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Photographer, musicians and expert support elephant charity

Photography, music and wildlife experts have joined together their talents to create a breathtaking combination of eye-catching images, evocative music and knowledgeable insight in the form of a unique book entitled Harmony for Elephants.

Harmony for Elephants is a newly-released book with an accompanying album of specially written music. This music, donated to the project by musicians, including ex-Genesis band members Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips, has been created to share the message about conservation charity Elephants for Africa and the work they do with elephants in Botswana. Combining photography, music and words, the exclusive production aims to showcase how these elephants can live in harmony with humans.

Harmony for Elephants is a joint project between professional wildlife photographer and biologist Mrs Lesley Wood and Dr Kate Evans, biologist, elephant researcher and founder and director of the charity Elephants for Africa. The project also receives forewords and notes from England cricketer Mark Ramprakash and the charity’s patron Nick Knowles. Lesley and Kate first talked about publishing a book about elephants together back in 2010 and since then the concept has grown and developed into the amazing book and music project that it is today.

Lesley explained: “The aim of the project was to publish a beautiful fine art book about elephants and elephant conservation with its own CD album of music specially written for this project, recorded and donated by several world-renowned musicians including ex-Genesis band members, Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips. We achieved that and orders have come flooding in for it. We’re obviously delighted.”

The book is available both as an A4 sized unlimited standard edition and also as an A3 sized boxed limited edition version, which come with a specially produced signed and numbered limited edition fine art companion print. The limited edition books are signed by Lesley and/or Kate, and some of them have also been signed by the musicians involved, making them extremely sought after by collectors. Both editions of the book have an accompanying CD album of music composed specially for the project. The project synopsis can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/OZDp_ORT5Ps

A Kickstarter project helped to raise the funds that were needed to publish both versions of the book and produce the accompanying music album. To complete the project, 164 backers pledged £23,816 to help bring this project to life. The resulting book is a stunning combination of Lesley’s beautiful fine art elephant photography and Kate’s compelling writing, giving her expert insight into elephant biology and behaviour. It will take the reader on a journey through the lifecycle of the African elephant, babies, juveniles, adolescents, adulthood and old age, and the challenges faced by them.

Dr Kate Evans said: “Along with the accompanying album of music, the book is a breathtaking combination of eye-catching photography, knowledgeable insight and evocative music. This has been an extremely exciting project and we hope that this book along with its music will be a real indulgence for the senses. The book includes facts and statistics about elephants and short comments from local stakeholders in Botswana about their thoughts and experiences with elephants in their daily lives, and how they are working hard to live peacefully alongside their local elephant population. This special collection of music truly is a ‘Live Aid’ for elephants, music written by famous musicians to be the voice for elephants and give an audio companion to Lesley’s beautiful images of wild elephants.”

The album of music that accompanies the book is a compilation specially composed for this project and donated by a selection of world-renowned musicians. The music ranges from dramatic prog rock to evocative instrumental pieces to orchestral scores worthy of any box office record breaking film. Each track beautifully signifies elephants, their life and the challenges they face.

Legendary ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett describes why he wanted to get involved: “I’m so very proud to take part artistically in this wonderful Elephants for Africa campaign. We’ve seen too much wanton destruction. These extraordinary intelligent living giants are an important part of Earth’s incredible inheritance.”

Multi-instrumentalist talent Anthony Phillips, who founded Genesis alongside Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford, was also delighted to be part of the campaign, adding: ‘Elephants are the gentle giants of the land, just as whales are to the sea. Beautiful, noble creatures they grace the planet and are no threat to mankind – and yet left to his own devices man will see them as good as extinct within 20 years. Being involved in this project gives me in a small way a chance to help to highlight the elephants’ plight, especially through the lens of Lesley Wood’s camera with her stunning photographs, which capture their mighty, yet essentially peaceful nature.”

Other renowned musicians involved in the project include Nick Magnus, Brendan Eyre, Nad Sylvan, Rob Townsend, Amanda Lehmann, Andy Tillison, Tony Patterson, Dale Newman, Anna Madsen and Andy Neve who composed the music for the ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ awards.

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