Autumnal Equinox Concert on Tremayne Quay

Last night, 23rd September, we joined an audience of boats to enjoy a live concert by St Kerverne Band on Tremayne Quay, Helford River. The event, organised by Groundwork, was timed to coincide with the high tide at the autumn equinox, when the moon exerts it’s strongest tidal pull and we were delighted the weather turned out well too!

Cruising up the Helford River to Tremayne Quay

The evening started with a composition by band leader Gareth Churcher, that slowly focuses the mind toward the pull of the moon, the tides, and the rotation of the earth at this point of the year when the moon comes closest to the earth. He illustrated this with layers of sound, rather as birds are heard calling down the river reaches. 

The layering was achieved not only with the scoring of the piece, but also by the location of the instrumentalists. A group of 3 trumpeters perched on the opposite side to the full band, who were on Tremayne Quay. 

Three trumpeters on the side of the Helford River

A magical moment as a voice appeared, a lone kayaker kayaked through the boats, with the singer laid flat in the front of a wooden kayak.

The Helford River was the perfect setting for this stunning Autumnal music evening described by Oliver Rackham as ‘one of the very few places in England where ancient woodland meets the sea’, the Helford River is technically a ‘ria’ (an ancient river valley that drowned when sea levels rose after the last Ice Age). Its upper reaches are an expanse of mud at low tide, while the lower branches of the sessile oaks dip into salt water at high tide. The ancient woods are remnants of wild woods that were coppiced by the earliest humans and have been continuously harvested for fuel (especially needed for the production of tin and lime) from that time until the recent past.” 

To finish, the band played traditional songs from their repertoire. What a incredible evening topped off with a sunset! Can’t until to the next concert!

Sunset on the Helford River, Autumn Equinox