Live at The Oil Basin: Drums and Tings

Earlier in November, I performed a solo set in Worcester at the Winbrew Trip Co. which later evolved into a Maefield gig (new duo, a later post will add detail), then into a huge jam with a bunch of my musician pals from Worcester.

For the gig, I played a lot of new stuff, which currently involves a small drum kit (hats, snare and kick). My set-up has changed a lot over this year, going from solo bass to double guitars 18th December 2017, now with drums/vocals and quite recently little weird additions saucepans/glockenspiel/tongue drum.

Everything keeps falling into place with the set-up. I have a vision for a much larger set-up ready for tours and bigger gigs. Slowly but surely, I’m getting there.

Here’s a track I wrote with added drums/vocals;
Written whilst staying in Liverpool.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

― Dr. Seuss

For the gig, I didn’t sing as my confidence was very low, so I stuck to just instrumental. You can listen to it all here;

 

 

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Share Your Light, For all to See: Captured Moments Volume Two

 

 

 

A new release!

The second volume in ‘Captured Moments’ releases. This is going to become a monthly ongoing thing and I feel it’ll only develop in sound quality, playing quality and variety. You’ll find in this album, there are some collaborations which were caught off guard and I’m just super thankful I had my handy recorder sat there taking it all in! You’ll also notice that looping is a bigger theme in this album in comparison to the first Volume, this is because I’ve been experimenting and improvising more with the looper, also because I haven’t spent much time writing new material, most of my time has just been on the streets, playing and improvising.

I’m going to go through a few tracks and write some words to follow it;

Artichoke –

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a video of the performance and where it was composed. An Allotment, Allie Kenward’s Allotment – who features with vocals on track 12, Your Voice. It’s such a mind relaxing place to be outside and amongst many plants waving in the wind. An Artichoke is actually filming this video, until I take the camera off it and film around the allotment.

I have a phone with a very large memory and a very high quality camera, which is amazing, it really is! But it means that I want to film loads, and almost everything, so I’ll have days where I look through all the videos I have and there’s this huge backlog, which I kinda get lost in. Which is great, I just need to start uploading it all somewhere so it doesn’t get lost for too long.
It’s the same with my audio recorder, there’s so much! So much that I could technically release almost 4 albums of stuff from this month alone, I mean I don’t see why I couldn’t? But I feel maybe too much, could be, too much! Ahh, I dunno! But anyways, you’re guaranteed lots of content on a regular basis! I’ll put it all out there for anyone to use!

It Could be Nice –

An improvisation out in the streets of Bournemouth – such a beautiful place to play on the streets! There’s a lovely spot right at the end of the gardens and close to beach. I tried playing on the pier when I first go their, but immediately got turned away by the council, dam! I’m determined to play beside a beach soon though, I’ll figure it out.
This improvisation is done with a Line 6 DL4 – a most lovely delay and looping pedal, this recording comes from a set I did, using this delay for the first time with this set-up. I love the space and depth it gives to the guitars, especially the percussive sounds. It opens up a lot to do more, I’ve been using it way more since, and there’s some really cool songs from it!

Here’s a video from that spot in Bournemouth

 

Messages and Bottles ft. Kringo Blue –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A very favourite jam of mine with a very favourite person –
– Kringo Blue

A very gifted soul, incredible at pretty much any instrument he touches! I haven’t known him for that long, but we’ve connected on a really good level, and when we’re both in Worcester we’ll grab a drink and catch up. This jam was part of a longer one, another section appears later in the album! Still a lot more that I could release. We’ll be for sure having more street jams!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share Your Light, for all to See –

Title track. I want each of these albums within the ‘Captured Moments’, to hold a positive message, a message to share with others and uplift.

This albums message being:

“Whatever it is that you know makes you shine, a skill, a gift you feel you have, a voice etc etc. Let it shine! Take that light, and be proud of it, acknowledge what you are good at and triple down on it! Work at it loads, practice and document it – share it with the world, revealing your light to those around will uplift others, it’ll inspire others to shine their light, it’ll help others discover their light and make them realise that their dreams are possible! 
Shine your light, share it with the world! You are an incredibly unique individual with a message and a gift that will benefit those around you!”

