DANCE & THEATRE
Jocelyn began her career in experimental theatre and dance, both as a performer with Impact Theatre Co-operative and Lumière and Son and then as a composer with DV8 Physical Theatre and O Vertigo Danse.
She has since worked with a number of artists and companies including: Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Company, Pete Brooks, Bobby Baker, Jane Dudley, Gillian Lacey, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Wayne MacGregor (for his BBC2 short film, Horizone).
In 2003 she received a British Composer Award (Multi-Media) for the music-theatre piece Speaking in Tunes, a collaboration with visual artist Dragan Aleksic and director Graeme Miller. In 2008 Jocelyn received a further accolade, winning an Olivier Award (Best Music and Sound Design) for the critically acclaimed National Theatre production of St Joan, starring Anne-Marie Duff.
Jocelyn wrote the music for a production of Macbeth at the Globe Theatre directed by Iqbal Khan featuring Tara Fitzgerald and Ray Fearon.
With singer Melanie Pappenheim, musicians Belinda Sykes,
Laura Moody and Ansuman Biswas and the voice of Voya Zivkovic.
King Charles III (2014)
King Charles III, released in 2017 with a critically acclaimed score by Jocelyn Pook, was a television film adapted by Mike Bartlett from his play of the same name. It was directed by Rupert Goold, director of the original play, and starred most of the play's original cast including Tim Pigott-Smith as Charles (filmed before Pigott- Smith's death on 7 April 2017 and released posthumously). The “provocative and controversial” (Huffington Post) play is based on the premise of Prince Charles ascending to the throne and the ensuing drama of the King’s defence of the British media. The original play premiered at the Almeida Theatre, London in 2014 before transferring to the West End and Broadway. It was named Best New Play at the 2015 Olivier Awards, won the Theatre Award at the Sky Arts Awards and Best New Play at the 2014 Critics’ Circle Awards. The TV film was broadcast on 10 May 2017 on BBC Two in the UK, before being broadcast on 14 May 2017 on PBS Masterpiece in the US.
Jocelyn Pook won her first BAFTA TV Craft Award for her film score to the Drama Republic/BBC Two movie King Charles III.
Lest We Forget (Dust) 2014
Jocelyn created the score for a new dance piece choreographed by Akram Khan for English National Ballet marking the centenary of the First World War. Her source material includes an archive recording of Edward Dwyer, a corporal in the British army. In 1916, Dwyer was recorded talking about his life as a soldier and singing a marching song, ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here,’ invented by soldiers. He was killed in action later that year, making the scratchy archive recording even more poignant. In Jocelyn’s piece, the voice of counter-tenor Jonathan Peter Kenny acts as a counterpoint to the recording of Dwyer singing. Her works will be performed by the English National Ballet orchestra.
Lest We Forget included commissions by award-winning British contemporary choreographers Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and up-and-coming classical ballet choreographer Liam Scarlett reflecting the moving and powerful impact of the First World War on those setting off to fight and those left behind.
Following the success of their award-winning collaboration DESH, Jocelyn worked with Akram Khan again for a new production, iTMOi (in the mind of igor). Jocelyn Pook and fellow composers Nitin Sawhney and Ben Frost created an original score to commemorate the centenary of Igor Stravinsky’s seminal ballet The Rite of Spring, which was performed exactly 100 years after the original, riotous premiere in Paris.
The Rite of Spring caused uproar when it opened at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913, due to the avant-garde nature of Stravinsky’s music, Vaslav Nijinsky’s anarchic choreography and Nicholas Roerich’s vibrant costumes and stage designs. The work depicts a pagan ritual – an imaginary ancient tribe sacrifices a young virgin to appease the god of spring, by forcing her to dance herself to death.
iTMOi forms part of a Stravinsky-led trilogy of works at Sadler’s Wells entitled A String of Rites. The piece received its world premiere at MC2: Grenoble in France, where Khan is an Associate Artist in a special co-operation with Sadler’s Wells.
