Composer - Body, Jack

Pain in the Arse (NZTrio commission, premiered March 2012) – 8′

Fire in the belly (NZTrio commission, premiered September 2007) – 7′ 

O CAMBODIA (NZTrio commission, premiered March 2011) – 20′

Two Blues: John Lee’s Pluck and Mary Lou’s Dream (arranged for piano trio)

Rainforest II for piano trio

Jangkrik Genggong (piano trio and gamelan)

Nocturne (cello and piano)


Pain in the Arse:

A few years ago, the Kronos Quartet told me an amusing story. As they descended in a hotel lift on their way to rehearse a piece of mine, one member of the quartet asked another, ‘Oh, did you remember to bring the Body Parts?’ A startled silence fell on the other passengers in the lift…Well, parts of the body are a rich source of metaphor. Hence the concept for this trio, to which yet more movements will be added as time passes.

First came Fire in the Belly, commissioned by NZTrio in 2007. The new movement, completed in February 2012, is Pain in the Arse, that annoying someone or something that causes us extreme irritation or frustration. But there are also literal meanings: rectal pain caused by a fissure, an abscess, infection, or most commonly, by haemorrhoids… actually, I find the business of composing ‘a bit of a pain’, meaning that it’s hard work! On the other hand, the rewards in the end can make it all worthwhile – such as having my music performed by the dedicated and wonderfully spirited NZTrio!


Fire in the Belly:

Fire in the belly is that energy that impels us to do things, make things, and to act with urgency and a sense of necessity. It is one important source of creative energy, and without it art can be flaccid and dull. It is what teenagers tend to have a lot of, and what aged folk like me need to try to recapture from time to time!

The work was commissioned by NZTrio with funding from Creative NZ, “and I was delighted to receive this invitation from an ensemble which has such a fantastic commitment to NZ music.”


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