is shown to work in its simplest form, Polly feels it’s important to try more left-field ideas and elements to develop it further. Whilst developing the score for All About Eve, she encouraged a drummer to cut loose: “We got him to do a free jazz solo over the entire track – It was absolutely mad. It was so exciting. The whole building was shaking. It was unbelievable. It was beautiful.”

4. Make it a story
The songs created for All About Eve aren’t just there for entertainment, but provide a vital window to the nature of the characters on stage, and compliment their story. This narrative approach has always been important to PJ Harvey’s songwriting: “I’ve always loved stories. Loved narrative. So to make the music reflect the narrative and match it perfectly at that moment… when you do start getting that right, it’s a great feeling.”

5. Trust your gut
Polly approached the play’s director Ivo van Hove about collaborating, but discovered he wasn’t willing to offer specific instructions for the music. “I realised quite quickly he’s a man of few adjectives,” she told John Wilson, “I was trying to get a feel of what he wanted. But then it seemed to me that he wanted me to go with my gut.”

Polly has always travelled outside of her comfort zone when it comes to her career and her songs, trying out new approaches and ventures while using her instincts for navigation. “I’ve done this half my life. Do I want to continue this way or do I want to try something different?... I think a lot of it is having that faith to tune in and listen to that gut instinct.”

6. Be influenced

Julian Ovenden and Gillian Anderson on stage in All About Eve (Image credit: Jan Versweyveld)

Franz Liszt’s Liebesträume plays an important part in the film version of All About Eve, with the main character becoming slightly obsessed with the song. Rather than use the piece in the play, Polly intended to write a new song for the character, Margo Channing (played by Gillian Anderson), to sing on stage. But rather than move away from the Liszt piece, she made it an integral part of the song.

“I proposed to Ivo that I would start by looking closely at Liebesträume – I then decided I was only going to work in the keys that it’s in. And then there are certain motifs in the piece that I just reference. There’s a double hit on the piano, a staccato piece, glissandos… I wouldn’t copy them because I can’t. I can’t play them. So I’m riffing on Liszt.”

7. Set them free
When she is making music for her own albums, Polly has full control. But when she is collaborating and writing songs for others to perform, as with All About Eve, then she knows she has to allow the performers to add their own stamp on her creations.

“As a songwriter, you write the song. But the moment it leaves you, it no longer needs you and it becomes its own. It moves away from you. And I’ve watched that little song that I made move away from me and become their characters’ song.”



I downloaded the program (128 kbps) from the BBC and uploaded it here for posterity:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/vpcc4qee815l4xy/Seriously-20190212-BehindTheScenesPJHarvey.mp3/file

The most interesting bit for us fans occurs at 07:53:

John Wilson: "..finished that 2 year tour, honored the commitments. Is that the end of one part of your creative life?
Polly: "I feel like you can never lay hard lines down like that. I think you just have to go with the moment and right now I have enormous pleasure writing scores for theater"

I think she's being cagey, but it's pretty clear she's done with the whole touring with a band as PJ Harvey thing. :down:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:57 pm 
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DrDark wrote:
I think she's being cagey, but it's pretty clear she's done with the whole touring with a band as PJ Harvey thing. :down:


Sure but let's not forget she said similar things about how touring with a rock band doesn't excite her anymore back in 2005 or so. Not saying she'll be back doing festivals next year, but she's a born performer, I can't imagine her spending the rest of her life just quietly scoring theatre plays or publishing poetry. Maybe the White Chalk 'tour' model is the way to go for her in the future, even if it's only financially viable when she's doing it solo. Maybe small residencies, maybe some combined poetry/music events?

There was such an excitement in her voice when they were recording the piece for All About Eve with the band, she's doesn't seem to be 'done' with music. She's not retiring yet.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:31 pm 
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TheNightingale wrote:
There was such an excitement in her voice ... she doesn't seem to be 'done' with music


There was, wasn't there? I was ever so slightly dismayed at first, because what she's done with the album format is unprecedented and the last three albums have been such titanic achievements I can't believe there's nothing left for her to say. But then I reflected that what she's doing with this play - using the characters as a means of lifting off into something else - isn't so very different from what she's been doing since at least Is This Desire?, but doing it within a different form. Who would have thought that this was where her genius would lead? Probably not Polly herself. I suppose the creative origins of each of the last three albums overlapped with the one before, so that there has been in a sense a single movement that led her through all that time and, with Hope Six done, she may not have been sure where to go next for the first time in a dozen years or more. And then this project turns up, opening a door into something else, because it's not mere soundtrack-writing but generating something new with the material she's given to illustrate. Does that make any sort of sense?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:31 pm 
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AineteEkaterini wrote:
Does that make any sort of sense?


Yeah, I pretty much agree. One more thing that came to my mind while listening to that radio documentary was the concept of major change happening cyclically in her career. I remember her referring to To Bring You My Love as a 'major change album' in the White Chalk EPK (i.e. dissolving the trio, expanding her sound, changing up her songwriting). She also said that WC, 12 years later, was another record like that. Well, here we are 12 years after White Chalk and it seems that she's ready to go to the next level again. Whatever comes next will probably be a surprise -- but then again, back in 2004 nobody imagined Polly performing solo shows on the piano or writing songs about war and geopolitics.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:39 pm 
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DrDark wrote:
short videos (...)
Thanks! Very interesting

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https://www.tribute-pj-harvey.com


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:28 pm 
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TheNightingale wrote:
DrDark wrote:
I think she's being cagey, but it's pretty clear she's done with the whole touring with a band as PJ Harvey thing. :down:


Sure but let's not forget she said similar things about how touring with a rock band doesn't excite her anymore back in 2005 or so. Not saying she'll be back doing festivals next year, but she's a born performer, I can't imagine her spending the rest of her life just quietly scoring theatre plays or publishing poetry. Maybe the White Chalk 'tour' model is the way to go for her in the future, even if it's only financially viable when she's doing it solo. Maybe small residencies, maybe some combined poetry/music events?

There was such an excitement in her voice when they were recording the piece for All About Eve with the band, she's doesn't seem to be 'done' with music. She's not retiring yet.


Exactly.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:52 pm 
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I will start to fear she's going to retire only and if she ever mentions she feels there are no more things for her to explore, and it doesn't seem the case so far. Quite the opposite, I'd say. I think her remarks are more concerned with the visual aspect of performing than anything else, really.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:12 pm 
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All About Eve soundtrack will be available on 12 April :grin:

2 songs are here to listen already :shocked:

https://pitchfork.com/news/pj-harvey-shares-2-new-songs-from-all-about-eve-play-listen/


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:28 pm 
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So soon! Great!

Image

01 Becoming
02 Shimmer
03 The Sandman [ft. Gillian Anderson]
04 Waltz
05 Descending
06 Lieben
07 Ascending
08 Cadenza
09 The Moth [ft. Lily James]
10 Träume
11 Arpeggio Waltz
12 Change in C

I didn't expect a full-length album to come out of this, but I'm very excited.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:18 am 
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https://www.amazon.com/All-About-Eve-Original-Music/dp/B07QD2GYDZ/

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:14 am 
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Cheers for those. Nice we're getting the album!


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