Mindfulness for Children in Stroud – Visit 01

Last Tuesday (1st October 2019) I performed some music at an after-school group – Mindfulness for Children in Stroud. A space for children around Stroud to relax after a day at school, to get creative, to learn about mindfulness through meditation and yoga and a place for them to be themselves and socialise with other children around their age. The children really seemed to enjoy having live music being performed, the first song – Patience – they all sat watching in silence. Here’s a little video clip taken by the group coordinator – Alice Lowrie;

It was so much fun. I met Alice at a campsite near St Davids, both her family and mine were camping on the same field, my Mum being quite a social person brought us together. Alice and her partner were intrigued by my music so I performed a few songs for them and their children. We exchanged Facebook contacts and kept in touch. I then noticed she organised this group and messaged asking if she ever wanted some music, I’d love to play!

Any excuse to go back to Stroud really, I love the place. I was originally recommend to go their by a Monk friend of mine – Keli – from Cardiff “Stroud is the best place in the world … (on a Saturday)”, and Keli has travelled all across India, so Stroud must be something special! Turns out it is – I love it! The first time I busked there a woman yelled at me whilst I was playing “Come every Saturday! Stroud needs your music!” – ha! That was on the 7th of September, I’ve been every Saturday since (except 28th September cause I was in Carmarthen).

The Mindfulness session started with a circle time, a chance to introduce ourselves and share what our favourite instruments were. A jar of golden glitter indicated who’s turn it was to speak. Then I spoke about what I do – I’m a street musician, a busker, I play music on the streets for people and sometimes people share a smile or some money. Followed by questions, but not really questions, turns out all the children and their parents were buskers too! They were all so overjoyed to put their hands up and make up stories about how they busked with violins or that they go busking with their Dad. It was more of a ‘Strouds Busker Meet-up’ group aha. It was brilliant.

After a few songs, the children got excited to doodle on the CD cases I brought with me. I continued playing whilst they ran off to sketch cats and rainbows and their own faces. A chorus of felt-tips scratching on cardboard accompanied the music, with the random outbursts of laughter and animal noises. I slowed right down and went as quiet as I could at one point, no-one was talking, just concentrating on their designs and the felt-tips scratching filled the room, it was quite a magical moment, I recorded the session and this song is available (send me an email if you’d like to hear =]).

mindfulness stroud

One boy, Ronnie sat right beside me as I played. Every time I finished a song he would ask “Can you do that again?”. Ahhh it was just brilliant, we all had such a nice time and Alice insisted that I come again to play. I’m hoping to bring my friend Theone along for some Maefield improvisation 🙂

Its such a nice group for the children to come after school, relax, be themselves and socialise with other children. The leader Alice is amazing, she’s doing an incredible thing for these children!

Be sure to check the Facebook page out and follow their journey, maybe you’re from Stroud and are looking for a group like this! Or maybe you’re also a travelling musician and would like to play an event like this! 🙂

Go go go – www.facebook.com/mindfulchildStroud


Thank you for reading my words and following this journey.

If you’d like to support it further you can join me on Patreon. A subscription platform, where you donate a price of your choice, rewarded with different benefits, like exclusive tracks and postcards. Link below;

www.patreon.com/chatfield 

Download music here; – chatfield.bandcamp.com

Find me on Facebook and Instagram – @basschatfield

Subscribe to my YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/BassJamesUK

My TEDx talk – https://youtu.be/Eu-KJ1Z10Fk

Online Tips – paypal.me/jameschatfeld

Have a great day!

The ‘Pantyrathro International Hostel’ gig!

On the 27th of September I played a concert at The ‘Pantyrathro International Hostel’. Which is in South Wales, near Carmarthen. I stayed here a couple times this summer (2019), and connected really well with the owner – Ken Knuckles. Ken is an avid traveller and spent his childhood travelling with his family, then as an adult would travel across the world for 6 months at a time. We conversed a lot about travelling, it was incredible to hear his stories and he’s a great story teller. When Ken travelled, the internet wasn’t super prominent like it is now, so most of the time he didn’t know exactly what to expect from the places he visited. I’ve made this a habit to not look into too much detail about the places I’m going, to allow the unknown to surprise. I feel always knowing too much information can ruin it at times.

