A Busk of Stourbridge – 4th June 2018

A day busking in Stourbridge, where I discovered the above riff! (below is the full improvised track around this riff). It’s pushing my boundaries a little with what I can do with these two instruments, but I love the challenge and trying something very new for the first time in the streets, it puts pressure on it to almost make it ‘complete’ there and then, as though I know exactly what I’m doing, when in actual fact, I have no idea! But hey, that’s the beauty of busking, you can do what you like, and people seem to like what I do.

Trying to forget what the right hand is doing with the percussive pattern and let my left hand do some more basslinr riffs. Splitting my mind as much as I can.

I bumped into two guys who have seen me in many places on my busking adventures, they said some very loving and hopeful encouraging words to me. Telling me how they really appreciate and admire my lifestyle and music choices, I feel incredibly blessed for this to have happened. A wonderful day.

Most of my walking and communting on the train has been spent listening to ‘Zhivago’ – https://open.spotify.com/album/2CLZbOCE9u7KvLM6fOXk9C?si=bkFTcwOdSZStBn0IPedYzQ

A wonderful EP done by some wonderful people, one of whom ‘Daniel Tween’ is a good friend of mine.

Have a listen and give them a follow.

Many blessings to you! Have a beautiful evening.

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Worcester River Cruise Gig – 3rd June 2018

Today was filled with many busking sets. A lovely response from the kind hearts of Worcester. The local street artist Tony, who creates beautiful chalk portraits on the streets of animals and fantasy worlds, collaborated with me today. He designed some of my homemade CDs;

Whilst playing across the street from him, he drew what the music inspired. He said he could hear alot of animals and travelling coming from my music, maybe that relates to my desires for travelling, veganism and my love for animals. Its interesting how that kind of energy comes from my music, different people imagine different things from it, the beauty of music, it can be intrepted in an infinite amount of ways.

Many new riffs and Improvisation bought many ideas to fruition. A perfect platform for practicing before a gig. My gig. Tonight was on a River Cruise down the River Severn in Worcester – http://www.worcesterboattrips.co.uk – the top link is a video from the set, my first song which was just a long version of ‘Change’.

A very fun gig it was indeed. The first gig I’ve played where the venue moves! I was unsure on what to expect and what kind of gig it was, it was more of a background music vibe, which is what I was hoping as playing a ‘real’ gig environment kind of frightens me at the moment, to have everyone’s full attention on you and the music, it’s quite a lot to take in. Especially as a solo artists, you have all eyes on you and can’t hide behind a drummer or singer!

But none the less, it was a fantastic day and I will continue to do more gigs to over come this fright and do more with my music!

Have a wonderful day!

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

You’re an Actual Miracle – Quick Busking Documents – 11th May 2018

Whilst I was playing a man came over and asked;
“How old are you?”
“24”
“I just lost my boy at 25, he would of absolutely loved this music, this is from him”
I was lost for words, his loss hit me really hard, and throughout that busk and still now I can’t stop thinking about that. To lose your own child at such a young age, must be a pain unimaginable. It hit me hard as well because I turn 25 this year, making me realise how soon a life can end. Such a young age, there was so much more his son still had to give and explore.
This makes me think about life way more, and the fact it can end unexpectedly and death is unfortunately inevitable.
To live it to the full and live it the way you want to, there is only one chance at this life, one chance to make your own legend. The odds of being alive are – 4 Trillion to 1, which technically makes each individual is a miracle – you, yes you are a walking miracle. So take all the light within you and shine it bright so the world can see, give this world everything you have, go all the way with your dreams and goals, take every moment as a chance to enjoy this life you have. Enjoy each moment, cherish everything you have and be grateful for all the tiny details of your life, for this moment right now could be one of your last.
Don’t stop shining your light!
Take fucking control of your own path and do everything you ever dreamed of!
You’re a miracle, an actual miracle, so live life to the complete full!
I wish you all the best!
Love,
James.

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A New Set-Up – Guitar/Bass/Vocals

So recently I’ve been experimenting with a new set-up (above). Which involves me playing both bass and guitar simultaneously whilst ‘trying’ to sing. This all happened by a happy accident – wanting to learn a Ben Howard tune on guitar. I had the bass on, sat the guitar on my lap and used the bass to tune the guitar to an open tuning, hitting harmonics on both instruments – “that sounds cool! what if I hold a bass note and hit the guitar for harmonics and percussive stuff!?”. Since then I’ve not stopped writing and practicing with this set-up, apart from a few days off as I went busking with it and due to the cold, split my middle finger open whilst hitting the tiny sharp guitar strings!

