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;
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!
So this weekend 20th-22nd July 2018, I was asked to join TEDx to perform and talk about my music and journey. I spent a while figuring out what I wanted to say and how I was going to say it. Writing many talks and feeling more than nervous for the event. It was kind of crazy how it all came about, just through a short video I posted of me busking once in Worcester, the curator Sarah Luger messaged me asking me if I wanted to play? – eh yeahs, I’ve been watching Ted talks the past 4 years!
I wanna write more about it, but for now I wanted to share the speech that I didn’t actually say on stage as I went almost completely improvised and just followed what my heart had to say. The response after I played and spoke was beyond ridiculous, the room was filled with so much love and positivy, it was cray cray!
For now these words roughly capture what I wanted to talk about.
Hey, so I was asked to perform my music on this TEDx stage today and talk about who I am.
I am James Chatfield.
And 2 years ago I made a leap and decided to be a full-time street-musician, right at the beginning of a British winter. Not exactly the best time to be playing outside in the streets all day. But it all came from a gut feeling, a feeling inside, telling me that I was destined for more than what I was doing at the time, which then, was working at a retail job, a place that didn’t align to who I was or give me chance to add value to people’s lives, just a source of income.
So I did it, I followed this gut feeling and quit my job, it was whilst driving to the workplace, I had a mental breakdown, a realisation that this wasn’t who I was and that I knew I could be doing something more important to give to this world.
So sat there in my car, after just quitting my job, and choosing my own path, I drove out and started street performing, deciding that from this point onwards, I would do this full-time, that I would only do things that meant I could be who I was, and add value to other people’s lives doing what I love – creating music.
The winter was harsh to busk in, my hands would freeze up alot, I stood in blistering winds, snowfalls, would get many blisters and cut my fingers, catch colds and sometimes play for 6 hours in one day and just make enough to grab a cup of coffee.
But I knew that if I persisted and never gave up, and that if I could busk through this, that I could busk in any condition.
And what kept me going was
Seeing the affect my music had on people, children stopping in amazement, possibly the first time they’ve seen live music, they dance and laugh, stop their parents so they can watch, pulling them closer. People smile, people walk past looking down and out then a smile slowly arises, people looking so busy then suddenly stop, those few seconds where they escape the rush in their mind to listen to this music, maybe it shaped their day and brought light to them, maybe it inspired them, maybe it just quite simply made them feel a bit more happier in that one moment. People have come up to me in tears, hugging me, “thank you” they say or “I have had the most awful morning, but hearing this music has made my day instantly better”.
Seeing this affect I had on people. I knew that this was what I was meant to do, this was a path I was meant to embark on, one to bring my music to streets for strangers to hear, to spread positivity, smiles and lighten someone’s day. For I knew if I had impacted only one person out of a thousand, in a positive way. I was doing something good for this world, that who I am and the skills I have, equal to, performing music on the streets, the perfect way for me to maximise my impact on the world.
I am grateful everyday for the amazing kindness from all of the wonderful people I encounter on the streets, and for the most incredible, most magical friends that I have. For without these loving souls, wouldn’t be able to do what I do.
My current goal is to acquire a van, so that I can convert into a mobile home and music studio, so that I can be more productive and travel easier, to reach out to more people and more countries. To drive around sharing my music to every country that is possible to drive to.
With this van, it means I can further expand on my mission,
To travel the world, and share my music and positivity to the streets, to uplift and connect as many people as I can. For at the end, when I leave this life, I want to leave knowing that I gave this world everything I am, that I gave it all the music in me. As we only get this one life, this one chance to follow our heart, to turn our dreams into a reality, to bring value to every other being around us, to make change to the world no matter how small that change is.
I’ve always seen my music as a way to communicate and spread positivity. A way to connect with people and share a joyful message. I’ve never felt I’ve had the chance to communicate a positive message through talking, so with this opportunity on this TEDx talk, I want to share a message.
I say to you, just go, for you can go anywhere, for you can turn all your dreams into a reality, for you can live the life you desire, for you can achieve things beyond what you believe you are capable of. You are enough, you will always be enough, you are beautiful, you are unique, and you are a miracle. You can overcome any challenge that presents itself. You can do anything and you can go anywhere. One step at a time, as any step forward is a step forward.
Where will you go? What do you feel your soul pulling you towards? I say go, Just Go, For You Can Go Anywhere, give this world everything you are and leave knowing that you lived your life to the full.
And now I will play some music for you.
