The Gargantuan Hand that Pulled me from the Depths of the Mindhole

 

 

It’s a while since I last wrote a blog or interacted fully on social media. A mixture of reasons, one being; me feeling that my content has no worth, that my day to day happenings are not worthwhile sharing. Which is a weird feeling that comes from self-doubt, lack of confidence and low self-esteem, those feelings come from a multitude of reasons, some I have control of, others I don’t. Its definitely been a weird few weeks, inside my mind and my surroundings outside. It’s not until quite recently that I’ve felt genuine confidence in myself as a person and this music and its meaning.

Busking always seems to be the ‘cure-all’ a ‘greater restoration‘, this act, has been keeping my head above water (both figuratively and literally – rain has been frequent). Everything has felt like waves, up and down, and as I got heavy I sank far below the surface. Then yesterday 23rd January 2020 ( 😮 2020! Happy New Year! ), felt like a gargantuan hand reaching in the water and pulling me to shore. Following quite a rough evening of family-related problems, with a lack of sleep, I woke early and felt drawn to busk in Hereford. It was a bizarre mix of encounters that seemed pre-composed, someone/thing had planned it all out. Bumping into someone I met only a couple times, (Dan Jaye, a musician from Manchester) we had breakfast in his new ‘Retro/Vintage/Assortments of Wonder/Cafe/Music Studio’ shop, catching up I felt it necessary to only choose the good things that have happened and ignore the bad that I was feeling – that process helped my mind massively, focusing on the good of it all. Dan also busked and traveled when he was my age, with his experience he spoke a lot of incredibly advisable things, that snapped my mind out of negative into positive. Like, “f**k yeah, this music has a story and it’s got to go through every chapter word by word, just get through each emotion and keep going, this is okay. You’re lucky to have a) been born, b) found something which you love and you’re good at! We’ve got this and we can’t stop!” – internal dialogue speaking. This taught me to; take the time to catch up with yourself inside yourself, go through each emotion, each happening and divide the good and bad, learn from the bad and understand it, then go to the good and sit in that and enjoy that, because there is a whole lotta good out there/in here. 

Whilst busking that day, like every day of busking there are people who stay, watch and converse and it’s nice to connect with them, music like a key, opening a door to a conversation between two humans. A line of four people, all from different places, all with different lives, watched for the entirety of a song and applauded so loudly. They got quite hyped, a woman said she heard the music subtly from the distance and had to follow it, she said it’s music that uplifted her and music that this world needs. A couple said they were amazed by the technical side and the composition itself, said I need to be playing to crowds, be on TV and share it with more people. — See I haven’t felt like sharing much recently, although I’m on the streets playing, I feel like the soundtrack to the streets rather than a performer, like why would anyone want to come to a show and watch a whole set of this? Why should I be filmed and put on TV? Which comes from the lack of confidence in oneself, I still feel that I’m just the soundtrack to the streets and the concept of being on stage playing a show to a crowd, passes me by and I’ve kind of forgotten about even pursuing that. I sit and I write these words and feel that it’s not worth writing because it’s not worth reading, but then I think, I don’t actually care if anybody reads this, but I find a sense of relief writing these words and this somewhat diary entry is part of a greater journey that I can look back on for my own growth and learn from this moment, this timeframe. — That moment on the streets of Hereford outside M&S, playing for this small group of people who were really emotionally connected with music, along with the meeting with Dan, gave this feeling of worth. A feeling I haven’t allowed myself to feel, but it was like this day was a showcase of my reason why. “Here, let me show you why you need to keep your head up and keep going, this is why you need to keep doing that which you love and put your attention on expanding, growing, exploring” – said the gargantuan hand that pulled me from the depths of the mindhole.

Multiple interactions with people on Hereford highstreet kept uplifting me. People said very relatable things to what I was feeling, “you can’t stop, you gotta keep going. This is amazing, I’d give you money but I have none” one voice said.

It’s bizarre, I feel all sorts of weird right now.

The day ended with conversations with family members, that healed up previous happenings. A message via Instagram that detailed the impact it had on their day in Hereford. Then a couple of beers and a chinwag with one of my closest friends Ollie – check out his music – check out our music. A monologue of encouragement from Ollie completely shaped my focus to; growth as a person, growth in music, aiding on the difficulties of family members. I mean I don’t know what else to say, because I feel weird, but I feel determined and really set on a good path.

Now I don’t know if this holds any value to you, but if it does, then I just hope you to find a way out of the darkness inside and towards the light. Because there is light there, there’s so much light!

