‘too much mind’

Hovering over a Pleasant Mind.

Click Play on the video! Let the birdsongs and bass loops compliment the woods/words. 

This video was caught on the outskirts of Stroud, a morning before heading in to busk the streets. Beetles crawled, flies swarmed and covered my body and gear, spiders spun webs to catch a closer look. Even though this music may seem ambient/relaxing/peaceful, I do wonder what effect the noise has on the insects and animals around? Playing in the woods, I’ve seen squirrels, rabbits, and birds (mostly Robins), sit closer and look at me, they’ll often run away if I make a higher pitched note or louder noise. I hope that the music isn’t detrimental to their health. I can’t imagine a nest of ants meditating and studying to this music, like humans might do, although I can imagine them dancing in a very tribalistic way: the music takes over and they cannot help but dance in non-natural ways, with dance-offs to impress their queen, whistling down grass-cuttings and harmonising, tapping small sticks and creating rhythms only an Ant can imagine…. tangents! 

This whole blog is a tangent really. Two books I’m reading at the moment are; A Year of Living Simply and Eye of the World

Waste is the curse of our civilisation. Because that waste – the endless stuff we buy and then throw away – is polluting our air, our soil, our water, the very things we need to survive. We can have beautiful things, but they should also be useful and durable, things that last and that you treasure. We can all have a good life if we live in a society that is less wasteful and less polluting.

pg. 43, ‘A Year of Living Simply’ by Kate Humble.

I read ‘soil’ as Soul, when first reading this page. I suppose we could add Soul into the list, as waste is bad for us in that deeper way. How can we be less wasteful? How can we reduce the amount of things (we don’t need to impress people who don’t actually care) that we buy and own? How can we reduce the amount of things we throw away? Good questions to ask yourself. 

Recently I watched The Last Samurai, and as the main protagonist learned the way of the Samurai within fighting, he was told “too much mind”. As in, he was thinking about everything. So when it comes to waste and having ‘too many things’, could the same be said about our mind, our thoughts. When we’re having a conversation with a friend, why are we thinking about next week’s plans, or last night’s events? Why would we hold so many thoughts. Start to strip the mind, and hone into the present moment, the task at hand. Too much mind can be polluting to our actions, and our lives. 

I have found myself recently having ‘too much mind’, when I’m performing. Thinking about the people watching, the songs, the questions like “am I going to make enough money today? Can I cover my expenses? What if no-one likes this and think I’m just a racket?”. When in reality if I just focus on the music I am playing, focus on how my hands feel on the fretboards, and how this song feels in the current moment, truly hone in to the song, the performance, the enjoyment of playing this music… everything else means nothing, and is only distracting myself from enjoying life. 

‘too much mind’… When do you experience this? What could you do to focus on the task in hand? What thoughts could you strip away? What thoughts can wait for a later moment? 

Perhaps it’s our culture of always having access to all the information there ever was. In our pockets, glued to our hands, is a device that is linked to everything, everywhere, everyone… all at once. So then it leads us to believe we should be doing everything all at once. Watching films while also replying to messages. Eating dinner with friends while also checking our phone notifications. Walking through the woods + listening to a podcast + replying to messages + bumping into other walkers because you’re in three places at once, and then you fall over into a bush of stinging nettles, then a muddy puddle, and now your clothes are ruined, your phone splashes in the puddle beside you, so now you’re in Tesco buying a bag of rice, so you can go home, change, put your phone in the rice… and hopefully laugh it all off. ‘too much mind’. 

Maybe just start focusing on one thing at a time? If you’re writing a blog, then ignore your emails and messages, stop thinking about brewing another coffee until you’ve finished the paragraph. Did you know that Coffee beans are berries? When you go see family/friends, leave your phone in your backpack. When you’re in a queue, be in the queue, listen to the world around you, see where your thoughts wonder, see what ideas might grow. 

Here’s me making my CDs, and there is a link below to grab yourself one.

You can buy a CD for £15, and I ship all across the world, sometimes they take a little while to send out, I apologise for delays.

Eldrene, so beautiful that it was said the flowers bloomed to make her smile.

‘Eye of the World’, A Wheel of Time Book One, by Robert Jordan.

