24 Apr 2018

Jack BODY: Three Transcriptions

From Music Alive, 7:30 pm on 24 April 2018
Behn Quartet

Behn Quartet Photo: Ben Russell


New Zealand composer Jack Body had a unique interest in the musics of other cultures and he developed a very personal way of transcribing and interpreting what he heard.  Each of his Three Transcriptions shares a dialogue between a distinct musical tradition Jack had encountered, and, the string quartet representing the western art music tradition.

Jack travelled to China to record folk music in 1986 and the first of the three pieces 'Long-ge' transforms music originally played on a Chinese Jew’s (or jaws) harp in the Yi region of Southwest China.  The second movement 'Ramandriana', reimagines Maroranzana, from Madagascar playing bamboo tube zithers called valiha. And the third movement, 'Ratschenita', brings to life an excited 7/8 dance by the Varna Folk dance Group from the Shops area of Bulgaria.

Jack Body wrote Three Transcriptions for the Kronos Quartet in 1988 and credited the work as giving him his big ‘break’.

Recorded for RNZ Concert in Nelson Centre of Musical Arts

Engineer: Bob Bickerton