Film and Tv
Speaking in Tunes (2002)
Funded by the National Touring Programme
Performance for String Quartet and mulit-screen video projections, made in 2002.
Chester Music Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
1 Hours 15 Minutes
Speaking in Tunes (2002)
A classic quartet, four women, four witnesses. Speaking in Tunes is inspired by everyday sounds that become woven into the music of a string quartet as they take off on a journey driven by their thoughts, memories and dreams. Brilliant film landscapes are mixed with fragments of interviews about music, performing, and the course of life. Falling carpets and junk shop violins, stories, a collage of notes, movement and shadows; portraits of the musicians and the inner workings of a string quartet in a performance that crosses theatre, music, and visual art. A glimpse of the passion, drive and circumstance that brings these performers together on stage. Pook's 'Speaking in Tunes' is a captivating performance where inciting visual effects, a marvellous score and four authoritative personalities meet on stage, creating a multi-faceted and theatrical account of the creative process behind the making of music.
16 MAY 2002
Speaking in Tunes
17 May - ICA, London
19 May - Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds
22 May - QEH Theatre, Bristol
23 May - The Phoenix, Exeter
24 May - Chesterfield, the Arts Centre
25 May - Unity Theatre, Liverpool
26 May - Square Chapel, Halifax
Jocelyn Pook and her fellow musicians - all female, all doucely garbed in professional black - are playing Schubert (I think). Side-screens flank them with projected images of an elegant interior, heightening the sense of a rarefied pursuit, practised by other-worldly types. But then a page turns . . . and the scores they're following are all blank. Whereupon Pook and her colleagues embark on a delicious reality check that is funny and touching, full of everyday banalities and sudden bursts of "why I do this" openness that reveal something about the individuals, yes, but also pinpoint and celebrate music as a transforming force. Pook's own music is a powerful and persuasive witness to that: there's something blissfully re-assuring about the lush, romantic tunefulness that swirls through the piece. Loveliest of all is how she treats the women's own recorded voices like another instrument to be orchestrated...By allowing us insights into the ordinary aspects of their lives, they move us by the sheer beauty and opulence of their music-making. An experience to treasure.
Mary Brenan, The Herald,2/20/2004
The musical use of language did the rounds of both the amusing and the tragicomic… The pulse was soft and minimalist. Melting, cohesive and musical in its repetitions and developments. Here the theme of repetition…was brought to life… With a mixture of recorded and live sound, the performance delivered just the kind of talking music that the title Speaking in Tunes promised.
Thomas Michelsen, Politiken,6/5/2003
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