11 May 2015

In memory of Jack Body, towering figure in Asia Pacific music

The Asian music community has lost a towering figure in the passing of veteran New Zealand composer Jack Body. He passed away on 10 May in Wellington.

News of his succumbing to his long fight with cancer was received with great sadness for many of us who knew and was inspired and touched by this warm, generous spirit. Body was instrumental in embracing Malaysia back into the ACL fold and in encouraging MCC to join as member in 2007-2009.

His absence will surely be sorely felt and will leave a big hole in our community.

The news was delivered by CANZ, and below is the citation penned by composer Prof John Elmsly in 2011 for Body's ACL honorary status:

"Both within the League and in his regular activities as professor of composition at Victoria University, Jack has tirelessly furthered the objectives of the League. He is a distinguished composer in his own right, and much of his internationally performed and known music has strong personal or musical connections with the music and life of Asian and Pacific countries.

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15 Minutes of Fame compositions preview in Japan

While work is under way to record and produce the short films for MCC's 15 Minutes of Fame project, a selection of the 1 minute piano works submitted by Malaysian and other ACL composers received a preview at the international contemporary music festival in Kyoto, Japan end of May.

Pianist-composer Jessica Cho was invited to perform the works as part of the festival's programme at Kyoto University of Arts at its opening concert on 31 May, 2015.

The works performed in order of appearance:
    • State of Emergency - Peter Willis
    • Pulsating Waves - Amit Weiner
    • Titik Titik - Ainolnaim Azizol
    • Water Haiku - David Hamilton
    • Patak - Maria christine Muyco
    • Composition Nr 3 - Johan Othman
    • Hydropyre - Robert Casteels
    • Night - Jessica Cho
      Cho gave a thrilling performance of the works weaving all the pieces into a continuous narrative that did not seem as if it were composed by different hands spanning the Asia Pacific, and said she received a wonderful response from the audience.

      Certainly her powerful, sometimes aggresive, other times gentle and playful, and fluid way with the brand new scores made it sound as if the compositions have been in the standard repertoire for some time now, and they certainly deserve to be.


      Listen to Cho's superb performance, courtesy of the organisers:


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      Malaysian premieres since 1995

      Here is a roundup of premieres of Malaysian works at home and abroad. Since the mid-90s Malaysian works have been performed largely abroad, ...

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