The track is another improvisation using loops, and also a little bit of vocals – just some oohs and ahhs. Vocals is something I really want to add to my set-up, both in this way as another instrument to loop and play around with, and also to write lyrics that I’d sing. Which is my current goal:
– write a set-list of songs, including vocals, to then take on a European Tour with.

Rising Waters ft. Jordan Stark and Chris Ukulele player –

My favourite track on the album! There were no visual documents of this collaboration and street jam happening. But it’s been one of my favourite street things that has happened.
It was basically brought together by a very lovely old lady, dressed in a lot of yellow and a most lovely smile. Whilst packing away from a set in Bournemouth, she came and told me how much she loved the music and if she had the money to give, she would. She said she listened for a while and found it most peaceful! She walked away leaving many smiles. Then while walking around for another spot, I saw a guy setting up with a Hand Pan, the lady was there again. She was singing my praises, then grabbed me and said, “you two should play together! Please do! it’ll be the best!”, we kinda looked at each other and went “sure, alright”. So we jammed, and it was great – Jordan Stark his name.
Whilst jamming (which you’ll hear in the recording), a Ukulele player came from nowhere and started soloing over the jam – Chris. He stood right next to the recorder, so it sounds just perfect on the recording.
It felt as though everything was pre-planned, and that more and more musicians would join this line-up, that didn’t happen. But what happened was incredibly fun! We had a crowd forming and there must be a video or picture out there somewhere in this internet web.
The jam flowed so nicely, like we were all on this wavelength and could really understand what we were trying to say and where we were trying to go with the music. Improvising music before getting to know someone, is such a beautiful way to meet someone! You can also hear the lady who brought us together towards the end of the recording.
Also a most excellent quote at the end from a police officer who watched us before his shift – “you, you, should do like, music!

Check out Jordan Starks work here –

 

 

Building Bricks –

A very short improvisation with loops again. This was a quick build on the loop, adding layers quite quickly. This was performed and created in Piccadilly Gardens – Brighton.

There’s a really cool sound of a skateboarder passing by during this recording, because of the stereo microphone, it feels like it’s right behind you! This is a reason why I love recording out in the streets, capturing all these little sounds, it brings more story to the recordings and adds more depth to it. The perfect way for me to capture these moments in the streets.

Here’s a video of the spot I was busking in for this recording; It’s me playing – Change;

 

 

 

 

Such a beautiful place to busk!

Beauty Within Silence –

This is more of an ambient experimental jam, with some weird reversing vocal, guitar looping. Using a Boss RC-30 and a Line 6 DL4 to make these weird and kind of creepy soundscapes.

Street, Beat, Feet ft. Michael the Street Drummer –

Whilst busking in Bournemouth, in my favourite spot at the end of the park. This guy Michael came scooting over on a scooter with a djembe strapped to the front of it. Started talking about how he’s come from southern Africa and has been travelling the UK, couch surfing and sight-seeing. Then said lets jam.

Here’s the video 🙂

 

 

 

He came and jammed a few more times whilst I was busking there throughout the week, but with different drums, he had shakers, and was using drum sticks on the things around him, like benches and bins.

Space (Piano Improvisation) –

Playing around on a friend’s piano and trying to make some spacey soundscape.
Would be cool to add piano to my set-up and have it on the right of me so I could sustain chords then guitar/bass over it.

July Rush –

Another piece of improvisation, without loops, just the guitar/bass. I get a lot of people come up to me and say “you sound like August Rush”, I didn’t know what that was until someone said it’s a film of a kid who plays guitar in a unique way and it follows his journey. It’s something I need to see, maybe it’ll inspire me in someways.

 

Well! Anyway go check the album out and have a listen, let me know what you think, share it with your friends and use it to benefit yourself! 🙂

 

Thank you for reading and finding your way to my website!

