As spring catapults my happy vibes into sunshine land. A few days annual leave in lockdown has allowed some serious home studio time. (A needed break from NHS day job land) I spent the day composing & recording FRIGG for my 2022 album – GODDESS 2. I wanted to experiment and challenge myself with a lot more live instruments, rather than just midi sounds on Logic Pro X. A brilliant wellbeing boost. We had got up early to venture to the river (a local blessing during pandemic restrictions) having done a long walk the previous day (for us) on the journey to better fitness. My knees were murderous following it. Venturing out, whilst social distancing during shielding is a novelty. But after lockdown #1 over indulgences and laziness during working from home. (It’s started so well too!) We have both incorporated healthier eating and much needed exercise into lockdown 3. No crisps on the monthly internet shop! I do love Ange’s swearing and BF’s when we get the delivery of bulk goods that she lugs into the kitchen. Rarely will we need to visit supermarkets now. Farm shops selling local produce from small businesses is our weekly fresh shopping. I can’t thank The Real Milk Company enough.
It’s a long, but sensible road ahead…. (I won’t be posting weigh ins on social media – as it pisses me off when others do it, to only put twice as much weight back on, once their ‘diets’ end) We are entertaining some of the secret stalkers and virtually interacting with Ange’s family down south with ‘Ange’s lockdown Gousto live cooking videos’ and other troffing experiences. We can’t eat out, so eating in is the new thing. Can’t beat a good cull and unfollow or others uninteresting, joy vacuuming negative and argumentative shite. Give me Batzilla the bat or @celinaspookboo frankly hilarious sleepwalking exploits on TikTok any day.
Ours is a gradual lifestyle change. Removal of unhealthy snacks and better managing portion sizes, along with exercise is making both of us feel better.
Watching the sunrise through river mists is an ethereal experience. Whilst hints of winter still cools ones toes. The sunshine warms up my hope for better days of freedom outdoors and normality. With our April Cyprus holiday cancelled. Ange & my sister in law are surprising us with a mystery 2022 big holiday abroad. I love a good surprise! We frantically scrambled to book a short Cornwall break (lockdown end permitting) in May. So at least we get to see the sea. Fingers, legs and fanny crossed!
Ange had her covid vaccine. So whilst pandering to her every need (as she had mine afterwards) copious cups of tea. I spent Sunday 28th Feb 2021 having a wonderful indulgent time improvising aka composing. Featuring acoustic guitar, tongue drums, kalimba, tambourine, baroque organ and love eggs. Whereas filming myself does disrupt my creative flow slightly, it really is a great way to remember my journey. Watch my video of the session here. A really good accomplished day. It also feels good to get out of a PMT driven funk.
Lately I’ve had times of waking in the early hours. Staring into my minds pit of darkness and despair. Anxiety in the pit of ones stomach. Worry of all kinds. Exploring the void in well-being created by a pandemic. I hate to use the word ‘wobble.’ But there you go.
In a lot of ways, I’m completely safe. I’m currently working from home. Bar one day a week working on site. Staying away from people, masks, social distancing, PPE. With some underlying health conditions. Is the rebellion worth the risk? For me personally – no. Along with that comes guilt, as I currently am not working on the front line at the hospital due to a very high risk assessment. Much respect goes to all the heroes. From carers to retail staff. To all the people cooking meals for people in need, animal rescuers and charities. To the good folk you would never even consider doing good.
Mask wearing really is unpleasant – for long periods of time and with physical work. It leaves me with a dry tickley throat, like I’ve inhaled fibres. But even if it offers me even a tiny bit of extra protection when near people from COVID juice – I’ll suck it up. I’ve not seen evidence that anxiety and non mask wearing stops virus spread. The evidence with masks is well….Space suits next? For all the science, opinion, conspiracy theories, truths, lies, long term study and digestion of the coronavirus pandemic. We are in stasis in the UK currently. Our freedoms, lifestyles are on hold. Fear is being fed causing long term addictions, self destruction and mental health issues.
