“I was once described as ‘something close to traditional folk, to a more dreamy sound, all the way to an electro Tori Amos, an artist not to be pigeon holed.’
“I create alternative and new age music. I’m a multi-instrumentalist currently drumming in Nottingham indie rock band ‘Strange Currencies.’ I release solo work under Claudine West and ‘Earth Tree Healing.’ I used to call myself Bog Woppit.
“My sound can be as simple as a finger picked acoustic guitar with a haunting vocal. To alternative rock with electric guitars and melodic keyboards. I’m big on harmony, melody and haunting beauty that evokes emotion. I sing a little. But musically it’s the instruments that really do the talking with my work. I am the protagonist of my lyrics. My journey as a musician though jazz, blues, folk, grunge, rock has shaped what I create. You will hear elements of all.
“I also release new age, instrumental and meditation music under the pseudonym ‘Earth Tree Healing.’ From performing on sitars to accordions, keyboards, singing bowls, bongos, mandolins and more. I’m venturing more into binaural beats and good vibrations at 432hz (the God frequency).”
“From my first little ‘Bontempi’ Keyboard and second hand classical guitar. I knew my fingers were a bit special. Puberty unleashed a massive rush of creativity and opened me up as a conduit. It flows through me like a stream from the mountains. But I cannot contemplate the true source. Why would I?
“On one level It’s the buzz after exercise, the wellbeing after meditation and the warmth after red wine all rolled into one. On another it is the rock and roll adrenalin fuelled orgasm and vibrational ecstasy that come with live performance. I am grateful of the bliss this life is giving me. Fame is elusive. But in the dark rooms I learned to play the guitar in, so I didn’t need to look at my fingers on the fretboard, to collecting instruments. (You can never have too many!)
“This journey is so much more satisfying in ways that money or fame cannot bring. I never got into cover bands. I’m a creator not a copier. I’ve spent a lot of time locked away from daylight in home studios. As a teenager I got into Hip-Hop, Tori Amos, Suzanne Vega and grunge music. I appreciated funky beats and rhyme. Along with learning the drums at School. I equally concentrated on piano/keyboards and guitar. Self-taught. I don’t read music much. I improvise. Playing jazz and blues music and spending my formative years jamming at live mic nights.
“I spent many a good and not so good time with talented and sometimes temperamental musicians. I also suffer from a sometimes creative temperament. The beast is calmer with maturity. All great learning on this road!
“Experiencing the sudden death of my music mentor and close friend in my late 20’s was sobering. It created a world of emptiness and revaluation. The writer’s block that followed took me to new shores to heal. My evolution as a songwriter, composer, musician and conduit of thoughts, damage that became lyrics.
“I also have always loved creating instrumental music. A few years ago, I trained as a Reiki Practitioner. I wanted to accompany my practice and meditations. Being part of the pagan community and a spiritual being. The long road of excess led me here. I wrote a book about my life so far. It’s not an ego massager. It is an honest and true account of how I came to be ‘Claudsville Blogs and Biog of a Bog Woppit.’ is available via Amazon Kindle.
“I’ve been in a few bands along the way to here. Namely the cofounder and a decade stint in Nottingham’s The Idolins. I moved from folk pop to rock with the short lived Subway Circus. With myself and the vocalist PP Johnson departing to form Strange Currencies.
“I crawled out of the hole a few years back and really got back into gigging. This helped me get over the stage nerves that plagued me so much. The digital age has been a fantastic enabler to share it all worldwide. I’m having a great old time! I’ve been doing all of this this for over 20 years. Balancing it with my bill paying full time day job in the NHS is hard, but if it was easy. I would not appreciate it as much.
“After I’ve departed this mortal coil, my music will live on. There is something special and humbling about that. Practice, feel it, perform it, channel it, love it.”
What I’m working on
“I’ve just got back from a trip travelling around California. I was in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the tragic wildfires of October 2017. I wrote a new song upon my return called ‘Diablo Winds.’ Which is currently on Bandcamp. This will be on my new instrumental album under ‘Earth Tree Healing’ called ‘Candle Gardeners’ which will be released on digital stores on my birthday, May 30th 2018.
“I’m also busy creating some instrumental meditation work for a few clients. New music and recording an EP with our band Strange Currencies. About to release a guided meditation album I’ve just completed with our spiritual ‘Yoda’ Sally Wathen at Rainbow Bridge. Then I’ll write and record a ‘Goddess’ themed instrumental album later in the year.”