Recently I visited Bournemouth for a busking trip, was originally planned to stay there for just a weekend. But loved the city too much, there’s so much beauty here, great busking spots, beaches, swimming, so many vegan cafes and goodies, basically an all round amazing place! Here I met Allie Kenward, who kindly gave me a place to stay, showed me around Bournemouth and became a bigger part of my music than I could imagine. She joined me busking, took videos, painted CDs and suggested more ideas for a bigger show. Sunflower Shed – Allie’s allotment, was a lovely place to play some music, so we did a few sessions here, where I played music and she did her gardening things!
Video above is the first one we did, Video below is our second session!
Sunflower Shed Sessions 2 was kindly filmed by a floaty artichoke! Thanks dude!
Here’s some audio clips from these sessions;
A combination of music and gardening. Something I’ve wanted to do for ages! Allotment gigs, so that’s a goal in mind, to get an actual Allotment gig sorted!
I feel chilled music and gardening have similarity in how they soothe the mind and bring some form of therapy to us. Quiet and relaxing music really helps calm the mind down, it can almost be an escape from reality and bring you to a totally different world in your mind, (“I was sat here, but my mind was away on the coastline in the sea” said Timbo, a guy who recently saw me out busking in Hereford) some music really resonated with me and sends my minds on wild adventures, brings back memories and feelings, nostalgic and beautiful it can be. Gardening too, it’s a raw natural thing that connects you with nature and the textures of plants can be soothing to touch, away from everything busy and into the wild with plants.
What are your thoughts? Does gardening relax you? Would you like to see more music/gardening things?
All the best,
Freida danced for ages when I first busked in Winchester! She had crazy energy and the best dance moves! Her Mum videoed it and sent it my way!
Video above was from March 2018
Video below is from yesterdays busk in Winchester! She heard my music from the top of the high street, said to her Mum “Is that him?!”, “I think so!”. Then came running down, I looked up and saw here high bouncy energy jumping all over the place again! It was just incredible! More kids joined in and there was a small group of toddlers jumping around like crazy. Colin Kennaugh captured a moment of her dancing;
It’d be great to start giving you more content on subjects and questions that you’d like me to talk about! So if you have any questions or things you’d like me to write about, within the borders of busking and my music, then please message me on any social media platform, via email or on here!
I posted on Instagram asking what people would like to ask. @ogmattsmith sent me a message; What made you decide you wanted to play both bass and percussion guitar at the same time?
So I’m here to answer this.
Why I Started Playing both Guitar and Bass Simultaneously?
It was a happy accident, during December of 2018, I borrowed my Dad’s guitar as I wanted to start singing some of my favourite songs, which I did, I learnt a bunch of Snow Patrol and Stereophonic’s tunes and tried to sing!
While wielding the bass one night, I was jamming to some Ben Howard, and was like it’d be cool to look at some open tunings and see what I can make on guitar. Without thinking I just grabbed the acoustic, sat it on my lap, still with the bass around me. Found an alternative open D tuning (D A D F# B D), and used the bass as a tuner to tune the guitar, holding one hand on a note and using the other to tune the guitar. Then I by accident hit the guitar, 12th fret all strings and bass at the same time…..”that sounded cool” I said to myself, so I did it again, just holding different notes on the bass, “oh, this is fun, this is real fun!”. Then from there on, I’ve just been experimenting loads with creating techniques and exploring the limitations with it. I still don’t fully know what I’m doing and I still have such a long way to go, there are many ideas and sounds I have in my mind that I’m still working out how to speak with the guitars. So I feel I’ve only scratched the surface with what is possible with this set-up. I treat it as one instrument and find it completely different to playing a bass or guitar on it’s own. I’ve fallen in love with the limitations and sounds that are possible with it.
Here’s the first thing I did with it;
Starting a one man band! It’s a shame my vocals suck, but playing this – whatever this is – makes me smile a lot 😆😆 . . . . . . . . . #bass #bassist #bassplayer #warwickbasses #warwickbass #solobass #basssolo#solobassist#jameschatfield#basschatfield#newmusic#instrumental#passionformusic#originalmusic#bassporn#bassuniversity#basshero#instabass#bassjam#bassforward#bassplayersunited#inspirebass#bassincredible#onemanband #twoguitars @wowmusicians @bassincredible @inspirebass
And here’s the most recent thing I’ve posted with it;
I’m just over 7 months in to this set-up and I feel I have so much to work on and do, I’m nowhere near what I have in my mind, so I’m taking each day a day at a time, one tiny step each day!
I feel that’s what you need to do with any goal or destination you have in mind, to take it slow, be patient and take one tiny step at a time.
So whatever you are working towards at the moment, don’t worry if you feel so far away, learn to celebrate the small victories and start enjoying the journey, for that is the most fun part, seeing your self development and progression.
Much love for all!