Every time I visited this hostel I would always meet new characters and connect with people from all walks of life, one of the may joys a hostel brings. Hostels for sure take introverts our their comfort zone, but it builds your ability to socialise and hold conversation. There’s always so much to be learnt by conversing with new people, we’ve all got lessons and stories to benefit one another. – a blog post about this Hostel


So after walking into the hostel with my guitars on my back, those at the bar asked me to play a song – they liked those songs – we booked the gig. The great thing about having a portable set-up means you can play on demand, anywhere. The great thing about music, you can fit it into almost any environment and provide entertainment and value to people, as music is cleansing for the soul in numerous ways.

We promoted the gig on local Facebook groups and flyers around the town. The turn out was 6 people, but it was amazing, it really was. Feeling rather nervous about the show, as I hadn’t properly gigged in some time. I feel like I don’t gig often, but that maybe because I felt too many fails from organising shows, spending so much time on building a set of songs specific to the gig, and no-one turning up but myself and the staff – ha! I guess it’s part of the trade, you just got to keep on gigging. So this time around I didn’t solely spend my time writing a new set of songs or postpone busking to practice for the gig, I just continued busking and noted any improvisations to revisit for the gig. So my set list contained a lot of instrumental songs with looping and space for improvisation. I did include a couple of songs with vocals, here’s one;

Which is actually one of the first songs I wrote with this dual guitar set-up. Back when I jumped into the trio of vocals/guitar/bass, part of me wishes I just stuck that out and kept on writing with vocals, but once again those moments of failure pushed me down. But I’m learning to just accept failure, ignore judgement and do that which makes me happy. So I have been writing with vocals more these past few months, I yet have any completed songs, but I’m on the verge of finishing a few.

With only a small crowd of people it allowed for conversations and connections to be made with ease. At times we had group discussions about travel, certain song stories and their confidence in me to travel the world and perform to many thousands in the future – who knows what will happen! It was full of laughter and smiling, which made it more comforting to play and feel good in myself. Taking the time to look up and share eye contact with everyone during a song really helps settle those nerves. Ken said he noticed how when I smiled whilst performing, everyone else would begin to smile, an infectious feeling. Smile at strangers more – it can highly impact someones day. 

I met Paul and Deborah, who we’re so kind to offer a place to stay whenever I visited Haverfordwest, even if they’re away I can camp in their garden, well that’s just brilliant 🙂 The following day they gave me a bag of goodies, as I reminded them of their son. Very lovely people. I met Paul (another Paul – Paul WS) during the day of the gig, rehearsing upstairs in the hostel, Paul walked past then asked if he could sit in, “sure!“, he videoed a few tracks and took pictures.  When I finished a song he said “You’ve just played the soundtrack to my life“. He told me his story and the journey he’s currently embarking, which is tough going. I won’t go into specifics as it’s personal, but he’s been through hell, and yet his optimism on life is inspiring. Walking across Wales has healed his mind and soul massively, we went for a sunrise walk the morning after the gig.

“Depth over distance, every time…” – Ben Howard


Following the conversations with Paul WS, I wrote a track ‘Freeze Frame’. Here’s the idea behind that phrase from Paul WS;

“Freeze Frame” – Paul WS. We only have today, each day brings a whole collection of moments, a series of frames, just like a film. Take a snippet, one frame of each day and freeze it in your mind. That way of capturing the good moments, allows you to go back and hold gratitude, it aids you out of the darkness because there are always going to be good moments, even if for just that single frame.

You can really learn a lot from conversations – converse more with strangers and dive into questions 🙂


Lessons learnt from the gig;

  • Talking with an audience isn’t actually that terrifying when you just be yourself and open up. Eye contact helps, so does a smile – do it more.
  • Singing works, keep practising and keep song writing.
  • Early mornings outdoors gifts energy for the day.
  • Music is healing and holds a meaning to each individual. Don’t stop gifting it to the world#

Thank you for reading my words and following this journey.

If you’d like to support it further you can join me on Patreon. A subscription platform, where you donate a price of your choice, rewarded with different benefits, like exclusive tracks and postcards. Link below;

www.patreon.com/chatfield 

Download music here; – chatfield.bandcamp.com

Find me on Facebook and Instagram – @basschatfield

Subscribe to my YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/BassJamesUK

My TEDx talk – https://youtu.be/Eu-KJ1Z10Fk

Online Tips – paypal.me/jameschatfeld

Have a great day!

