More than a bridge builder
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Citation:Gong, H. (2015). More than a bridge builder. In Shennan, J., Whitehead, G., and Askew.S. (Eds.). Jack! Celebrating Jack Body, Composer., (pp.35-40). Wellington: Steele Roberts Aotearoa. ISBN 9781927242735
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3054
For around thirty years, from the early 1980s to the present day, Jack Body has been the single most powerful force in the introduction of China's multi-faceted musical culture to New Zealand. As far as I can now reconstruct the sequence, Jack came to 'discover' Chinese music through Chinese composers; he came to Chinese composers through a preoccupation with sounds. Jack's acquaintance with Chinese music started in the early 1980s, if not earlier, when, as a co-organiser of the Asia Pacific Festival and Composers' Conference, he invited Chinese composers from Taiwan (Hsu Tsang Houei), the United States of America (Chou Wenchung) and the People's Republic of China (Qu Wei and Ye Xiaogang) to Wellington. A most original composer, Jack'sapproach to Chinese music is intuitive rather than cerebral. He looked at China from three different perspectives: first, his fascination with Asian traditional music and the contemporary compositional scene, which led him to conduct extended fieldwork in China's south and north-west and to have frequent contact with Chinese composers of different generations and diaspora; second, his interest in ethnomusicology, which enabled him to accumulate the data that would engender creative outputs; and third, his love of documenting, which would add an archival dimension to his efforts.