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Jocelyn Pook
1964 -
Great Britain
Picture
J. Pook
Jocelyn Pook (14/02/1960), a female British composer, born in London. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama after which she toured with the Communards for 3 years and co-founded Electra Strings. During this time she not only performed for pop sessions and TV, but was composing music for film and theatre. Her music for DV8 Physical Theatre's Music for strange fish won the Prix Italia award in 1994. Also in that year Jocelyn wrote Deluge commissioned by the Canadian Dance Company O Vertigo. Her musical score attracted much critical acclaim and attention, with Blow the wind southerly being chosen as the music for all the recent Orange TV adverts.
Requiem aeternam
Period:Modernism
Composed in:1997
Musical form:song
Text/libretto:Latin
Duration:4'
Label(s):Virgin 7243 8 48150
A song from the cd Flood, for solo instrumental / vocal. Duration: 4'. On Flood, we join British composer Jocelyn Pook as witnesses to a catastrophe, transfixed by its totality, muted by its incalculable human toll. Pook's faintly beautiful, profoundly sad music is all that hovers above her ashen, apocalyptic landscapes, one we dare not survey too long, it seems, lest we suffer the fate of Lot's wife. Pook's ability to summon such imagery--via patient, edgy, atmospheric use of voice, strings (viola, violins, cello), and electronics--is what led film director Stanley Kubrick to invite Pook's participation on the original soundtrack for Eyes Wide Shut. First released in 1997, Flood contains two selections that were modified for the film: "Migrations," a hypnotic work with Middle Eastern textures and Persian vocalists, heard during the film's orgy scenes, and "Masked Ball," where Pook achieves an ominous effect by playing the chants of Romanian priests in reverse. The album's most arresting work may be "Oppenheimer," an evolving, multicultural choral requiem prefaced by a reflection on Hindu scripture spoken Robert Oppenheimer, an inventor of the atomic bomb. It is affectingly reprised in the album's haunting final track. A bleak and somber work, and an utterly absorbing one.
Blow the wind: Pie Jesu
Period:Modernism
Composed in:1997
Musical form:song
Text/libretto:Latin
Label(s):Virgin 7243 8 48150
Pook says she was inspired by the end of the millennium as she composed the original material --- not just this millennium, but the one 1000 years ago as well. There was "Y1K" phobia of a sort back then, and Pook has used old and present fears as the basis for some apocalyptic sound-crafting. She combines disparate elements together to striking effect. Most strikingly, a track called "Oppenheimer" combines the recorded chant of a Yemenite Jew with a "real time" performance by Pook and Pappenheim of a Requiem Mass; J.R. Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, reminisces (almost fondly?) about his creation at the beginning of the track. It's creepy, but beautiful stuff. Even creepier is "Masked Ball," which used to be "Backwards Priests"; it was renamed because this music was used in "Eyes Wide Shut"'s orgy scene. The simple device of chanting male voices run backwards puts me in mind of a Black Mass. Even the beloved English contralto Kathleen Ferrier appears on Flood; phrases from her recording of the English song "Blow the Wind Southerly" are alternated with a "Pie Jesu" sung by Pappenheim. I'm not sure what it represents, but it sounds good. "Goya's Nightmare" is a disturbing stew of vocals, strings, and exotic instrumentation. If you've seen Goya's late paintings, you know how scary they can be, and Pook's music lives up to the title.
For futher information: see above Requiem aeternam.
Requiem
Period:21st century
Composed in:2003
Musical form:free
Text/libretto:Latin mass + English texts
Duration:30'
Requiem for mezzo soprano and tenor, written for the Darshan Singh Buller's 'Requiem' performed by Phoenix Dance Company 2003.
Seven movements:
- Mall Ambient 3:38
- Walking in the Mall 4:23
- Line Walking 6:07
- The Thief 2:46
- Family Section 8:51
- Requiem Aeternam 3:57
- In Paradisum 2:10