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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    With 8-page booklet including extracts from the letters and photographs from the journeys.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Blue Letters From Tanganyika via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      £7.50 GBP or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      £4.50 GBP  or more




A "powerfully cinematic" (South Wales Echo) orchestral portrait of wild East Africa

25p from each album sale will be donated to health and education charities working in Tanzania.

Blue Letters from Tanganyika is a bright, energetic piece inspired by the adventures of a young woman travelling in East Africa: John's mother.

During nearly 2 years spent overseeing schools in an area of Tanzania the size of England, she wrote over 70 letters home describing wild animal encounters, exotic landscapes and countless tales of danger, bravery and the ‘everyday life’ of a totally unfamiliar environment.

Forty years after her return, her son John Hardy was commissioned by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to write this piece, which they performed at 5 concerts and broadcast several times on BBC Radio 3.

Full of exuberant African colours, this beautiful recording by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Grant Llewellyn captures an exotic world of sweltering wild terrain, dangerous journeys through lion country and the calm of twilight over the great lake.

"The rhythmically charged, open and immediately engaging music is bright and colourful while still managing to evoke the African landscape"
Pwyll ap Siôn, Gramophone Magazine

"Powerfully cinematic"
Gavin Allen, South Wales Echo

4 stars **** "Four colourful, finely crafted movements"
Phil Sommerich, Classical Music Magazine

'masterpiece of creation... an extraordinary piece of history'
Roy Noble, BBC Radio Wales

"Colourful, filmic, and open to pleasurable listening at a single sitting"
Howard Smith, Music & Vision

"The tears fell with the pleasure of hearing it again"
audience member


released May 1, 2009

Composed John Hardy
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Grant Llewellyn



all rights reserved


John Hardy Cardiff, UK

John Hardy is an acclaimed composer whose music has been described as 'utterly engrossing' and 'unique' by the Guardian, 'witty' by the Independent, 'gripping and intensely theatrical' by Opera Now and 'energetic, instinctive' by The Times.

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