Artist News

PJ Harvey to become official war songwriter?

By | Published on Monday 14 February 2011

PJ Harvey

The Head Of Collections at the Imperial War Museum has said he will propose to the museum’s management committee that they approach PJ Harvey about her becoming an official war correspondent songwriter, documenting conflicts involving the British army through verse and song.

The museum’s Roger Tolson was responding to an interview Harvey gave to Radio 4 talking about her new album ‘Let England Shake’, which was inspired by two and half years of research into military conflicts.

Harvey said: “I started wondering where the officially appointed war songwriter was. You have got your war artists, like Steve McQueen, and your war photographers. I fantasised that I had been appointed this official songwriter and so I almost took on that challenge for myself”.

In 2006, Steve McQueen (the British artist, not the legendary Hollywood actor, obviously) went to Iraq as part of the Imperial War Museum’s official war artists’ programme, producing the work ‘Queen And Country’ as a result.

Responding to the Radio 4 comments, Tolson told The Guardian: “We are certainly interested in working with PJ Harvey. It is something we can take forward as we have never commissioned anybody in that capacity. We have never sent a musician out to a conflict zone”.