Taking you Outside the Inside Shopping Centre with Busking

Busking inside a shopping centre – Merry Hill, a high street within a claustrophobic complex. I’ve never really liked spending time here as the lack of fresh air always makes me uncomfortable, and I really don’t like shopping, I have no desire in consumerism, I feel I don’t need anything new, I basically spend my money on food and travel. But it’s a placed I’ve always loved to play music in; a) to see how long I’d manage to play before getting kicked out by security and b) to see what the reverb would be like inside. So when I got an invite to come busk here, definitely. But there was the internal debate, like ahhh, I hate that place, but I love music, can you rid hate of something by bringing what you love into it? Turns out, yes you can.

Maybe that could work in another context like, ‘Ahhh I hate this job, but I have a love for conversation and learning new things’ – start having conversations with everyone at work, even your managers and find out new information about them or what they know. The daily ‘Three New Things I Learnt About This World in a Workplace I Hate’ quest……….? The Lunch Break Podcast inside….x company. Lessons Learnt From the Workplace of Hell.                  – #tangent

So it wasn’t technically what busking is defined as, because there was a payment upfront for the performance. I wasn’t allowed to have a case out for coin drops, but I was allowed to display my CD box, which I had to hide by the side of me, it was barely noticeable. But people still found a way to give me a coin or two, they didn’t even ask if I was collecting, they were just determined to gift me something. Which is absolutely fascinating, people are incredible and when they feel something gives them value they want to show it with a physical gift, a natural instinct to give back to something that’s gifted them in some shape or form. People would come from a distance with a coin in hand, flying and seeking a place to drop it, (like when you try feed a baby, spoon like a plane, zooming around to land in the mouth) eventually the CD box hidden beside me, then a “thank you, it sounds lovely in here”, walking off smiling.

So really, it was just like busking, with that magic ripple affect of positivity that street music brings. People walking past smiling, stopping and swinging their hips, starting a street party in a shopping centre. Old men eating sandwiches and applauding each song, smiling and giving the good ole thumbs up. Babies and children totally mesmerised by the weird blue box that’s making sound, their parents pulling up beside the music and watching their child smile and laugh. It’s amazing their bodies dance like they’re not in control, a natural instinct to the music.

What was truly amazing, within the first couple of songs a woman, Nina and her Mum stood watching smiling massively. Nina bought a CD and later sent this message via Instagram;

When this happens, when music creates an effect like this, it’s truly amazing. I feel so grateful that our paths crossed and this connection was made. These little moments add up to big change, and it fuels my belief that I’m doing something good for this world, it makes me never want to stop and only grow it and keep on giving music to the world. So that’s my plan – don’t stop.

A little clip of some looping I did towards the end of the day, which was 3pm – 9pm.

Shopping centres like this, just like High Streets are designed for people to come and buy things, encouraging and installing consumerism on those that wonder it. Why I’ve always loved street art and busking, is because it’s totally contrasting to that, it fills a need that we all have, an artistic, creative and somewhat in-explainable need, it gives without expecting anything in return. It allows people to step out of their world and into a moment, one that could last for just a few seconds, but it politely interrupts their day. This is why I’ve always felt busking is important in any high street, and what ultimately fuels me to continue, to give strangers those kind of moments of relaxation, taking their mind someplace else.

I feel this project within Merry Hill is so important for shopping centres like this. Personally I feel somewhat trapped inside the place at times, like I can’t escape the one-thousand half-price discounts or bright lights or temptations to buy a million things. So a spontaneous event where a musician or artist is sharing their talents and creating these little moments to take you outside the inside shopping centre – well that’s just magic. I’d love to see this happen more frequently in shopping centres, maybe this blog post could be a gateway into a conversation to start a regular project within them. Maybe it could grow to really add value to the centres and a place for musicians and artists to earn part of their living by giving their talents to the thousands who wonder through these centres.

Ultimately I thoroughly enjoyed the experience to play here. A new experience and a new place to bring music to, one that has filled my mind with many more ideas. One which involves playing music fairly loud while being pushed around a supermarket in a trolley, utterly stupid, but fun. Bringing music to new environments to see how it affects people, which currently on my journey so far, has seemed to affect people in a positive and beautiful way.

I shall continue…

 

Thank you for reading this post 🙂

Wishing you a wonderful day! 🙂

Rules to Self #1

1.1.

Compose music

1.2.

Busk and gig with original music

1.3.

Document the journey that music takes you on

1.4.

Share good words with music and the stories

1.5.

