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

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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! 🙂

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

Continuous Travel, Continuous Music Creation

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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!

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!

The Tiny Chester Busk

In today’s account of busking around the world, not much busking was done. This comes from my habitual desire to constantly be on the move, which I realise can be a flaw at times, as that urge to move even if I really like a place i.e. Snowdonia, pushes me away from something perfectly peaceful and someplace that needs time to be fully absorbed and appreciated. To define Nomad – ‘a person that travels from place to place and has no permanent home’,  in this Podcast Episode – ‘Become Nomad – Episode 1‘, the host gives his explanation to what a ‘Nomad’ is, as he’s been travelling for five years now, living about one month at a time in places. A lesson can be learnt from this, that being a ‘Nomad’ doesn’t mean I have to move so frequently – so take things slowly, give time for attachment and be patient in the process. Part of me feels like I need to see everything all so soon, but the age of 25, means I have SO much time to explore.

I got a hostel last night instead. Differing to sleeping in a car, you’d expect to have a better night sleep, right? But a car doesn’t snore or make a bunch of racket at 3am!! haha, awoken loudly by the snoring man of room 29! – ‘dam you, you crazy man!’ – ah well! – we all snore at times, it’s part of the Hostel experience.

To unsuccessfully finding anywhere for coffee and breakfast at 9am in Conwy. Such a beautiful town with an incredible castle that sits by the water, but no cafes open at 9?!

First drive, Conwy to Bangor;

Sitting by this clock tower in Bangor, thinking of busking here, but having some weird urge to just run away. Reading – As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning – finding lots to relate on with Laurie, the man who walked to London and pursued travel with using busking to fund it. Both inspirational and grants confirmation that I’m doing something of worth.

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Drive from Bangor to Llandudno;

Walking around Llandudno, enjoying these views, finding the perfect spot, but then a puppet show taking over with loud echoing volume. Dammit! I began feeling I wasn’t meant to be busking today, and maybe I wasn’t meant to? I feel sometimes it’s a necessity to do it every single day, which I understand, because I love it, but sometimes a break from it does help, it’s just actually hard to allow myself to just not busk.

So I moved on, again.

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From Llandudno;

Here in Chester, ah finally, a spot, a chance to busk a few hours. But after 20 minutes of playing, rain came + being the time it was, there wasn’t really anyone about, which at times doesn’t feel worthwhile busking, because you’re not affecting anyone, but in actual fact you are, because it doesn’t matter how many people walk past, it matters who walks past. That one person could be having an awful day and your music could switch their mind upside down to a positive and loving place. You just gotta do it, regardless of how many people are about.

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In that short space of 20 minute, a mother and her daughter bought a CD, as they walked away they stopped and read the CD, turning to each other and smiling, then turning to me, they knew that I knew, we shared a rather big smile!

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A rather kind soul with extremely kind words, posting up on Instagram after buying a CD from me. I was busking in Tenby and this girl was watching the entire time, a smile so wide it pushed positivity into all those around her, waving her head and feet about in such a happy manner. She disappeared and came back for this CD, “which one shall I take, left or right?” as she could decide between the two designs. It’s amazing to connect with people in such a lovely way and bring something good to their life!

Even though I need to learn to have the odd day off from busking to rest my hands and mind. I know for dam sure that I need to be making music every day, if it creates positive change like this!


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 Surprise View of Wonder – Happiness is Key

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Settling in to this tiny little Kia Picanto – ‘Welcome to the Hotel Kia Picanto’, as comfortably as one can. Seat far down, pillow, blanket and with the added tiredness from a two-hour drive, sleep came fast and easy. Arriving here at night there was no detail in the surroundings other than shadowy outlines of the mountains.

Then the sun woke me up “yo, wake up, check this out!”. My eyes opened and I screamed with excitement, the views burst brightly in my face, I was overwhelmed with joy and loving thoughts. Jumping out the car, breathing in the peacefulness of it all, the sound was pure, silence within beauty.