I really like this sentence, and I’m really enjoying the book. The Wheel of Time is such an epic amount of pages and stories and characters, that it’s quite intimidating to begin or think about finishing. So many people claim it to be so good, and have read it multiple times, so surely it must be worth the time and imagination? 

To relate this sentence to the previous subject on ‘too much mind’. You could replace either the word Eldrene of Beautiful with Present? 

Eldrene, so present that it was said the flowers bloomed to make her smile. She spent her life in the moment that she noticed the flowers bloom, she noticed the world around her and how it acted, and how in reality this world was created for her, as it is created for you (who reads this right now)

Present, so beautiful that it was said the flowers bloomed to make you smile. (I changed her for you, to have more sense). The act of being present is beautiful, because you catch the world in its purity. 

🙂 

Here are some thoughts, I wrote them out, I highlighted sentences from books I like, and shared some sentences with you. Thank you for being here. 

If you’ve enjoyed – this link takes you across the internet to all the place my music and words exist – https://linktr.ee/jameschatfield

My biggest push at the moment is my Patreon Page – here is a public post that allows you to see what you’ll get from being a Patron. Patreon is a really cool platform that allows you to subscribe to creators that you want to support. With monthly donations, you will be granted exclusive content, so it’s a win win for all :).

Anyway, you take care! Drop some comments and share your thoughts, share your favourite quotes from your favourite books. 

Here’s a question for writing/journaling purposes… What is your 100 year goal? 

to compose a forest – March 2022 Album

New album! 🙂
‘to compose a forest’, (which is part of a larger sentence) is my new album. A collection of ambient guitar work performed inside woodlands, where treesong and birdsong compliment the guitar sounds.

to compose a forest – online artwork

Throughout March 2022 I did a lot of TikTok livestreams, while out in woodlands, and it was incredible fun. The community on TikTok is very friendly and everyone on there is kind towards what I do, complimenting the sounds and saying how the music calms them, or starts their day off on a positive note. It is so damn awesome! And I am incredibly grateful.

I used my Zoom H4N to record each livestream session, and turned 30 hours of sounds into this album (9 tracks online, 12 tracks for the physical copies). A lot of those recordings were the same songs just improvised in different manners, and there is probably a lot of similarity in the songs on this album. I suppose it is like it’s own sound world.

Subdued on Their Odyssey, track 9, I think is my favourite. It was recorded on a rainy day, in the woods, with a tarpaulin hung up on some trees;

my rain-sheltered livestream set up

The set-up for this took me trekking through the woods, in the pouring rain, up and down muddy tracks – which I fell over once or twice – and through walls of holly-bushes (to get that perfect spot)… well, turns out the spot was right next to where I parked my car, I just didn’t see it – so it was my return journey, where I almost just said ‘F**k this, this isn’t working’, the persistent trial, gave me this spot. It also took so long as I couldn’t find the right collection of trees to tie the tarpaulin too. So I was rebuilding the shelter until I found something… even when I did, I had to use a stick to make the shape fit me and my gear in okay.

This resulted in a lovely livestream, and this song;

subdued on their odyssey – YouTube video

Subdued on their Odyssey; Though the journey was adventurous, they spoke no words to one another. Instead the party reflected on their individual reasons of being there; where they came from, why this journey, and what would come next. They meditated on each question, without conversation to the others. As they questioned their own reasons; they built stories about those that joined them. Reflections and stories intwined. Once the journey closes; only then will they be able to talk openly. The silent long haul, the building of thoughts and ideas.

So for this new album, I will be drawing up 100 handmade designs. Limiting it to this, and possibly ordering bulk copies from an online store post-handdrawn.

You can get your copy here – to compose a forest, hand-drawn CD – I’m really enjoying exploring this album artwork. The ideas that a song can create a forest, or that music is hidden within a forest… and all the ideas that lie somewhere between those ideas.

I hope you enjoy these new sounds! 🙂 do let me know,

The album is also available to all my Patrons on my Patreon Page 🙂

Wishing you well,
James x

Icy Winds. Enchant, Excite, Move, Inspire.

