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JMI Online: Drawing Life – Remembering Terezin
Wednesday 16th June 2021 | 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
PRESS PLAY AT 8PM TO WATCH
Jocelyn Pook and Suzy Klein in interview to discuss the inspiration, creative process, realisation and legacy of this moving and important compositional masterpiece.
Drawing Life: Remembering Terezin was inspired by the collection of works of art and poetry by Jewish Children who lived in the concentration camp Theresiensdadt. They can be found in the book I Never Saw Another Butterfly, named after a poem by Pavel Friedmann, a young man born in 1921 who was incarcerated at Thereseinstadt and later killed at Auschwitz.
Online launch event: 16 June 2021 – available at this page.
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Please purchase the album at www.jocelynpook.com
CD – DLRT2021CD
Download – DLRT2021D
Jocelyn Pook - Artist/Composer
Jocelyn Pook has established an international reputation as a highly original composer winning her numerous awards and nominations including a BAFTA, Golden Globe, Oliver and two British Composer Awards.
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 graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1983, where she studied the viola. She then embarked on a period of touring and recording with artists such as Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack, Laurie Anderson and PJ Harvey and as a member of the Communards.
Pook wrote the film score 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, a piece for the soundtrack to Gangs of New York directed by Martin Scorsese, and a full score for The Wife by Björn Runge, starring Jonathan Pryce, Glenn Close, and Christian Slater. 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 2018, Pook won a BAFTA for the 2017 TV film version of the stage play King Charles III written by Mike Bartlett, in addition to her original score for the stage play.
With a reputation as a composer of electro-acoustic works and music for the concert platform, Pook continues to celebrate the diversity of the human voice, touring extensively with The Jocelyn Pook Ensemble, performing repertoire from her albums and music from her film scores.
Pook won an Olivier Award for the National Theatre’s production of St Joan, in 2008, 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’s score for Adam, by National Theatre of Scotland, was an Edinburgh Fringe hit in 2017, and featured a 120-strong, international world choir of trans individuals from across the globe. Adam won a Scottish Arts Club Award, Fringe First Award, was shortlisted for Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award and won a Herald Angel Award (for Adam Kashmiry), it continues to tour, with a run at Battersea Arts Centre in September 2018.
Pook has received critical acclaim for her song cycle about mental illness, Hearing Voices, which was premiered in December 2012 by the BBC Concert Orchestra and singer Melanie Pappenheim at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. In 2015 it was reworked for chamber ensemble with performances at Tête à Tête Opera Festival, and at The Print Room Coronet, Notting Hill (2017), winning funding from Arts Council England and PRS (2017). Pook also composed and performed Anxiety Fanfare, a musical exploration of anxiety in all its forms, for choir and ensemble at: Wigmore Hall 2014, Tête à Tête Opera Festival 2015 and as a winning composer at the PRS New Music Biennial 2017 at Albermarle Music Centre, Hull and at London’s Southbank Centre.
In 2015, Pook composed the score for King Charles III, an Olivier award winning play by Mike Bartlett, which had successful runs at Almeida Theatre, Wyndham’s Theatre and on Broadway. The show has since toured the UK and Australia, and was recently made into a BBC TV film, for which she won a BAFTA for Best Original Score in 2018.
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. In 2016 she was commissioned to do another work for ENB for their production She Said, which received an Oliver award for outstanding achievement in dance.
Pook’s first opera Ingerland was commissioned and produced by ROH2 for the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio in June 2010. The BBC Proms and The King’s Singers commissioned to collaborate with the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion on a work entitled Mobile. Portraits in Absentia was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and is a collage of sound, voice, music and words woven from the messages left on her answerphone.
Pook has chaired and been a judge on various panels including the British Composer Awards, Ivor Novello Awards and BBC Proms Young Composers Competition.
Suzy Klein - Broadcast/Interviewer
Suzy Klein was born in 1975 and grew up in Maida Vale in London. She went to South Hampstead High School and then to Oxford University, where she gained First Class Honours in Music.
Suzy began broadcasting while at Oxford, with a weekly live arts show on the radio station Oxygen FM. She also wrote and directed short films. She went on to take a postgraduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism at City University in London, winning the William Hardcastle Journalism Award and travelling to Canada to work as a presenter with CBC radio and TV.
Since then, Suzy has worked across a range of TV and radio programmes, as a director and producer. Production credits include Start the Week, Close Up, Loose Ends, Music Matters and Late Review , followed by several years spent writing and producing documentaries, drama-docs and live events for BBC Classical Music Television.
Suzy moved into presenting in 2005. Having spent ten years on the other side of the camera, she stood in at the last minute for someone who had dropped out of a screentest audition. She was rewarded with a spot on the BBC4 Proms that summer.
