Jocelyn was commissioned by the Jewish Music Institute to create a new musical work. Drawing Life is inspired by poems and drawings from the book ‘I Never Saw Another Butterfly’, created by child inmates held in Terezin concentration camp by the Nazis. Jocelyn will work closely with dramaturge Emma Bernard to create a staged musical piece, an emotionally moving and educational addition to the creative canon of works reminding us of the destructive potential of man’s inhumanity to man.
The production will feature two vocal soloists – Melanie Pappenheim and Lorin Sklamberg (lead-singer of the Grammy-winning New York group The Klezmatics) – alongside Sophie Solomon (violin), Laura Moody (cello), Kate Shortt (cello), Susi Evans (clarinet) and Ian Watson (accordian). It will also use projected video, created by Serbian visual artist Dragan Aleksic, combining children’s drawings juxtaposed with survivor interviews, archive photographs and Nazi propaganda films made inside the camp.
Jocelyn Pook: “When asked to make a piece inspired by the poems and drawings of Terezin’s children, I accepted without hesitation. I had seen some of these works in the Jewish Museum in Prague several years ago, and it had a profound effect on me. What shines through in these works, and also in many survivors’ testimonies, is the capacity in people to find hope and beauty in the direst and bleakest of circumstances and the inventive, creative ways of doing this. I was also touched to read of countless individual acts of kindness and bravery from all sides. This piece will, I hope, be reflective without being devoid of light. It is about the human ability to find ways to nourish the spirit even in the harshest conditions. It is about the positive impact of creativity against all the odds.”
The first preview of Drawing Life took place at Jewish Book Week on 22 February 2014.
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