Jocelyn Pook is a subversive composer whose heart lies in the avant-garde classical world.
Jocelyn Pook is a subversive composer whose heart lies in the avant-garde classical world. A violist and co-founder of the Electra Strings, Pook is best-known for her minimalist score to Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. But in England, she works in a music theater that is often challenging, including one performance in which she torched a wax effigy of herself. That edginess marks her latest album, Untold Things, in which Pook takes listeners between worlds, effecting a surreal global classicism. Ethnic vocal samples mix with live voices, including the fragile soprano of Melanie Pappenheim, and are set in beds of strings and Western choirs. Pook uses new-age and world-music signposts to seduce us, including the gorgeous Gothic lament of "Dionysus" that opens the album. Later, she reveals a sound that's more dangerous and rewarding.—JD