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News - Jocelyn Pook New Works

Jocelyn Pook is collaborating with singer Melanie Pappenheim and director Emma Bernard on a new piece for H7STERIA with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

  Photo by Hugo Glendinning
Hearing Voices is inspired by Jocelyn's great aunt, Phyllis Williams, who spent much of her life in an asylum struggling to make sense of the voices she heard and writing her experiences in a series of diaries and notebooks. The work will be premiered on December 3 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at London’s Southbank Centre.

Hearing Voices uses the testimony of five women across different generations who have all been diagnosed with a mental illness. Melanie Pappenheim will duet live with these women’s words, protests and laughter drawn from a mixture of recorded testimony and written texts. The work uses the words of artists Bobby Baker and Julie McNamara, Jocelyn’s relatives Phyllis Williams and Mary Pook, and the seamstress Agnes Richter — who stitched cryptic texts into a jacket she wore in a German asylum, at the turn of the last century.

Hearing Voices will be performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall on December 3 and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. For tickets and more information, visit

DESH is a full length solo from celebrated choreographer and performer, Akram Khan, inspired by his homeland of Bangladesh. DESH is one of Khan’s most personal works, as he seeks to reconnect with his cultural roots. 

Reflecting on life in Bangladesh, Khan portrays several characters familiar in daily Bangladeshi culture through his own body and voice. For this solo performance, he has teamed up with Oscar-winning Chinese visual artist Tim Yip (production designer for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”), fellow Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist and lighting designer Michael Hulls, Indian writer and poet Karthika Nair, Olivier Award-winning composer Jocelyn Pook and British slam poet Polar Bear. 

DESH will explore the idea of transformation — of body, land, identity and memory, while examining the contradictions of Khan’s own British-Asian identity. In Khan’s own words: “I am searching for a story that addresses both the tragedy and comedy of life in Bangladesh.”

The work is currently on a world tour, with dates in December:

December 5, 6, 7, 9, 10: Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens. 
Purchase tickets

December 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31 & Jan. 2 2013: Théatre de la Ville, Paris. 
Purchase tickets

DESH has recently been shortlisted for a 2012 British Composer Award.

The CD soundtrack will be officially released by Pook Music on December 3, 2012.
Pook Music is distributed in the UK by Select Music and Video Distribution Ltd., and in the USA through Naxos USA.

Featuring singers Melanie Pappenheim, Sohini Alam, Natacha Atlas, Labik Kamal, Jeremy Schonfield, Tanja Tzarovska and Jocelyn Pook.
Viola, violin and piano played by Jocelyn Pook.
Cello played by Sophie Harris.
Dotara played by Labik Kamal.

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