While we are waiting for the professional film makers to edit up their footage, here are a couple of DIY iPhone videos that capture the spirit of Winter Gathering's amazing music output
Dusk Assembly are a group of friends and musicians brought together by singer, choir leader and composer Sarah Jewell and guitarist Mark Brown. Together we explore poetry and ideas through improvisation and harmony using our voices as instruments and our instruments as voices. We create music that reflects our concerns, our passions and our gratitude for the abiding beauty of the earth and its diverse inhabitants.
‘Here is a glass of water from my well.
It tastes of rock and root and earth and rain.
It is the best I have
My only spell
And it is cold and better than champagne’
Beth Salmon, Campfire Convention community member and musical icon was brought up in a musical family in a tiny village in Rutland, Beth was surrounded by nature and music from an early age. She learned the cello and would sing with her family in church. She learned to play the guitar and began writing songs to perform in a local folk club in the village of Lyddington. At 16 she left home and moved to south London where she discovered reggae, African music and jazz which she loved.
On realising she needed more education to get work, she moved back home to attend college where she did her A levels and set up a creative Saturday school for 5-10 year olds. She majored in music and creative arts in Newcastle Upon Tyne and whilst there she performed in pubs and clubs as part of a music/comedy duo, before returning to Rutland to assist on the family farm. There, she trained as a music and drama teacher and also DJ’d in clubs, playing world dance music as there were no clubs playing the music she liked to dance to. After a few years birthing and nurturing her children, she put together a band called Natural Sweetness, gigging in and around Northampton, playing her mixture of protest songs, comedy songs, love songs and lullabies.
When her marriage broke up, she had more children and the family moved to Gambia with the intention of living more in harmony with the earth, and to record her songs and stories as teaching material in schools and for home schoolers. On relocating to Senegal, Beth wrote and sang teaching songs with the local children before returning to the UK in July 2018 and has since written many songs as therapy from the abuse she endured in a dysfunctional relationship.
Despite these experiences, her positivity shines through her music. She lived in temporary accommodation for over a year before being housed in a council house and taking a part time job as a community bus driver so that she could have plenty of time with her children. She found that playing particular solfeggio frequencies in the home and singing them, was very helpful in maintaining a calm household after some turbulent experiences in Africa. During the summer holidays in 2019, she determined to seek opportunities for her children despite having very little money.
She visited an old friend in Cornwall and ended up playing a few songs in a pub in Tintagel and was taken aback by the response. People really loved her music and she began to build her trashed confidence in her musical ability.
When she saw an internet posting about Campfire Convention’s Campout event, she determined to go there and was absolutely delighted to be offered a bursary ticket. She loved being with like-minded people who believed that we need to be more in harmony with the earth and that things really need to change in our society if we are going to survive as a species on this planet. She took her guitar with the hope of playing around the campfire and to play songs to her children. When there, she had an opportunity to play around the fire and was very happy to be showered in love when people heard her songs. When Campfire’s founder and firestarter Pete Lawrence said he would like to record her, it was "like a dream come true" for her.
This clip is from her debut live gig, at Campfire's Winter Gathering in Frome (February 16th 2020)