Find beautiful things and share them with the world

1.6.

Inspire others to pursue their own passions

1.7.

Help others on their journeys

1.8.

Stay true to the music you love to make

1.9.

Realise that you have so much time to create and travel

1.10.

Take short interval breaks each day to remind yourself where you are, where you’ve come from and where you’re going

Continuous Travel, Continuous Music Creation – What Do You Want?

Continuous Travel, Continuous Music Creation

70317531_295227818006908_3700197613509804032_n.jpg

In all the things I want in this world, I’ve slowly figured out the two basic happenings I desire 🙂

To Travel and to Create Music – that’s it. In basic terms, someone can ask, what do you want to do with the rest of your life?

I want to Travel and Create Music!

Sure there’s a thousand things that fit into these desires; certain countries to explore, the kind of gigs I’d like to do, being on stage singing and talking about creativity and giving words of motivation to pursue what makes them happy, to create a family on the road, to home school those children, while continuing to travel and create music. There’s a whole list of buckets to jump in, a billion to-do lists to throw around in excitement. But many of those to-do’s are personal and will be better shown rather than spoken about.

Now I ask you and, you ask yourself;

What do you want to do for the rest of your life? Or at least for a large portion of your life?
What do I want to do for the rest of my life?

Maybe write it out in a journal and really delve into everything you desire, till you pick out the core components – the simple answer.

Note: I really don’t know enough about this life to know what I’m writing about. I’m just writing constantly in hope to bring someone value! and because I enjoy it and it helps me document the travel and music creation.


Live stream video from today’s busk in Caernarfon

The streets were quiet today, but it was still an effective day, where a whole range of people walked away from the music with a smile. Shop owners poked their head out to see what the sound was, noticing the eye contact and either smiling and waving or quickly darting behind the door then popping back out to smile and wave.

A gang of kids followed by their Mum, the one boy looked at the CD box,
“WHOAW you have CDs! Mum is this man a professional musician?! How much? Can I have one? I have a 10p, and it’s got a little bit of rust on it, just a little bit, where is it? Ah yeah, here, look! Just a little bit of rust!” his eyes filled with excitement, stretching his hand out to share this wondrously rusty 10 pence.
“Take one!” I said back,
His Mum replied, “Oh no, we can’t do that! It’s only 10 pence!”
“But Mum he said so! Look this one is a Dragon!”
The other children put some more coins in, and they all walked away happy. The excited child came running back after they reached the end of the street.
“Hello! Just wanted to say, thank you, we are going to listen to the CD on our drive home!”, said so quickly fuelled with excitement. Then waving and running back, he turned and shouted down the high street – “It’s a three hour drive!”.
Ha! Brilliant 😀


Too tired to write more! Arrived in another YHA in the middle of Snowdonia!

 

 


Thank you for reading my words and following this journey.

Download music here; – chatfield.bandcamp.com

Find me on Facebook and Instagram – @basschatfield

Subscribe to my YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/BassJamesUK

Join me on Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/chatfield

My TEDx talk – https://youtu.be/Eu-KJ1Z10Fk

Online Tips – paypal.me/jameschatfeld

Have a great day!

A Morning Message, A Morning Meditation, Have a Beautiful Day

Let this sound soothe you in the morning, in the evening, always. Visualise the dreams and goals that you have running around this world, alive and happy. See yourself as the best version of yourself, as healthy as possible, as happy as can be, as productive and creative, surrounded by people you love and admire. Feel the wind, hear the trees, taste the air, speak out that which you are grateful for, speak out that which you desire. Affirm yourself and speak kind words to yourself. Hold your hands on your heart and feel the pulse beating around your body, thank it for gifting you life, thank it for gifting you the ability to be you. Be you and be grateful for every small detail in your life. Be you and develop your person, your talents. Be you and help others become themselves, help others feel comfortable in their own bodies. Be you and smile at the world, see it for all the positive it is, see it for all the beauty it is. Be you and don’t stop moving forwards, don’t stop growing, don’t stop learning, don’t stop doing!

Have a beautiful day!