I have recently played – during these colder-winder-wetter days – in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Stroud, Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Hereford and Cambridge. Even with the Sun high, showing its beauty and warming the world faster than it should, those icy winds rush in and bite, breaking the warmth from the Sun; clawing at my fingertips and seeping into muscles. This battle against the climate, allows for only two hours of playing, because I know anymore will be counter-productive.
//
Make the absolute most out of those two hours. Enjoy it. Converse with strangers who approach with smiles. Watch the clouds move and roll and form mountains and kingdoms in the sky. Show gratitude for those who watch. Families embraced with hands holding coffees, teas and hands, wrapped warmly by coats and scarfs. They stop a minute or two or more, and their faces change, their eyes show smiles if masks are on. Children stop the parents, and the parents smile at the child’s amazement, they dance or ask questions, or simply stand in awe – music – being played – guitars making noises – here in real life not on the screens.
//

Assiduous; (adjective) showing great care and perseverance.

I like that word, assiduous, I think it fits in with how you should act towards something you love; and with hobbies, self-care, art, and studies that you’re passionate about. Caring for it greatly over a long period of time, endlessly ideally, or at least knowing that the journey will be a long one, and showing care towards that thing you love, will have tremendously beneficial results. Not that you should do something on the core basis of ‘results’, the process is what you must fall in love with. – who am I to tell you what to do anyway, go do whatever you want.

Current books – Daemon Voices – Phillip Pullman and Atonement – Ian McEwan.

It was like discovering a new continent – new forms of knowledge, new ways of understanding, immense vistas of possibility.

Daemon Voices, Phillip Pullman

I forget the exact page this quote comes from, and the full context to it, but I enjoyed it enough to write it in my journal. I feel this quote can connect with any new creative endeavour; or any new hobbies you jump into. Or perhaps it is explaining the immense value of both reading and writing: how the act of either can completely change your perspective on the world (both within, and outside). Which is true, with every page I read – and every page I write – I feel my sight on the world, on my thoughts, on life as a whole changes in some manner. Seeing it from a different perspective, or asking a different question, or even wording a question I’ve already asked in a different way; and I suppose that slight difference can make all the difference.

…also stacked would be books by the thousand, for there would be a study, vast and gloomy, richly crammed with the trophies of a lifetime’s travel and thought – rare rain-forest herbs, poisoned arrows, failed electrical inventions, soapstone figurines, shrunken skulls, aboriginal art.

Atonement, Ian McEwan

Taking a slice of description like this makes me smile. Finding those combinations of words and reading them over and over again. There’s so much vivid wonder in this quote. I imagine Robbie (who’s chapter this is from), sitting there in this lantern lit room, leaning on a chair, typewriter waiting to be played with, turning and looking around, pulling ideas from his ‘lifetime’s travel and thought’. Ahhhh.
//
I like how we can see a connection from this quote and the first one, ‘new forms of knowledge’. To be in that room you would find yourself asking questions about such odd trophies complied together, wanting to hear the stories – and then those stories would invoke new knowledge/understanding. Vistas of Possibility. A conversation that leads to curiosity about a far away land, so you book a flight and experience it with your own senses.

Enchant. Excite. Move. Inspire.

Another line of text taken from Daemon Voices, where he talks about what Poems should do. What an incredible recipe! I believe if you find something, somewhere, someone, or anything; that Enchants, Excites, Moves and Inspires you, then that is magic. You have to hold on to that and keep it tight to you like it was a missing heartbeat, and it shouldn’t be a secret, because that something could be a piece of art you’ve created, or a book you’ve read or film you’ve watched – one that makes your heart flutter in tremendous shapes – and it should be shared, because you may create a ripple of enchantment, excitement, movement and inspiration – one that could shape another day.
//
All day I’ve had those words in my mind. Enchant. Excited. Move. Inspire. You have to find those things. I only hope that I can have an effect like this through my music. If I can find those who feel that way about my music, then I have to keep on going for them.

🙂

Really my blog is intended to be a document of my readings, busking stories, and thoughts on the combinations of the two. I read a lot, and write down a lot of quotes from those books, dots on a map. And finding links between them is an exciting and thought-provoking journey. I imagine sitting in a room full of books opened to specific pages, trying to find a clue, some kind of answer to universal questions. And it’s hidden in the link between quotes from: The Lord of the Rings + Jane Austen, Emma + The Secret Life of Plants + The Old Curiosity Shop = answers to the universe! hint, it probably isn’t, but it’s fun finding interesting links and thinking about how they relate to one another. Isn’t it?
//
I busk a lot too, every day if I could control the weather. But I busk as often as I can, and it’s incredibly enjoyable. Playing in the streets is all I think I ever want to do (in regards to work life). and here’s a clip from that busking thing I do – I live stream it too on TikTok, so if you’re on that platform, go find me @basschatfield – and you may catch me one day 🙂

If you do like this combination of words, and want to follow me on different platforms – the link to all my things is right here – https://linktr.ee/jameschatfield – the best possible way to support the journey is via my Patreon Page over here – www.patreon.com/chatfield – it is a monthly subscription which grants you exclusive content.