Bench, by Jennifer Muller (2013)
Bench by Jennifer Muller is inspired by the film An Inconvenient Truth, by the former presidential candidate Al Gore and includes impressive film images. Muller’s choreography is about guilt and grace and depicts the ecological devastation of the earth as a consequence of destructive human behaviour. It’s a work of enchanting beauty that will not fail to move audiences.
Bench, a new choreography by Jennifer Muller, was set to 11 of Jocelyn’s works and toured in Holland and Belgium as part of MODERNE MEISJES.
In the sparkling programme MODERNE MEISJES, Introdans presented three ‘grand old ladies’ of American dance: Lucinda Childs, Jennifer Muller and Twyla Tharp.
In 2011, Jocelyn collaborated with Akram Khan on his new project, DESH (homeland), creating a “musical score that surprises at every turn, mixing found material from field trips in Bangladesh with lyrical chants and hymns” (Luke Jennings, The Observer).
“We began in the capital, Dhaka, a place full to bursting with vividness of life and colour. All around there were teetering piles of freight pushed on bicycles, tangles of wires overhead and a loud soundtrack to all this chaos and hustle and bustle of human toil: bells and hoots, car horns, ship sirens, clanks and clashes of metal in the shipyard; then in quieter moments, the sound of children singing, and the gentle squealing of hungry river otters.”
This is a visceral and evocative collection that moves from fragile, intimate works to large scale orchestral pieces, lifting rhythms from the urban chaos captured in Jocelyn’s field recordings. Featuring the singers Melanie Pappenheim, Sohini Alam, Natacha Atlas and Tanja Tzaragoza, the work includes Jocelyn’s piece, Hallelujah, described by one critic as “so beautiful it could break your heart” (The Times).
This album of the soundtrack to DESH, composed by Jocelyn, is available to buy through jocelynpook.com – click the PayPal button below to reserve your copy.
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DESH is a new full-length contemporary solo and the most personal work to date from celebrated choreographer and performer, Akram Khan. DESH meaning ‘homeland’ in Bengali, draws multiple tales of land, nation, resistance and convergence into the body and voice of one man trying to find his balance in an unstable world. www.akramkhancompany.net
Featuring singers Melanie Pappenheim, Sohini Alam, Natacha Atlas, Labik Kamal, Jeremy Schonfield, Tanja Tzarovska, Jocelyn Pook
Viola violin piano Jocelyn Pook
Cello Sophie Harris
Dotara Labik Kamal
Bulgarian orchestra recorded at Graffitti Studio, Sofia
Score preparation Jon Opstad and Ayanna Witter-Johnson
All music composed and arranged by Jocelyn Pook except:
07 Ami Opar Hoye by Lalon Shah arr. Jocelyn Pook
06 Ave Maria composed by Jocelyn Pook/Natacha Atlas
Music produced by Jocelyn Pook and Steve Parr
Recorded and mixed by Steve Parr
Out of Water (2012)
Jocelyn composed a sound-score for Out of Water.
The singers are out of breath
The swimmers are out of their depth
At Holkham Beach in Norfolk the sea glistens mirage-like in the distance. In the early morning light a group of singers and swimmers strike out towards the water’s edge until they span the wide expanse of beach. They each look towards the sea, eyes intent, focused on the horizon, searching for something. Is somebody lost at sea?
Created by Helen Paris and Caroline Wright. Stories of endeavour, of swimming, of sinking, interweave with haunting music, lifeguard drills, calls for help and struggles for breath.
Out of Water was part of the London 2012 Festival. It can next be seen on Portobello Beach, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, from 8-10 August 2014.
King john (2006)
King John, believed to be written around the 1590s, is one of Shakespeare’s least performed plays. The story explores inheritance and illegitimacy and the subsequent political deals and struggle for power.
In 2006, director Josie Rourke brought the play back to the Swan Theatre, with Richard McCabe in the title role and Tamsin Greig as Constance, mother of the doomed Arthur.