 

Much love,

James x

 

 

The Birth of Captured Moments – Album(s) Update – Busk of 6th June 2018

So ALBUM UPDATES

James Chatfield Bass

https://jameschatfieldbass.com/

I was in the studio yesterday with my good friend Jack Pederson. Recorded a few songs and listening back, we both felt something was wrong. For start, I didn’t really feel comfortable in the studio, and the sound wasn’t what I was after, it sounded great but just wasn’t what I fully had in mind. We then compared it to some of the busking recordings I have recently done and there lay the problem. These songs weren’t meant for a studio, they were created in the streets and belonged in the streets. The space in which these songs sit in is important, and this comparison made that fact clear. The passing foot traffic, life going on around me, helicopters passing, laughing and puppies barking all add depth to the songs, and capture what I do perfectly. The music I currently make and play fit the streets, as I spend so much time busking, and I guess that’s why I felt uncomfortable in the studio, not because of nerves or pressure from that red light in the studio but because those songs belong outside amongst the sounds of the world. And both I and Jack felt there was so much missing after going from the street recordings to the studio recordings. “Just release this, this is what your music is and who you are”, Jack said, and that changed everything, he spoke many inspiring things and we threw so many ideas around.

This is what we came out with.

To begin making the conscious act of recording every busking session I do, anytime I play music outside, all collaborations etc etc, record them all. To capture the things that I’m already doing and compile my favorite bits from these recordings onto an album. With the amount of content that will come from this, I can do so much, and with it a monthly album release, each with their own titles and the subtitle of – Captured Moments Vol.1,2,3 etc. I can’t think of a better way to document my journey and give everyone who supports my music a huge batch of content to listen to. Plus all the videos I release on a daily basis, the content will just be huge!

There’s something exciting about releasing the raw performances out on the streets, capturing the random sounds that occur, conversations, comments, passing bicycles and all that life brings. It means that I can just continue doing what I do, adventure and record the journey, documenting in an audio format for the world to listen to. Each month will contain so many memories and hold many stories. Themes could occur, i.e. a month of playing near water, busking on riversides, parks, water fountains etc. So many ideas came from this conversation with Jack, and I’m extremely grateful for it!

I also have ideas for an actual studio album, but that would be more of a composed environment where I would get other musicians to collaborate and get involved. For now, I wish to continue my busking journeys and give you all the music I have!

Above – clip from today’s busking session, this is a short clip. Below is a full version of today’s improvisation. I say ‘todays improvisation’, as if I only did one, I always improvise haha. And this new way of documenting will give all that I do, to you!

Following on from what I wrote above, about the conversations in the studio. Todays busking felt very different. Knowing that these songs are going to be documented. I approached everything a little different, not in the sense to make things ‘perfect’ (perfect doesn’t exist), but treating the streets as an instrument in some ways, giving it space to ‘play’, if a sound occurred that fitted with the song, then I’d keep playing that riff with the sounds occurring. Listening to the streets as though it was another musician I was performing with and responding to what it did….sounds kinda crazy, but it added a lot more to busking.

With all this is, it just adds way more excitement to my music and busking, I feel excited and feel like I’m slowly but surely becoming a better creator and improving daily.

Also today – a photo shoot with this dude – Sam Watkins. His Instagram tag is @samwatkinsphoto and also @trekrooms

Beautiful view beside the river, Worcester is just beautiful! Photos and videos to come from this within the next few days!

Its been a long day, but I’m really happy with everything that is happening and becoming at the moment! Really excited to capture these busking moments and release it for you to enjoy on the move!

Much love!