I also make CDs, hand drawn, like this;

You can buy one here –//jameschatfield.myshopify.com/products/theres-a-universe-in-this-oat-latte-9-track-album-unique-designs

I appreciate your time reading this! Thank you so much. I wish you have a good day, and find some good books to read, good music to listen to, good walks to go on, and good thoughts to have.

Best,
James.

A Lighter Mind – TikTok Livestream Improvisation and Words

Hello all, words and such, blog too. I forgot I had a blog, you know? I’ve been focusing all my attention on performing on the streets and TikTok livestreams that the written word element to my creative mind, had vanished. Well technically not, because I still write everyday – towards book goals and fictional world build (it’s NaNoWriMo did you know?).

The actual process of writing blogs and post online content is something I massively enjoy, and to have not done this in so long… kinda makes me sad, and makes me feel as though I have failed. But that’s silly, because I haven’t failed, but isn’t it weird where the mind sometimes goes, that all these good things happen in your life, yet your mind pokes at the negative and pulls you toward that darkness. Strange. Anyhow. Life is good.

The improvisation above was something I thoroughly enjoyed; it’s short, sweet, and peaceful on the mind: both while playing it and while listening back. I’m grateful that TikTok keeps the live videos for up to 90 days, and has the option to download them – meaning I can cut them up and share them, so they’re more permanent fixtures to this online world of video and sound. It saves me a job of having multiple devices recording – for this TikTok live I had the phone filming and I have an audio recording on my H4N recorder – which I’m going to have a listen back to in a moment and throw some sounds onto my Patreon (a platform where you can subscribe a monthly donation and receive rewards, it’s a wonderful platform, and I’m lucky enough to say I have 9 patrons that have committed for some years now, I’m very grateful for it).

Playing on TikTok live streams is a very enjoyable venture, I’ve met quite a lot of people on here, and often people watch multiple streams – ‘love having your streams on in the background while I work’, ‘this is the best way to wake up’, ‘clearing my anxiety right now, thanks’ – a selection of comments from todays and yesterdays stream. I have been streaming while busking and – like in this video – streaming at home beside all the house plants. Busking and TikTok streaming is really cool, to be able to reach out to people across the world + on the streets that I’m on, means the music is quickly crawling and spreading across the world.

And this is a cool new feature I’ve just discovered – donations on WordPress. It seems to be a new feature for most platforms. It’s a cool idea.

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This is from one of my latest releases – it was recorded in my girlfriends camper van while were travelling around North Wales, just after a venture through Snowdonia. I really love her additional whistling in the background – she has an apt to pick up melodies and whistle them back 🙂

Really more than anything, I wanted to write this to say – ‘blogs are back’, as in, I plan to do more, a compilation of all things that happened throughout the day with regards to my journey of becoming a traveling musician and writer.

NaNoWriMo is really interesting – National Novel Writing Month. A group that inspires writers to write a 50,000 word novel in the shortness of a Month – which is a lot of dam words. But possible if you write on average 2000 words each morning with coffee (like I have been). I think this is to kick start writers in to finishing a project, because first drafts are usually the hardest to get done, and then the real work begins; sorting out the mess that you just wrote and making it make sense. I’m excited about my Novel project with this. I have been writing all sorts of stories in fictional fantasy worlds, and finally decided to stick with one world and write a full story from it, though I think it may be a book series, but who knows, right now I’m really enjoying the process.

I’m also very much enjoying this soundtrack while writing;

…an ambient mix of Hans Zimmer’s Dune soundtrack – which is an incredible film, as is the book, which I’m halfway through now.

…the language of the rocks and growing things, the language you don’t hear just with your ears. And I said that’s what Dr. Yueh calls the Mystery of Life.

Dune, Frank Herbert, pg.45.

