Vale Jack Body, New Zealand Composer & Arts Foundation Icon

Jack Body, New Zealand Composer, in 2004

Jack Body, New Zealand Composer, in 2004

I was very sorry to hear yesterday of Jack Body's passing, in Wellington; he was a New Zealand composer of great talent (though he'd never admit to it himself), but also boundless energy and irresistible enthusiasm. Whenever I saw him, he always had a project on the go currently, and invariable one or two more waiting in the wings for when he had a free moment. (I honestly have no idea how he found time to write music, as well!)

As I mentioned just a week or so ago, I photographed Jack in 2004 for the Arts Foundation of New Zealand; there were many images to choose from out of his shoot, so here are a few more that never saw the light of day.

Jack was incredibly honoured to be receiving the Laureate Award, and quite surprised too, I think. He would I'm sure have protested that there were other, more worthy recipients than himself; he was always more focussed on his collaborators than his own contributions to the culture. Here are a few images from the presentation of Jack's Laureate award, later in 2004.

Of course, I also saw Jack on a number of other occasions - mostly around events in the New Zealand International Arts Festival - and in 2008 he asked if I would photograph a production called The Seven Age Of Man by the gamelan orchestra he worked with at Victoria University in Wellington, Gamelan Padhang Moncar. Naturally I was delighted to help - here are a few images from that shoot, including Jack at work as a director, and a number of his regular co-conspirators.

When Jack retired from Victoria University in 2009, they threw him a party - well, more of a concert, really - and called it Gong Crazy, appropriately enough.  A number of people who had worked with him over the years (which is to say, everyone) turned out to celebrate his time there. I took a few images on a small rangefinder that night, too.

But of course there are many other occasions when I've run into Jack, backstage, side of stage, out in the audience or at the party after an event - so I'll try to pull together some of those images here. (I'm sure there are many more I just haven't found yet, but I'll add them when I do.)

Rest well, Jack - and I'm certain many others you've influenced along the way will carry on in your spirit.