I’m really enjoying playing around with this set-up and the challenge of trying to balance two instruments. I’m still trying to understand what the hell I’m doing and how to make it sound good, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done with it, but the practice is fun – so fun actually – I never want to put them down! Ahh I’m excited by this, I feel there’s so much potential with what I can do with this set-up.

The video is taken from my second live performance with this, it’s been a very terrifying and nerve racking thing! Especially with the singing, as I’m very very new to singing and know there’s a lot of vocal work to be done, I feel I can’t really sing just yet, but with lots of practice, maybe I could!? But it was a fun experience and it’s definitely building my confidence. I’m not overly happy with this performance and was very unsure on whether or not I should release it online, but then I thought it’d be cool to document my journey with learning the set-up and I guess have it to look back on and see where I need to improve and to see my personal progression with singing and performing.
This was on the 4th January 2018, so just over 2 weeks since I started messing around with the set-up, first video upload:

I’ll be uploading a tonne more content to the likes of Instagram and YouTube, so follow me on both of these platforms to see more clips from my quest: to learn how to sing, play guitar and play bass – all at the same time.

 

Take care!

Thank you for following my blog and reading this post!

Much love for you!

Keep smiling and follow your heart!

Grab ya self some free music from my BandCamp!
chatfield.bandcamp.com

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Support/Donate
paypal.me/JamesChatfield

 

Busking-Travelling-Composing-Performing-Bass’ing :)

Busking, travelling, composing, performing, bass’ing and other related subjects – is what you’ll get from these blogs I will be writing from now until I no longer own a device on which I can write an online blog. I’m going to be documenting my journey through music and expressing emotions and feelings of living the life as a travelling musician. I’ll capture and share stories/music from the people I meet through the journey. There’ll be a minimum of one blog post a week, the flow and consistency will develop over time, but I feel I’ve been holding it off for a while – and if there’s something you want to do-do it now! So I’m doing it right now, I don’t have any plan for this particular post, but I guess it’s an introduction into my thoughts, feelings and recent adventures.

I have recently been feeling very low and down on life, not wanting to give up, but realising it’s hard, life is hard. But you’ve always got to keep your head up and DO, even when you really don’t feel like doing it, put yourself through the motions of ‘DO’ing and you strengthen your capacity to DO. JUST DO! 
When feeling like this quite recently whilst out busking, I’d been playing for just under 2 hours and was feeling unsure about continuing. When a man sat beside me with a bottle of squash and listened for a very long time, finishing a song I turned to him and smiled. Returning the smile he went on to say, “Thank you, thank you for being here right now at this moment. I’ve had a really rough couple of days and this right now has made me happy, it’s made my life better. Thank you“, he gave me some money and smiled. Thanking him I told him to keep his head up in the dark times, expressing my gratitude for this moment, passing him a CD and telling him, that all I want to do is spread positivity and happiness to people. We spoke about life and constantly moving forward no matter what, that ‘Darkness exists to make light truly count’-Sleeping at Last . He smiled and before leaving said, “Thank you, it’s not just the music and technicality of it that I like, it’s your spirit. Keep doing this, please“. I could see he was holding in tears, it must be some real rough times for him and I wish him the best in that, I hope to see him again and pass a smile of encouragement and hope. Writing about this brings tears to my eyes, life is hard, but I’m not giving up with my dreams and goals, knowing that I made a difference to this persons life makes everything worth it, it gives me a boost in belief, all I want to do is spread positivity and joy and give love to this world we live in.
So whatever it is you believe in your heart and soul, go out there and do it. Make your world a better place! 

On a more positive feeling I’ve been thinking a lot about progression, I feel I need to really work hard at my craft and progress as a musician, composer and person. To do that requires documenting your self and evaluating everything you do, to monitor your mind and learn how your mind works and change it to better yourself. So I’m making a conscious effect to improve and become a better me, I will do this with daily recordings/videos which I can look back on and see what I need to do more of and what less of. This blog will also be a place for me to keep track of my progression, I’m sure the more blogs I do the better they’ll become.