As a reader you travel to some wonderful places, and with the amount of books there are to choose from, you can see and feel and experience so many different places. The book I was reading prior to Dune was The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, which is another fantasy world – and the difference in world building is huge. It’s incredible to be transported. I feel fiction is a language you don’t read just with your eyes – it is a written format that is experienced by all the senses simultaneously, it is an incredible experience, and I can’t wait to jump back into Dune.

If you’re around Stratford-Upon-Avon, and want to come see me perform live, you can do so at the Music Cafe on Tuesday the 9th of November – tickets can be bought here;

Hope you are well!

See you tomorrow 🙂 Maybe somewhere on the streets or on TikTok livestream?

https://linktr.ee/jameschatfield

From Video to Gig to Gigs

Mondays gig! Came last minute, the owner (Ian) of the venue (Music Cafe Stratford) called me in the morning- “what are you doing tonight? Can you play?” 
“Sure,” I said. 
I was out in Winchester busking and hiking the weekend before, absolutely knackered, but why not? 

…with a quick busk in Newbury – I drove through it, and was like …. yeah this looks great, lets go play; … that was a great busk, I picked up a gig, and the market stall owners seemed not to mind 🙂

Usually the gig at the Stratford Music Cafe are sold as background music vibes, while people eat (the food here is incredible, all plant based too! Win!). But the second half led to a more attentive audience. Forks were put down, wine replaced the plates and people watched, clapping to the ending of each song. I looked up to see all eyes on me – yikes – but so great! 

I was asked to play because the chef was coming for drinks with her friends, ‘get that guy again… James? He’s great!’. So that was pretty cool! She sat with her Jazz singing friend (who later gave me some practice tips). And on the front row were a couple who came specifically for music, they drove up from South London to escape to Stratford for a while – their Son: a comedian out in Australia, a similar age, and a similar energy (apparently), so their respect for creatives playing in bars like this was their reason to come. 

The first time I played here, the owner immediately asked to book me again for another 4 dates! That’s slowly grown 🙂 the first video I posted from my gig here granted a gig over in Stroud;

…which has now led to more gigs in Stroud. 

It’s really amazing what connections you can find here on the internet. Social media is great place to post videos, document the journey, and connect with others 🙂 Don’t be afraid to post! Do it, doors will open 🙂

all the best,

James x

Woodland Jams

On route to becoming the travelling composer and writer that I wish to be; I have set a task to do regular livestreams amongst trees. Welcoming – Woodland Jams: set up in some beautiful natural space and live stream on a social media platform. The above video was taken yesterday during an Instagram Live Video. Full video below;

My plan of action so far is;
Monday – Reddit Live
Tuesday – Instagram
Wednesday – Facebook
Thursday – TikTok
Friday – YouTube

I’m yet able to do TikTok or YouTube live, because the requirement is 1,000 followers/subscribers. So that is another thing that must happen, but that journey, that search for followers is a fun one – most likely a long one, but I’m in it for the long game.

This morning I went live on Facebook, which I’ll post up on here tomorrow 🙂 I wonder if you could do WordPress livestreams?

Before playing in the woods, two rabbits froze as I entered their hideout, they looked at me, I played a single note on the guitar, and they sprang off away through the brambles and into another forest; or another world. I disturbed them again, or perhaps that was the wrong note? Or maybe…. they rushed off to get all their friends, and by the time they got back I had already gone… I should wait longer next time, dammit!

On todays livestream I noticed on the camera a few dog-walkers poking their heads into the trees to find the source of the noise. I am sat quite close to a main path though. Unexpected noises in unexpected places.

The unexpected is quite beautiful, and always very nice.

Serendipity!

What a lovely flow of letters.

Take Care x

Golden and Blue

Golden and Blue. I think those are the correct colours to describe todays day. Sun so bright, molten gold; shining down on everything and making it all explode with brightness. Everything is gold in this sunlight. I can picture what Australia must be like, and it excites my very core, because one day I’ll travel there or better yet tour it! The sky = ocean blue: expansive and lovely to stare up into; sheltering my eyes from the golden rays.

Days like these remind me why I ran toward busking. I think 2018/19 were some of my best years so far – a freedom of traveling and busking absolutely everywhere… it returns soon! Unless the world shuts down again, which I am constantly fearing, but also preparing for just in case it is true.