Here’s an amazing song;

Here’s a video from a recent busking session in Stroud;

Here are some inspirational words that have helped me many of times;

Here’s to you and all your wonder 🙂

With love,

James

 

Slapped by a Mole

PatreonTemporaryImage-912a14bf-8f60-4e5f-836b-f07a58670698Short Story;

A man goes off for a wander to explore the world and see what’s going on. He sees many wonderful things and meets many interesting people. His quest slowly reveals itself; to become a nomad and share melodies to bring spontaneous joy and happiness to all who wander. This world needs more positivity, as negativity is loud and powerful. The light slowly burns in the darkness and bathes it in good. At times a challenge as darkness is overwhelming.

The wandering man finds himself falling into a hole, tripped up by a series of small events, he gets stuck and struggles to find a way out. The world begins to slowly bury the wandering man and he feels all is lost, he feels he belongs in this hole, that he should stay. So he stays, and as time goes on he feels his fire fade.

A mole comes across this buried man, “Oh, hello, why are you in the ground? You’re not a mole”, the mole asked sniffing at the man.
“Well you see I fell and got stuck here, so I figured this is where I am meant to be”, the man replies, a tear in his eye.
“Don’t be silly human, everything falls over, even I do when I am above ground, but I do not belong up there, I have a world of my own down here. As you have a world of your own choosing up there. I will dig you out of here human and you will create your own world up there as I create my own world down here!” slapping the man as he spoke.
The mole dug this man out and dragged him up slowly by his tiny claws. As the man felt the fresh air again he thanked the mole, the mole sniffed up at the man and said, “Everything falls over, but everything has the ability to get back up, so don’t come falling into the ground again and staying there, unless you want to be a mole” the mole slapped the man once again and hurried off back to his own world.

The wandering man realised that to keep on wandering and to keep on his quest, that he must do exactly that. So the wandering man continued with a warmer fire inside.

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!

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!

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!

 

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!

Thinking of Busking? Do it for Happiness, Love and Bringing Value to Others

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Want to give busking a go?

Do it with love. Do it for the enjoyment and the fact it brings you happiness. Do it because you know it’ll bring value to others. Those three things, I’ve found, are the most important things when you commit to being a busker. You’re going to be spending a lot of time sat amongst strangers, a continuous stream of first impressions is coming your way. You’re energy has got to be good, in order for good to come from it.

We’re all passing through this life bumping into one another and shaping our paths. As a busker you sit amongst a flow of people moving from A to B, you’re partial interrupting their day with your presence. Some notice it, some don’t notice it, some don’t care and some notice it only subconsciously. So for those that do notice it give them a reason to fully acknowledge you. Smile, be good, be the best version of you, gift them with incredible sounds, gift them your skills and talents. Help shape their path in a positive manner. We’ve got to make positivity louder!

I’ve crossed a few buskers who have sole intent to make as much cash as they can, which will shrink their enjoyment, because when people don’t tip, it hurts and upsets them. No one has to pay you, they’re not obliged to, so be grateful for those who do. When you take on this mindset, your energy and enjoyment will go down a level and everything else will also follow and dip down.

It’s a strange thing, busking, as there are many varieties that shapes the productivity to a busking session. There isn’t just a single attribute to what makes a day right for busking. But one massively important attribute which you have complete control on is – you – your energy, it has to be of good intent. This is why love, happiness and bringing value to others should be a priority to the reason you busk.

I feel that love, happiness and bringing value to others are key things that can apply to all careers and hobbies. It makes sense, when you’re happy and enjoying yourself it shows, your essence will glow and attract people. It will also make others happy enjoying watching/listening to you – and with busking that’s the whole point right? To make people enjoy their experience in a town centre. High streets and city centres were designed for consumerism, they were designed to bring people to buy stuff and give money to many companies. Street art takes people away from consumerism, it shares something pure and something real, a gift and a feeling without a price-tag, there is no need to ‘buy’ you just gift, you share your smile, your time and you gift to another human who also has a beating heart, a whirlwind of emotions inside, a list of desires and dreams, a whole history and a whole other story to tell. This art, takes you and the performer to another state of being, you’re just there, in that moment, you, them, the street and everyone around you, it’s a beautiful state of presence.

That’s why;

Love

Happiness

Value to others

Has to be your priority when you busk. Lets make positivity louder. Lets collectively wake up happy and share happiness in every street, in every city!


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!