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Wild Music CD – talking about conservation

26 July 2004

Wild Music CD – a new way of talking about conservation

DOC and Concert FM announce the release of ‘Wild Music,’ a CD of classical music, featuring the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hamish McKeich, to raise public awareness of conservation.

‘Wild Music' features music by New Zealand composers Christopher Marshall and Douglas Lilburn, as well as Tchaikovsky, Dvorák, Elgar, Saint-Saëns, de Falla, and MacCunn.

The project was conceived by DOC ecologist Eric Dorfman and Concert FM Production Manager Kate Mead. Concert FM is a network of Radio New Zealand.

“We are looking for ways to reach new audiences with key conservation messages,” Dr Dorfamn said today.

“We’re committed to people, now and future generations, appreciating and enjoying the natural world, and giving support conservation generally. This is partly because without a level of support, we can only achieve a fraction of possible conservation outcomes. But even more important, we all share a moral obligation to conserve our natural heritage.”

“New Zealand is incredibly special, because of the way it was formed, as well as its long history of isolation. Its landscape is unique and most of its species occur nowhere else in the world. New Zealand is also very vulnerable for many of the same reasons.”

“The pieces of music collected in this CD have been enjoyed in three different centuries, and point to a timeless message: the environment does not belong to humankind, rather we belong to it. When Kate and I embarked on this project, our goal was to encourage the public to engage with nature on a personal level through something that went beyond the fact sheets and brochures people are used to,” Dr Dorfman said.

Kate Mead: “It's important for Concert FM to collaborate with organisations who also preserve this country's heritage. DOC's responsibilities to nature and history, and Concert FM's to culture resonate in Wild Music. We've loved working with DOC and trust the respect inherent in our messages will be clear to listeners.”

Each work on “Wild Music” is chosen to illustrate a different conservation issue.

For instance, the introduction of pest fish, an escalating problem in New Zealand waterways, is highlighted by “Aquarium,” a miniature for two pianos and orchestra from Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals.

Pest fish, such as goldfish, koi carp, and others, damage New Zealand waterways by eating the eggs and young of other fish and stirring up sediment, making it difficult for native fish and plants to survive. People can help keep waterways free of these species by keeping only native fish and plants in their ponds, washing their boats and trailers after use, and not releasing introduced species into our waterways.

Other issues featured on ‘Wild Music’ include feral cats, alpine conservation, fire and island conservation.

‘Wild Music’ is being launched by the HRL Morrison Music Trust on the Trust Records label (MMT2059). The CD packaging is beautifully presented using images by New Zealand artist Shane Cotton.

‘Wild Music’ will be launched on the 5th of August in Wellington by Radio New Zealand broadcaster Kim Hill, and the Honourable Chris Carter, Minister of Conservation.

‘Wild Music’ will be available for sale in CD stores.


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