Another positive note – I’ve been making CD’s and getting help from my little sister Starr. She’s getting a commission for each CD that sells that she designed. It’s cool to collaborate with the family and design artwork together, because everyone can draw, and everyone has a unique drawing style. That’s why I’ve fallen in love with art, it’s such a personal way to express your true self, with it you show the world the full true you.
If you like the look of these CD’s please feel free to send me a message/email and we can arrange a delivery for you! 🙂

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Here’s a great picture from ‘Anthony Pearson’, who caught me busking in Worcester on a Sunday afternoon 🙂

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I want to end this blog with this;
By many people I get told to “Keep doing what you’re doing“, I’m so grateful for these comments, it’s like a hint from the universe that I’m doing what I was set out to do. I feel it in my heart and soul, I see the path that I will take and I know deep down that this is all I have and what I was set out to do. I want to give life everything I have and die empty knowing that I’ve given all I can. Find your passion and give everything you have to the world around you! Be grateful and keep moving forward! 

Keep doing what you do best! 

All the best

James x

2017: Year of the Busker

Plans for 2017

2017 is here, the start to a new year, and with this I’ve made a promise to myself to only spend my time doing what I enjoy and to not full back into a ‘real job’, or commit myself to anything I’m not going to enjoy. So this is a year I’m very much excited for, I feel it’ll be – the year of the busker – where I can busk the whole year and spend the entirety of it doing what I love, music.

So far it has been an amazing start, with a crazy exciting opportunity being offered my way (something I’ll write about in the near future)… but unfortunately I also spent the first couple of weeks being very ill with a sickness bug, that very unluckily started during a New Years Eve session gig, where I ended up running off stage to spend the 2017 countdown in the bathroom…not fun. But this was no massive issue, it just prevented me from busking for a while as I could hardly move, I really do feel extremely positive about this year

With all my ideas and plans I feel making some form of a ‘Busking Bucket List’, will help give me motivation, an envisioned end goal, a task to complete by the end of 2017;

  • Busk more cities in England – Spend a long weekend of busking/gigging at each of these Cities.
    • – Cardiff – Liverpool – Manchester – Bath – Bristol – London – York – Brighton – Newcastle – Oxford – Hull – Bournemouth
  • Jump on a train and travel through Europe to busk.
  • Encourage my musician friends to start busking.
    • 20+ friends, to get them at least 2 or more busks.
  • Collaborate with other buskers from around Europe.
  • Be involved with busking projects and busking events.
  • To have many busking blogs uploaded to this page.
  • Release an album worth of busking material.

At the end of this year I will be able to tick off each of these (potentially more, who knows), and have it all documented in some form. I’d love to encourage others to busk and give more through the art of busking. I feel these goals are achievable and very beneficial to myself as a busker, musician and person.

Free Food and Free Music

One of my first gigs this year, was performing at a Polish Charity event – WOSP, (The biggest non-profit, charity organisation in Poland). There were so many lovely people gathered, sharing stories, amazing food, raffles and auctions with lots of laughter and smiles. I was lost in translation for most of it, but I’ve always enjoyed listening to a conversation in a foreign language, trying to understand what they’re saying through the emotions they portray. Overall it was a great event, everyone was so bubbly and super friendly.
Towards the end of it, I was stood talking with the host in the kitchen, I noticed a mass amount of oranges piled up in crates and pointed it out. “You like oranges? Take one!” the host said, I took an orange (a single orange this is), “No, no, take a crate!”. 10 minutes later I’m carrying a huge crate of like 300 oranges back to the car! A pretty good payment, I’d happily get paid in fruit for gigs – the future – exchange music/art for food and vice-versa.

I was struggling to think how I could eat this many oranges before they went off, without turning into an orange myself, or having a vitamin C overdose or whatever weird things can happen from an ‘Orange Overdose’ (Song title – keeping this). So I shared them with the family, friends, neighbours and then thought “I’ll take them to the streets!” (below).
So here I am, with free oranges and free music out in Worcester! A lot of people walked past, saw the sign and giggled to their friends “Free oranges?!” (say that in loads of different voices/accents, at different pitches and volumes = what I heard all day). I did manage to share them with a few people, also dropping some into another buskers case ‘The Fidgets’. One woman walked past, had a quick look, walked backwards, stared at the bass case for ages, looked up and said “This is amazing, do more!”, took a photo of the sign and walked off. I definitely want to do this again, give out free food and free music, it’s sprouted so many ideas for future busks.

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I also spent a very long time making the oranges dance, check it out below!

Thank you for following my website and reading this post!

If you like what I do and want to support me, you can donate via Bandcamp and get yourself some music! 😊 – chatfield.bandcamp.com

Please feel free to comment below, share your busking stories and any advice on busking you may have! I’d love to connect with more buskers and learn more about the art!

All the best!
See you next week!