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Anthony Phillips - Anthony Phillips & Harry Williamson: Tarka CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips


Symphonic Prog

3.49 | 50 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars File under easy listening

"Tarka" is based on the book "Tarka the otter" by Henry Williamson. The music was apparently originally written as the soundtrack to the film based on the book, but was never used. Thus, it took about 11 years from the album's conception, to its eventual release.

The album is actually credited to Anthony Phillips and Harry Williamson (the son of the author of the book) as a joint project, rather than just to Phillips alone. In truth however, their contribution is largely swamped by the lush orchestration, which transforms the whole album into a quasi-classical piece. The classical connection is accentuated by the fact the album consists of four long pieces, or movements.

It sounds to me as if the basic tracks have been laid down first, mainly on acoustic guitar, then orchestrated later. This may in reality not be the case(!), but the balance leans heavily towards the orchestra. The playing of Phillips and Williams is therefore further back in the mix than might be expected.

The music is pleasant if generally under-whelming, with lots of appropriate running water "plinking" on the keyboards and guitar. It is the sort of music that is nice to put on in the background. For those hoping to hear traces of Phillips brief time with Genesis, only the familiar acoustic guitar style gives even a hint of this.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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