Tribute to Tarka country

THE timeless 1928 tale Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson has inspired his son Harry to compose and perform a musical tribute to two distinctive ecological regions. The regions, a world apart, are North Devon - renowned for generations as Tarka Country

THE timeless 1928 tale Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson has inspired his son Harry to compose and perform a musical tribute to two distinctive ecological regions.

The regions, a world apart, are North Devon - renowned for generations as Tarka Country and now home to the UK's first new style UNESCO Biosphere Reserve - and the Mornington Peninsula Biosphere Reserve in Victoria, Southern Australia.

Harry, who composed the Tarka symphony with former Genesis guitarist, Anthony Phillips, will be in North Devon next month filming images for an Australian collaborative project 'Precious Music, Precious Water,' featuring the world premiere live performance of Tarka in 2010.

The Tarka symphony, in three movements, follows the life cycle of an otter and the flow of water through the 'country of the two rivers,' the precious North Devon landscape.


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"This collaborative project is a tribute to the outstanding natural beauty of these two very different biospheres. My main aim is to draw people's attention to the inestimable value of such areas," said Harry. "My father's magical descriptions of the natural world have opened the eyes of so many to the beauty of England's West Country. I hope our music continues to inspire more generations of people, around the globe."

Andy Bell, North Devon's Biosphere Reserve Co-ordinator, said:"Rivers link the countryside to the coast and sea. The borders of North Devon's Biosphere Reserve are largely defined by river catchments and Harry's work reminds us all of the importance of water and its role in our culture and heritage. We hope that the Tarka symphony can be heard in the Biosphere Reserve in the near future.

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