Culture Briefing— Global


A round of the best books, films and music.

The nomenclature of war

Odyssey what? When it comes to choosing a label for military operations, what’s in a name?
By Robert Bound

“Odyssey Dawn” it is, then. If you listen to the political rhetoric about Libya you’ll hear that “no one wants another Iraq”. Sure, no one wants a 12-year no-fly zone followed by a war, a country split between tribal and religious difference and a simmering feeling that things might have been better under the rule of a luxuriantly moustachioed despot, after all. But you’d never know that from the names of the military…


Keren Ann



How and where did you make the record?
I had a few songs ready, but I often start from scratch when I’m in the studio, so many of the songs were just ideas. I recorded a bit in Paris, Tel-Aviv, New York and Reykjavik: wherever other projects took me.

Does each of those places leave its mark on the sound or lyrics?
I think a specific room can be heard in a recording, you may recognise the high ceilings of one studio, the walls of the other… It’s all in there, at least I feel it.

Do you write as you record or is it all done in your head and ready to go?
Both. Some songs require hours with just a guitar or piano, others get built while producing. “My name is Trouble” took 15 minutes to write with just a guitar, but producing it was the constructive, fun part.

What kicks off the writing process? Are you disciplined or a dilettante?
I need to be able to write at all times. This morning I flew in from New York to Paris and had to go directly to the studio to write and produce a song.

Nice look on the cover. What’s going on with the gun?
Thanks! I wanted a strong image that could be both a gangster and a poet. Writing gives me the freedom to find an aesthetic aspect to certain objects that don’t seem appealing.


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