The improvisation above was a happy accident during my first set, but I had no documentation of it. So I tried again during my second. There’s something there that needs working on – it’ll be on June’s album for sure! May’s Album is available here – only 40 left!

Sometimes I really don’t know what to write. But I throw my fingers across the keyboard and see what comes out. The same applies to my music playing and composing. Most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing while busking; but I am taking more time for practice to understand what it is that I am doing and what I want to be doing – scales, chords, melodies etc. Improvising has always been something I thoroughly enjoy doing. I learnt it from the master himself – Steve Lawson;

He taught me back in University and opened my eyes (and mind) to what is possible with music. That meeting completely changed my perspective on music composing, playing, and careers within.

It is like gathering different ingredients for cooking a meal – and once you have all the ingredients you can experiment with the flavours. With music, the ingredients are different techniques, scales, chords etc. So it’s a simple trip to the supermarket (the practice shed), grab your ingredients (sounds), and get cooking (improvising). So I guess I need to do more shopping.

This tiktok is a snippet from the main video above. And I’ve tried experimenting with adding captions; trying to get that 1k follower mark so I can start doing some weekly TikTok livestreams 🙂

It is interesting what people say to me sometimes as I play. Especially when someone throws in a coin and says ‘thank you’… that will forever blow my mind… I’m out here doing something I love to do, and people are thanking me! ahhhhh SUPER GRATEFUL! GOLDEN AND BLUE!!!

Many more days of busking to come, I’m sure of it. Very excited for that.

Like what I do?

Go listen to my new album;

Thank you for reading, and listening.

Take care x

https://www.patreon.com/chatfield
(subscribe for exclusive audio/videos and monthly albums!)

Screaming at Clouds

During a long drive last night, I had this overwhelming realisation – one that made me burst with emotion and tears – Life is Beautiful.

I was screaming with joy at how grateful I am.

Before me was a skyline that looked just magnificent; a war between clouds, fighting over space, climbing across each other, their individual colours and shapes moulding in ways I’ve never seen before… or perhaps I just haven’t been looking. Those whites, blues, purples, silvers of skyline, were contrast to the stretches of forest along the motorway. A beautiful palette of colour presented itself, and it sounded amazing.

I want to live with my eyes open. I don’t want to sleep walk. I don’t want to sleep talk.

I think this entire year, as well as 2020, has been emotionally intense for most of us. My life at the moment is almost contrast to what it was. I believe I needed that dark time to find this light. This fire and passion. A passion for music, and for all that it involves.

I think I want to live this life with endless creativity, an open mind, gratitude, patience, passion, and good relationships with family and friends. I don’t want to stress, or feel unnecessary anger, or put myself in places that I don’t want to be. I want it to be hard, I want the challenge, to overcome, to grow, to learn; to become a better person, a better musician, creator, writer, friend, brother etc.

but most of all…

I want to live, with the greatest intent.

Worcester 12th June 2021, Elgar Statue.

Busking gives me that. A feeling of living with the greatest intent. I am stepping out into this world, following something I believe worthwhile, and presenting it to the world. It excites me so much.

Just create, don’t worry about being inefficient, do not dwell on that. Just be efficient.

heard it somewhere, forgot where.

So here I am, screaming at clouds.

Is this Wizard Screaming or Delighting?

Is this Wizard screaming “aaaaah!” as in: what the damm have I just created with my magic? – Not thinking that he might open a portal to another world.
or!
“Ahaaaa! I have just opened up a portal to another world – step inside now”.
??
Either way, the Wizard has had the power to create this dimension door; and what a power that is!

I have always felt that Imagination is Magic – by reading words from a fictional story, our mind conjures images inside; we convert words into entire scenes, colours, people, images etc… so how could it not be magic? It must be right! The same as when our imagination pulls us to create something – so we create that something. We have in a sense pulled something from nowhere and made it into A SOMETHING! It is like the classic Magician trick – pulling a rabbit from a hat – when we imagine, we are pulling something from our mind, shapeshifting it. This act, gifts us in so many ways; it is a form of entertainment, a way to understand new and difficult things, a form of expression to help us understand ourselves and the world we are told to fit into, it is something we can feel emotions towards. This sweet nothing – with the guidance of our imagination – turns into a something that can inspire others doing this process: transformations of Nothing into Something.

