Keep Schtumm, but there’s something about Box.
December 15, 2013. No comments.
As a Bath-born child, I knew it as “that place with the funny name and the long tunnel you go through when you are on the train to London”.
Or “the place when you know you are nearly home cos you go through a very long tunnel”. Anyway, “Box” and “Tunnel” were like sausage and mash.
Then when I was a young adult it was the place where Peter Gabriel lived… and sometimes you could spot his studios from the train.
Little did I know that this peaceful Wiltshire village would turn out to be a hub of creativity and fun, and that I would get to be a part of it. (They also have a really cool cinema and brew a rather good ale but that’s for another blog).
Schtumm Jamboree is an amazing project. A meeting of musicians in a ‘secret location’, who quickly become a musical family and real friends. One of the ‘rules’ is that everyone leaves their ego at the door, and it’s all voluntary. Oh and the village gets a jolly good show just before Christmas.
Big cheers and huge respect to Mr Rob Bozas who came up with the following recipe: (I quote) “30 musicians from all over the world, Italy, France, Senegal, Finland, England, Wales, Canada, Israel, Sweden and the independent republic of Clydesdale. Then get some bloke from the local pub with a rather big HiFi, some lights and a stage. Give them 72 hours to write new material from Scratch, get to know one another, and then an afternoon to stitch the show together…. then its Showtime…. “
How it happens I don’t know…nobody really knows! But it does. I had my first taste last year. It’s intense, exhausting and extremely rewarding. Let’s not pretend the brief doesn’t have a degree of pressure! Two and a half days to write about 26 songs – mostly with people you have never met before, and then a day to get them in shape to perform live. Mike (bass) describes it as “Only achievable with some amazing and very special people”.
This time I had to dip in and out due to other commitments but managed to rustle up a spot of harp on a lovely ballad and despite being more fit for a hot toddy and bed, had a fantastic evening that I didn’t want to end.
As the ‘bloke from the local pub’ aka sound legend Dean Crieghton would say, there was a lot of love in the room. I was uplifted, moved and extremely proud to witness old friends and new collaborating, creating and performing. There were songs in Wolof, Swedish, Hebrew and English this year! I’m still buzzing. Here’s a link to the live stream http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/41677275
So it is, that I now know that Box is home to more than a tunnel. It is home to an amazing musical world, and some great human beings full of energy, passion and heart.
And that is something I feel very privileged to be able to take a part in.