Jocelyn Pook is one of the UK’s most versatile composers, having written extensively for stage, screen, opera house and concert hall.
Often remembered for her film score to Eyes Wide Shut, which won her a Chicago Film Award and a Golden Globe nomination, Pook has worked with some of the world’s leading directors, musicians, artists and arts institutions – including Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, the Royal Opera House, BBC Proms, Andrew Motion, Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack and Laurie Anderson.
Pook has also written film scores to Michael Radford’s The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino, which featured the voice of countertenor Andreas Scholl and was nominated for a Classical Brit Award. Other notable film scores include Brick Lane directed by Sarah Gavron, L'Emploi Du Temps directed by Laurent Cantet and a piece for the soundtrack to Gangs of New York directed by Martin Scorsese.
Pook won an Olivier Award for the National Theatre’s production of St Joan, and for her music-theatre piece Speaking in Tunes she won a British Composer Award. She won a second British Composer Award for her soundtrack to DESH, which accompanies Akram Khan’s dance production of the same name. Pook has also composed scores for television shows and commercials, and was nominated for a BAFTA for Channel 4’s The Government Inspector (Dir: Peter Kosminsky).
In 2014 Pook composed the score for a new dance piece Lest We Forget choreographed by Akram Khan for English National Ballet to mark the centenary of the First World War, as well as the score for King Charles III, a new play by Mike Bartlett being performed at Wyndham’s Theatre, London and which will transfer to Broadway New York later this year.
The Jocelyn Pook Ensemble’s wide ranging repertoire features music from her album Untold Things, as well as selections from some of her film and television scores. Notoriously difficult to classify, these works contain a fusion of times and cultures – mixing strings and vocals from a classical tradition with medieval instruments, talking drums and found sounds (Yemenite chants, birdsong, children’s playground chatter). Jocelyn brings together singers from different backgrounds – mixing foreign languages with invented words as well as voices running backwards – to create an eclectic soundscape.
Adding to the sense of disorientation, Jocelyn has collaborated with visual artist Dragan Aleksic to incorporate a strong visual element to the performances. For a concert in Venice, Aleksic created Tides – a multi-layer video projection mixing previously shot footage with the live transmission of a burning wax effigy of the composer, installed outside the theatre. Sound and visuals combined to create an experience that has been described as mysterious, beautiful and haunting.