Tweeting Sounds and a Stratford Busk

Twitter Voice Notes’, an interesting way to create and share an audio documentation. I have just discovered this, and I like the idea of sharing sounds found on trips here and there. It allows the audio to play in the background whilst you scroll across the Twitter world; which also works on this Blog Post! Incredible – probably the easiest way to share audio snippets, ever. I think this will add a new dimension to both this blog, and the whole documentation of this music/writing journey.

I take a lot of audio recordings anyhow with my iPhone or H4N: tapping metal poles to catch their tones, birdsongs, squeaky doors, the hums of odd electronic devices, cafe/street ambience, and so on (Manipulating them on audio software is a lot of fun; it also gives a new texture to my compositions). Being able to document this, and share even more audio – well I’m excited.

Max Stockin, Stratford-Upon-Avon, 29th March 2021

While I wait my turn to busk in Stratford, Max Stockin sings classics from The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and many more. Patrons at the surrounding cafes smile and tap their feet to the tambourines beat. Children pause in amazement. The wanderers of Stratford slow their steps to watch a little longer, as if they’re on autopilot to explore the entirety of Stratford without fully stopping – a strange thing we humans do, why is it sometimes so odd for us to stop and stand still? 🤷‍♂️ Maybe because there’s so much to see and do, so stopping slows our hastened consumption of all the things. And all the things… are a lot of things. But it is okay to stop still for a moment of two – as a previous blog speaks – Ma.

Then sometimes, all we wish to do is sleep. This idea to the right was written during that sleepy late afternoon phase. It’ll be coming up on a new music release – which I’m recording today, somewhere in a forest I think.

🙂

It’s always great to see Max. He’s been busking longer than I have; and being in the same area, we often cross paths, share tips, talk busking stories, and suggest new busking pitches. During all the lockdowns Max stuck it out, he played just as he would if the world wasn’t silent; and I think that’s brilliant, I wish that I had done exactly what he did, and not kept myself stuck inside: working in an array of dusty factories (though, this did give me time to realign and refuel the things that I want in life).

As long as you’re creating content and building your brand, you’re building future opportunity.

Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk, pg.47

Crush It. A quick read and filled with many chapters that make you realise how possible it is to do anything that you love and make a living doing so. What I love about documenting such a journey across many platforms, it means that any new fans who discover me have this entire backlog to go through – if that interests them. It’s also a great way to – one day – show my children/grand-children, “look, this is what I used to get up to at your age”: I think that’s the biggest motivator to document and post content online. This video by him, will always inspire me.

Why not take a shot at what you love?

As the sun wakes and fills the streets with golden rays, I began to play. A Saturday high-street is extremely busy, which often frightens me, as the large crowds can be uncomfortable – a reason why I avoid London… though I am currently in Oxford, and I forgot how busy this place is, and slightly regret coming here for the weekend – but the city is marvellous to wander through.

As my energy increases, the sounds and joy emitting from the performance turn more eyes, eventually forming small crowds that last only a minute or two. Behind me a girl, aged 2 maybe 3, stops and stares right at me, an expression that suggests – WHAT is that noise? I have never heard this. The small blue and yellow turtle toy she is pulling along stops its rotatory feet, and her stare continues. Her mother laughs. Other people notice this and point it out, smiling and laughing. The girl continues on her way, and stops every few steps, to stare again: always at my face, not the guitars, as if she thinks the music is coming from my head – which I suppose it is, the brain controls the hands, and the hands control the music, but is the music really coming from me, or from the creative Genius/Daemon?. Eventually the girl continues on her way, trailing the blue and yellow turtle along with her. Her mother waits to see if she’ll stop, but she doesn’t, so her mother throws in a coin and rushes off after her now running child. The crowds attention turn from her to the boy now bobbing up and down in the middle of the street: between myself and the cafe’s outside seating. He bobs slightly faster than the song, so I try to catch up, but he keeps on changing, as if he doesn’t quite understand rhythm just yet, but loves to dance/or bob/or whatever this move is. This dancing child brings more attention, there are cameras videoing it, and women clapping their hands with joy: turning their husbands attention from the autopilot-see-everything-walk.

Street Art – the many wonders of it.

I can’t imagine any other job would grant such moments like these. And I’m so glad that I can do this everyday from this day onwards ❤

thank you for reading/watching/listening,
by James Chatfield.

https://www.patreon.com/chatfield