Since then, she has anchored Proms coverage on both BBC2 and BBC4, as well as presenting music features and reviews for BBC2’s Culture Show , winning acclaim as one of The Guardian’s 25 up-and-coming cultural figures. She has co-hosted the Young Musician of the Year Final live on BBC2 and presented operas for BBC Television.
On Radio 3, Suzy presents In Tune and Music Matters as well as the Breakfast Show, ‘Afternoon on 3’ and a wide range of live concerts and events.
Suzy has done a broad range of voiceover work, from BBC1 primetime docs on Pink Floyd and The Carpenters to a three-part series on Brazil and an Arts TV series for BBC4. As well as a passion for music of all sorts, her interests include books, film and the visual arts. Since 2006, she has written for the New Statesman on everything from mobile ringtones to how a former Pogue has redefined contemporary music. She also writes features for BBC Music Magazine and The Guardian.
About Drawing Life: Remembering Terezin
Online launch event: 16 June 2021
(Humming Records) Jocelyn Pook Drawing Life: Remembering Terezin
Featuring: Melanie Pappenheim soprano & Lorin Sklamberg tenor
Inspired by the poems and drawings of the children held in the Terezín concentration camp, the song cycle Drawing Life: Remembering Terezin by the multi award-winning composer Jocelyn Pook is to be released on disc, 80 years after the establishment of the concentration camp in Terezín in November 1941.
Drawing Life: Remembering Terezín is released on Jocelyn Pook’s newly-launched label, Humming Records, at an online launch event on 16 June 2021, featuring readings, video clips and Jocelyn Pook interviewed by Suzy Klein, held in association with the Jewish Music Institute. Originally commissioned by the Jewish Music Institute in 2014 as a staged performance, this release also features brand new material created during lockdown.
Drawing Life: Remembering Terezin was inspired by the drawings and artworks of the children interned in Terezín concentration camp. These works were featured in the 1994 collection I Never Saw Another Butterfly, named after the poem by the young Pavel Friedmann who was held in the camp.
Jocelyn Pook’s song cycle is an artistic response to the testimony of Jewish survivors of Terezín covering the cruel onset of racial targeting in their separate hometowns to the agonising decisions of what to take with them, the bewildering journeys and the bitter, often farcical, time spent at the camp itself. While composing the piece, Pook also spoke to Holocaust survivor Zdenka Fantlova, after reading her book The Tin Ring.
The composition sets poems by the children to music and features voices of Terezín survivors recalling the events and giving personal testimonies, combining evocative everyday sounds of trains, whistles, and barking dogs.
Drawing Life was commissioned by the Jewish Music Institute in 2014 to mark the 70th anniversary of the disintegration of the Terezín concentration camp; after its premiere, it toured the UK in a staged production that featured video projections including survivor interviews, archive footage from the propaganda films produced inside the camp, and the drawings made by children inside the camp.
Jocelyn Pook commented:
“What shines through in these works, and also in many survivors’ testimonies, is the capacity to find hope, courage and beauty in the direst and bleakest of circumstances. It is about the human ability to find ways to nourish and strengthen the spirit even in the harshest conditions, against all the odds. This piece is, I hope, reflective without being devoid of light.”
The concentration camp at Terezín was established 80 years ago in November 1941 in the 18th-century garrison town in former Czechoslovakia. A rich cultural life was able to flourish in the camp, with musicians including Pavel Haas, Hans Krása, Alice Herz-Sommer, and Viktor Ullmann, composer of Der Kaiser von Atlantis, all inmates of the camp.
Inside Terezín, the Austrian artist and educator Friedl Dicker-Brandeis gave secret lessons to children in the camp, encouraging them to draw and paint even in captivity. Before being transported to Auschwitz, Dicker-Brandeis handed on two suitcases with 4,500 drawings now held in the collection of the Jewish Museum in Prague.
Around 150,000 Jewish people were held in Terezín before its liberation in May 1945. The camp was a transit stop on the way to Auschwitz or Bergen-Belsen. Of 15,000 children interned at the camp, only 100 survived
Jewish News, ★★★★★ : “it is quite simply one of the best Holocaust plays of recent years – but also to note the impact of watching it still haunts long after the lights come up and the performance has concluded.”
Plays To See, ★★★★ : “Drawing Life is a defiant and thought provoking piece of theatre. It refuses to adhere to any expectations other than its own, returning power to those that were stripped of everything but their creative voice.”
The Times: “Multimedia packages of music and video are ten a penny, but I can’t remember one that matched the dynamic blend and emotional appeal of Drawing Life.”