Pop Riffs: The first and latest albums bought by Jocelyn Pook
Friday 11 June 1999
Television theme tune
THIS IS a really haunting theme tune, all in French, with a little boy singing. It's a bit wet in the same way as the theme from Raymond Briggs's The Snowman. I learnt the French words phonetically. It would be my party piece in front of the grandparents. There were so many memorable television theme tunes in the Sixties and early Seventies - evocative, rich tunes. I couldn't say that it's the same now. I must only have been about six.
I'll find at parties that the people who grew up in the Sixties will start singing children's television tunes with fondness. They are easier to remember than the show's title. I haven't thought about whether the impression that they made has contributed to my choice of career. Yet, I do remember them very well, and I have kept them in my collection.
NATASHA ATLAS is an Egyptian singer, who also collaborates with Transglobal Underground. I was introduced to her after attending Peter Gabriel's Real World recording week, which invites 100 or so musicians from all over the world to record together. You can be thrown in with an African harp player and end up working on a very unusual piece. It's one of the most enjoyable things I have done as a player in recent years.
Her album has a great energy. The Arabic vocals are very melismatic, ornamental almost, and she uses a technique like yodelling. It's a cross- over album as well; there are quite a few tracks with drums, beats and bass. I was interested to see that Caroline Dale, who is a great cellist and the hands of Jacqueline du Pre in the film Hilary and Jackie, was responsible for the string arrangements.
I often play it when people come over for dinner: it's very atmospheric and energetic and we'll often end up dancing.
Jocelyn Pook composed the music for Stanley Kubrick's last film `Eyes Wide Shut'. Her `Portraits in Absentia' will be performed by Harvey Brough, Parvin Cox and Melanie Pappenheim on 25 June as part of the Fifth Islington International Festival
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