New Zealand composer, ethnomusicologist and musical entrepreneur John Stanley Body was born in 1944 at Te Aroha. He studied at Auckland University and then in Cologne and at the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht.
He lectured in Indonesia (1976-7) and at the New Zealand School of Music (1980-2009), was an expert in Asian (and particularly Indonesian) music, and collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Lontano, the Kronos Quartet, the New Zealand String Quartet and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. His work as an ethnomusicologist included editing South of the Clouds, Zhang Xingrong's field recordings of the instrumental music of South West China's minorities.
He wrote solo, chamber, orchestral, dance, film and electroacoustic works, and music theatre, but he became best known for his score for the New Zealand TV soap opera Close to Home. He was also an experimental photographer and a creator of computer-controlled sound-image installations. His experience as an entrepreneur included organising a series of Sonic Circuses - twelve hour simultaneous multi-venue music marathons featuring New Zealand music.
Shortly before his death on 10 May 2015, aged seventy, Jack Body received the last in a series of awards bestowed on him, becoming the first composer to receive a New Zealand Icon Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.