We’re so small in this world, surrounded by gigantic things. But it’s fascinating because even though we’re so small, we can create and build things so big! Everything around us was once just an idea sat in someones mind, that fridge, that postbox, that apple pie, that car etc etc. And if it’s a natural thing, then someone took the time and energy to study it, to give it a name, share it’s existence and teach others about it. It’s incredible, all of us, every single one of us, is helping to create the world and reality that we live in. Don’t let your ideas and dreams die!

More beautiful views below from a morning hike. Featuring a sheep that was annoyed at my presence.
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It’s beautiful. Being amongst nature this expansive is really inspiring and healing, like, everything is fine, you have time, you are alive amongst beauty like this, you are a part of this. Coming here was the right thing, I had a feeling of doubt and utter loneliness yesterday, that I felt lost on my path. But it cleared as I took the time to just be and not think about working or doing.

Take time to be a part of nature.


From hiking around Snowdonia to making noise around Caernarfon.

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The intent was to busk a little, as last week in Tenby I played many hours every day and my hands began to hurting a little, so to take it easy over the next few days is the plan + songwriting is a must!

The exploration of this place was fun! A very colourful and happy atmosphere/presence. A very friendly book store, where I purchased – As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning – actually recommended by a man I met in a hostel in Cardiff, it’s about someone who wonders to London with a violin and the intent to survive through busking. I feel it’ll be an inspiration with this journey I’m on and also push me to turn these blog posts into an actual book – now that would be awesome – to write a book!

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On an end note – Happiness.

Happiness is key, it’s so important!

What makes you happy? What really makes you happy? Forgetting materialism, fame and money. What makes your soul happy? Is it creating, is it making other people happy, is it drawing dragons on glass, is it playing football, is it playing games with your friends online, is it cooking, is it providing for your children…what ever it is – that’s the gift that will both grant you happiness and this world happiness!

Whatever makes you happy – do everything in your power to do that every single day.

Gary Vaynerchuk and his words help me out of the darkness inside and helps me understand life. His words have helped push my energy to pursue the goals and dreams inside. I recommend his words massively.

Happiness is key!


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

Have a great day!

Tenby – Aberystwyth – Somewhere Northern Snowdonia

Its lonely, but it’s a peaceful loneliness.

This journey that I’m on, not quite as unexpected as the journey Bilbo Baggins ventured, but still, it was an unexpected idea that happened to jump into my mind and bounce around till I agreed to it – to travel all around UK busk and continue onward to all the countries possible!

At times its a lonely journey. Which is sometimes good, sometimes bad. I enjoy my own company and will happily go to the cinema solo or eat at a fancy restaurant solo. But not having your friends and family so close to actually touch their faces, is weird and sometimes saddening, I miss them all, so so much.

But. It’s peaceful, it’s a content feeling, because I chose to take on this journey and see what doors it would open. I discovered that travelling and walking around new places makes me really happy. Happiness then allows me to be a better version of me, which in all is good for my friends and family. Chase happiness!

He said,

“Stand up straight with your shoulders tall. If you keep on smiling you’ll have it all”

“If you keep walking this road, you’ll see your heart, your mind, grow”


From Tenby – Aberystwyth – Somewhere Northern Snowdonia

Aberystwyth – the intention wasn’t to busk that much today, as last week in Tenby was intense in regard to the hours I played on the streets. A more relaxed session was need. A successful live stream was created via the app; Mobcam – linking a live stream to your Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch channels. You can see a part of it here:

Not feeling fully attached to the town, Caernarfon was the goalpost to aim for. It looks beautiful and its close to Snowdonia, its consider the gateway into Snowdonia, which I really want to explore early morning! So dinner in Aberswifty then the long drive here,

Residing in my car again, leaving accommodation hunting too late and just wanting to cover some ground, makes sense to nap in the car. I actually quite like it, it’s easy and quick, cheap too (providing you have a car, if not, then its real expensive, don’t buy a car just to sleep in it, buy a van!), I’m pretty sure it’s legal too, why wouldn’t it be?


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

Have a great day!