Current Goal – Album and Videos Progress – 18th May 2018

Stationing myself back home for a bit around Worcester. A time to grow my music, by writing new songs, adapting new techniques and bringing more content to my music via album recordings and video making. I’ve known for ages that to move forward with my career in music I’d need to create some content and context to what I do, have audio and video to use as promotion for my ‘brand’. My current goal is to write a 8-10 track (or more) album, to be recorded outside in environments to reflect how my music can be enjoyed and sit in different environments and for different moods. With the homemade demo CDs I sell when busking, I’ve had some really nice feedback, “I’ve been using it to study too and it’s perfect!”, “Perfect driving music” and “This music is amazing to relax to”.
So I’m aiming to promote the album with chilling out intentions and reading/studying music, maybe even push it towards getting on films and games – the dream!
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The first busk in Worcester was yesterday, and it was beautiful! The sun was shining and there were so many friendly faces that I’ve not seen for a while. Bumping into my best buddy Carlos (who I’ve not seen for months, because he’s been flying around the world drumming), he out of nowhere set up a mini portable recording studio around my busking setup and recorded me for a while. Him and Haydn Rogers have just started up a company – ‘Nectar: Film and Audio’. They organised a very impromptu video recording out near the river in Worcester – videos of that will be up soon! But! This created conversation about my album, now they will be recording my album and doing a bunch of videos out in woodlands, near lakes and some in the streets – so a lot of exciting things are coming this way! It’s strange how I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and only days before I wrote it all out – then Carl the angel, showed up and just gave me everything. I really think the universe answers to your call, you’ve just gotta shout out and let the universe know what you are needing/wanting.
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So now I’m in the writing process for this album, spending a lot of time pushing my techniques to create new sounds with the set-up. Still I’ve only been doing the guitarbass 5 months, today! Started on December 18th 2017! It’s my 5 month guitarbass anniversary, celebratory something! Well I’m sat in a Vegan Cafe just ordered a mighty big burger, so that’s the celebration (Be the Change Foods – Worcester UK).
So yes! Expect more updates on this album, for the meantime if you want a homemade demo CD sent your way, please email me – basschatfield@gmail.com
I wish you a great day! May the sun shine on your warm heart!
Keep giving your all to the world, stay awesome, follow your heart and run towards your dreams!
You have one life, so live it the way you wish to, you are a miracle!
Love,
James

Luna – Live Performance

Live performance of my featured track – Luna, from latest release – Chatfield – Demo.
Performed at the Old Rose and Crown in Stourport, during a monthly musician meet-up/open mic night.

Originally written for solo piano, Luna is a piece inspired by ‘Luna Lovegood’ from the Harry Potter series. It was a ‘character theme’ I came up with whilst reading – Order of the Phoenix.

Chatfield – Demo

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My Latest Demo Release!

On the 27th of November 2016 I will be releasing some new music to my BandCamp page, this release – ‘Demo’ – collates some solo bass tunes of which I’ve been gigging/busking the past couple of months around various towns and cities. The online release will hold 4 solo bass tracks and a bonus electronic track (which is a remix of a solo bass tune). Where as the physical copies that you see above contain 6 tracks! There are 3 variations of this CD – Red, Blue and Green, each contains different bonus tracks – 4 solo bass tunes + 2 bonus electronic tracks, so having all variations would give you 10 tracks!

I guess this whole idea firstly spawned from the fact that I’d struggle to afford getting ‘professionally’ printed CD’s with mastering and artwork designs, so I went the path of homemade DIY CD’s. It’s created a trading card like affect, having variant covers – currently drawn by my little brother Toby – I like this idea of having each copy hold some uniqueness to it, everyone’s copy of ‘Demo’ will differ. Hand writing each copy has been time consuming and depending on how well they sell, I may have to spend another few hours hiring (rewarding with sweets and treats) my little brother to get arty some more and get writing the ‘booklet’ for the rest of the CD’s.

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The booklet (above), contains the track listing, a thank you note, social media info and a little motivational quote. I’ve currently made 50, and that took some hours! But I like the idea of giving the fan a personal thank you note and giving them something more than a CD with music, someone buying one of these means so much to me that I want to leave them with something….. ‘with a bit of heart’ ?? (I don’t know if that’s the right phrase, but you get the idea…I hope).

