Tar­rant fam­ily of Lawn giv­ing back with new CD

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BY COLIN FAR­RELL

A fam­ily, orig­i­nally from Lawn, are us­ing their love of mu­sic and the hol­i­day sea­son as a way to give back to their com­mu­nity.

The Tar­rant Fam­ily will use the pro­ceeds from their new CD en­ti­tled a “Tar­rant Fam­ily Christ­mas” to purchase ukule­les for Holy Name of Mary Academy, for the in­tro­duc­tion of ukulele pro­gram.

“We are hop­ing that we can get be­tween 10 and 12,” said Bob Tar­rant. “We don’t want cheap qual­ity (in­stru­ments), we want the best qual­ity, be­cause if you get some­thing that’s cheap it is frus­trat­ing for the teacher that is try­ing to (teach) it and also frus­trat­ing for the kids try­ing to keep those things in tune.”

Tar­rant, who recorded the al­bum, ex­plained that he that the CD was very much a fam­ily ef­fort.

“There’s 12 chil­dren in our fam­ily and all 12 of them are singing ei­ther lead or back-up on the CD,” Tar­rant said. “We’ve been a mu­si­cal fam­ily for many, many years.

“Our dad was a great volin player and a man­dolin player, and my mom was a great singer when she was younger as well, so gen- et­i­cally it was passed along.”

As a young girl their mother Mar­garet would per­form con­certs with her twin sis­ter Mary in Lawn and sur­round­ing ar­eas, as well father Isadore played the fid­dle and the man­dolin — he was a sta­ple at dances through­out the re­gion.

Christ­mas has al­ways been a spe­cial time of the year for the fam­ily. Tar­rant re­called grow­ing up his father Isadore Tar­rant would of­ten pro­vide the en­ter­tain­ment dur­ing gath­er­ings at his child­hood home.

“My sis­ters have been in­volved in choirs, I’ve been in­volved in choirs, they’ve been per­form­ing Christ­mas mu­sic for many, many years (but) this is the first time we’ve got it put to a CD,” he ex­plained.

Tar­rant said their father was the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind the record­ing.

“My dad and I used to per­form at all the folk fes­ti­vals and out­door events around the Burin Penin­sula,” Tar­rant said. “He al­ways wanted his chil­dren to (do), what he called it at that time — a tape to­gether — he al­ways wanted that to hap­pen but ev­ery­body was all over the place and it was pretty much an im­pos­si­ble thing to do, es­pe­cially with the cost, cause it was quite ex­pen­sive hav­ing to go into a stu­dio.”

Tar­rant ex­plained now hav­ing his own record­ing stu­dio it was a great time to bring his fathers dream to light.

“Ev­ery­body jumped on board and it took a year,” ex­plained Tar­rant to com­plete the cd. “I started last Novem­ber, and by the time you get ev­ery­body who’s out­side the com­mu­nity in to do the record­ing part of it, it took a long time but we cer­tainly punched a lot of hours at it — we got it com­pleted.”

Pro­ceeds from the sale of the CD will be in aid of the Ju­lian Ed­wards-Isadore Tar­rant Me­mo­rial Foun­da­tion.

Tar­rant and fel­low mu­si­cian Gor­don Ed­wards, also of Lawn, started the foun­da­tion in 2014.

In launch­ing the foun­da­tion the pair pro­duced a CD of un­re­leased orig­i­nal ma­te­rial en­ti­tled “The Greener Project” to purchase record­ing equip­ment for Holy Name of Mary Academy in Lawn.

“What we were do­ing is pro­mot­ing the preser­va­tion of tra­di­tional mu­sic in the com­mu­nity, so we brought a 32-track record­ing unit,” he ex­plained, “and the other part of that was for young peo­ple to be able to record their own orig­i­nal mu­sic, so we brought a com­mer­cial drum ma­chine and of course a record­ing mic.”

He said the equip­ment would also al­low town his­to­ri­ans to con­vert old au­dio­cas­sette record­ings of res­i­dents into a dig­i­tal for­mat for preser­va­tion.

“There was a while pur­pose in what we were look­ing at do­ing,” said Tar­rant, who has worked as a mu­sic teacher in the school sys­tem for 16 years. “A three prong thing re­ally, one was to help young peo­ple write and record their own mu­sic, the sec­ond part was to pre­serve cul­ture within the com­mu­nity.

“Of course the third part to just en­hance the mu­sic pro­grams in ru­ral schools, who don’t have the same re­sources that larger schools have and you try to tai­lor a pro­gram to the size of the school.”

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