PJ Harvey was selected as one of the holiday guest editors for the BBC Radio 4 program "Today" and just worked on a 3-hour-long segment that featured Julian Assange, Ralph Fiennes, journalist John Pilger, former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams and Shaker Aamer, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee.
"I saw it as an opportunity to do try to do something unusual with the format and the content of the program," Harvey said early in the broadcast. She added that she agreed to curate the broadcast under the condition that the BBC would not edit any of her contributors without their consent. "I've come to realize that a great deal of its content is about censorship in one way or another," Harvey said. "I wanted to let them be heard in a manner of their choosing."
The musician sounds like a veteran radio host during the program. On her website, she explains how the process to choose guests and subject matter took place before the show, and she shares how it was unique for her as a musician:
"As ideas for titles and topics to be discussed took shape, many poems and songs came into my mind. For me, music and poetry can be as persuasive and as powerful as a fine speaker and a fine speech. You will hear songs and poems supporting and highlighting the content of this programme."
It appears that the experience she had working on the show was a meaningful one for Harvey, and her specific background played a roll in how she approached it.
"As an artist, I try to make sense of the world through my work. I just try to get something down - look at it up close, from different angles. These people, these voices, help me make sense of it all."
Listen to the entire 180-minute program here.