 

Chester Misery…But – Just be You

A complete misery of a mood overtook my mind as I walked around Chester looking for a spot. Four other buskers occupied the prime spots of Chester, three of which were vocalists singing to backing tracks, but with a phone or tablet on a stand for lyrics – I’ve never understood this, kind of seems more like street-karaoke rather than busking, I understand it when vocalists perform from memory and you can feel/see their passion for singing. More of a passion than a quick grab for cash which is what I feel when I see street-karaoke, but if it works for them and makes them/the street happy, then awesome, go do that! It can sometimes be dis-heartening, but I suppose the general public enjoy singing and hearing songs they know – that’s the X-Factor culture influence kicking in. But generally as humans we don’t like things that are different, it’s uncomfortable and uncomfortable means unsafe in our natural instinctual way of being.

But anyway, I compromised and found a quieter spot to play, but I just sat there with this misery consuming me, making me angry – I rarely get angry. My mind shouting all sorts of questions and feelings I haven’t felt in some time; what’s the point? no-one wants to listen, I’m just in the way, not doing anything of value, I should be out doing something more and giving more to the world, you’re just playing the same stuff and no-one wants to hear it, whats the actual point of it all? you suck! 

And then I said, ‘SHUT UP!’, the weird angry thoughts soon stopped, interrupting with ‘but this…and this..and….’ – ‘NO!’. I set up as quick as I could and started playing.

The truth is no-one cares, and you can see that in two ways;
‘No-one cares, whats the point?!’
or,
‘Wait… no-one cares? Then I can just be me and do what I feels is of value!’

No-one wants to hear you complain, complaining sucks. I hear people complain all the time about tiny little things, I always wonder why their mind is consumed by it, I mean I understand it to a certain degree because of having moments like it, but I realise how unproductive and negative it is on the mind.

We are so small in this world we have,
Why would you worry about little things,
Just take all and enjoy it now,
We have this one life
https://chatfield.bandcamp.com/track/the-little-things

I have to learn where that misery grew and control it better next time. But playing music sure helped, busking definitely helped. So to answer that mindsets question – ‘Whats the point?’ – the point is, it helps me stay happy and keeps my mind in a good place, which in turn helps me lead a happier more productive life – that is the point!

Find what makes you happy and use it as medicine when you feel not so good inside. 

Live stream from a portion of the set;

Over breakfast this morning I wrote in detail, this whole idea that busking helps you deal with rejection (I’ll keep adding before posting). With this constant stream of people walking past, some really don’t care, some look down on you, some throw insults at you, some pull their children away from you as they run in excitement towards the music “Ahhh, stay away, don’t catch the music big!“. I used to get upset by it, but now I’ve learnt to accept that not everyone is interested in everything. We’re all different and we all enjoy our own things, if we took notice of absolutely everything and enjoyed everything then we’d probably go crazy! No ones obliged to pay attention to you.

But busking is great in the sense that it pulls those out of the crowd that do really enjoy your music and that do find value in what you are doing. Which I feel applies to anything that you start doing, if you start doing something and exposing it to the world, documenting it online or just telling people everywhere, then you’ll soon pull out those from the crowd that really align with what you are doing. Opportunities that match your needs will come to you, when you just be you and do what you want to do.

So just be you and do what you want to do!

In the sense of it making you and others happy and bringing value to the world. Not in the sense of doing whatever you want and forgetting about the consequences that hurt others.

69390871_529471057824850_6499285657817448448_n.jpgSelfie in a Starbucks, back on Route to Snowdonia! Hiking and Exploring 🙂


An elderly couple walking the high-street, intertwined hands, a smile so sweet to each other it melts your face off – clearly their love for one another has been infinite and so true. I imagine their life to be somewhat simple, sweet and beautiful. Maybe they found love at a park bench, an accidental touch of hands as one sits down, a smile opening the heart to a whole new world, a voice tickling the ears in a soothing, addictive manner, all dancing and swirling into a story of magic and love.

Their attention from each others eyes, drew to the sound of a busker, turning and freezing still, totally absorbed and intrigued, they both felt something good. Their smiles rising simultaneously as though they were one. Walking over in unison, “We’ve never seen anything like this before! How fantastic!”, throwing in a little golden coin.

Just incredible, it raised the day to another level of joy and wiped away the negative mindset created earlier. In all their life they having seen anything like this, that’s something to smile about!

Forever grateful!


Thank you for reading my words and following this journey.

Download music here; – chatfield.bandcamp.com

Find me on Facebook and Instagram – @basschatfield

Subscribe to my YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/BassJamesUK

Join me on Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/chatfield

My TEDx talk – https://youtu.be/Eu-KJ1Z10Fk

Online Tips – paypal.me/jameschatfeld

Have a great day!