So if you are interested in a copy of this CD and live local to England, message me on any social media platform (or on here) and I’ll personally deliver one to you (charges will apply depending on far I have to go) and I’ll play a little concert for you! If not you can wait until the 27th and get if for free!! (or if you want to be generous and pay some monies) on the good ole BandCamp!!!

But for now enjoy the music you’ll find on my blog and keep in touch!!!

Facebook: @chatfieldUK
Twitter: @james_bassfield
Instagram: @basschatfield

Debut Album – Chatfield

 

Album Cover 3

Debut Album – Chatfield

Chatfield – my Debut album as a solo artist, here I’ve combined elements of electronica, electric bass, found sound and glitched programming. Composed and produced by myself, this album has been an exciting journey into combining styles I’m passionate about, and the process has heightened my passion.

I’ve been massively inspired by the likes of; Steve Lawson, Beardyman, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin and taking inspiration from natural soundscapes and rhythms.

Triangle Fixation was my first experiment with glitching up an improvised bass performance, making cuts and edits of the audio to create grooves and melodies. As the first step, it gave me drive to experiment and compose more in that style. The use of effect pedals lead to many melodies and sounds, sticking my bass and vocals through them, shaping the original sounds into new instruments, Now I Know it’s No being a prime example.

Sampling is a big portion of my writing, and with a hand held audio recorder (Q2HD), I take it everywhere, sampling all that interests me. I’ve taken samples from many places for this album, one being Spain. In 2015 I took a trip over there visiting friends and their families, gigging with them (The Hoaxx) at Fiestas, pubs and clubs. Staying on top of mountains sitting inside thunderstorms and swinging on ropes inside caverns lead to some interesting samples, some of which you’d find on the albums bonus tracks. The album cover was also taken on top of a mountain in Benimaurell, after an extremely long hike with drummer Seb Baldwin and his pack of dogs. Samples have also been taken from pub conversations with friends, talking nonsense and creasing at each others jokes, Let’s Get Naked features many of these samples. One of my favourite samples came from a lecturer at Uni, during the days of ‘Life Classes’, where we’d talk about our goals and ambitions within music, you’ll find it at the end of Rain.

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FIGA Independent Festival

As well as found sounds, I’ve sampled and modulated recorded vocals from Sam Rogers, (aka. Little One). Being a big part in the creation of this album, Sam has helped with production, arranging and provided constructive feedback. You’ll hear her in tracks; I FearA Loop For Tears Rain.

This album stemmed from improvisational adventures with my bass, …there’s somebody else… is a complete improvised solo bass piece. I have to thank Steve Lawson, for being a big inspiration in my bass playing and opening my eyes to the ways of improvising, without whom I wouldn’t be viewing music the same way. Eve Eve differs being it a short composition, one written on the eve of Christmas eve.

My glitching effects and sounds have mainly evolved from spending hours editing audio samples; pitching, stretching, looping, automating, modulation and combining them with MIDI effects (random arpeggiators & pitching tools). Being a fan of smaller details, I enjoy making many variations and altering melodies and grooves, trying to cram in as many rhythmic ideas as I can into the shortest of space.

The final track (well the final for those who haven’t downloaded it, as a download comes with an additional 6 tracks!) Travel and Say Goodbye was mostly composed during a journey down too London, hence part of the name. This track mostly consisting of MIDI instruments and effects, with the added samples of my bass being effected by a Kaoss Pad, it also contains samples of a very memorable day (saying goodbye to Becker – my beloved pet and best friend whom I grew up with). The final section to this track, plays a recording of the family talking about the history of Becker, and the sound of her last couple of barks asking for an ice-cube (her favourite treat).

So you’ve read about the album, now go ‘ave a listen! – !!Chatfield!! It’s free (pay what you want) and a download gives you an extra 6 tracks, so what’s not too love! Anything made from this album will go towards physical copies of this and future releases. This album is just the first step into my solo work, and there are many routes I wish too explore so stick around and follow my journey!