Through medication and medical breakthroughs, living healthier, evolution, improved healthcare. Humans are able to extend their lives, living longer. With older bodies, immune systems. When is the tipping point reached in nature? What man made/discovered horrors do we bear witness to? Life is fragile. We were never designed to live forever. We will all die of something or multiple somethings. But when the heart finally stops beating. The cycle of life does not comfort lost loved ones. ‘No one here gets out alive.’
I’m a spiritual being. I take comfort that the body dying is not the end. But I fear suffering. Am empathic, which at times affects me a lot. In someways I’ve become far to sensitive in this world. That is my belief and my experiences. I live with a psychic Tarot Reader. Yet I do not dwell on my death date… just a fear of losing the physical presence of the ones I love.
Bar catching anything from the odd takeaway, home delivery. Our risk is minimal. But the odd sniffle, under the weather has still happened. Why I ask? All precautions thoroughly adhered to. I have not missed shops. I love our outdoors farm shop, and a good trott around a garden centre. Our days of supermarket shopping are well and truly over. There is a minority of dirty, personal space invaders, rude and vile individuals, who frequent these places. Who drag their feral crotch fruit goblins about causing mayhem.. best avoided. Home delivery, alongside small farm shops/local business/fresh food purchases is the Clange way of living now.
Paranoia and worry keeps a knocking…sets in again. What if I die? What if I can’t breathe? Worries about family and friends, Ange. The future. Financial survival. Holidays.
I’ve had some stinking and stonking nasty winter viruses in the past. Nothing as bad that bed rest and antibiotics haven’t cured.
I’m not going to focus on the destruction, gaslighting, manipulation, speculation done by the media in every format, including social media arguments. – as I just stick to watching nice animal stories or YouTube travel or foodie vlogs. I have also been enjoying some excellent middle earth, Nephilim/Alien/Bigfoot documentaries.
The wrongs and rights of actions by Governments. Well…..
All I have control over is how we weather this storm.
My personal remedy. Exercise on the cross trainer, walking around the lakes. (Luckily across the road from us …#local) Cutting out snacking and sticking to healthier meals from Gousto- a Godsend has been online shopping and these delivered meals. With hardly any alcohol consumption. The body feels pretty ok atm.
With a stone in weight lost since my binge eating marathon during lockdown 1. I’m feeling a bit better in myself. Gradual and a permanent lifestyle change works for me.
Use of sad lamp, switching news off. Recording lots more music in home studio (which got me through 2020)
Whilst dealing with other people’s negativity. I said at the start of this that people will be judged on their actions and behaviours. Some have truly let themselves down.
I certainly haven’t missed being in the company of these sorts.
Others have embraced a bad situation and been inspiring… the light in the dark.
In some ways lockdown has been blissful. I miss my family and friends. The last time I saw my parents, was at the end of their driveway on Xmas day. Just to collect presents. There have been no physical hugs with them since March 2020. Phone calls and ‘face time’ virtual catch ups are our only option. Ange misses her family in Portsmouth. We wait for better days and #Clange travels.
Our cat Tipsy died last November. A heartbreaking experience. A gradual deterioration of appetite and diagnosis of intestinal growth. They couldn’t operate, as her blood pressure dropped when our vet attempted surgery. We spent the last few weeks with her, in bits, comforting her. We got to stroke her in masks, at the vets door, on a trolley when they put her to sleep. She (her ashes) is now home, in her mango wood box. (A lovely bereavement card sent and signed from the staff- thank you) We miss her so much. She was the most loving cat with character, that would hold our hands with her paws. Lockdown 1 afforded me unknown extra time with her whilst working home. For that I’m truly grateful. Time is precious. Our pets are our babies. (Not that I ever wanted children, or see them as a replacement)
I’ve spent too much time gaming playing Days Gone during the darkness and futility of January. Killing Zombie hoards has led to nightmares and rage. Ange is very supportive and tolerant (until she loses hers) of my shit fits.
With the end now in sight to my level 4 CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply) qualification. It’s time now to knuckle down with study. This in turn has made me realise that I never, ever want to study again.
I have the mind of a creative. Not the memory of an academic. Stick to what brings you happiness and not stress Claud! (Completely grateful to my workplace though) but a struggle whilst working full time in the NHS during a pandemic!
And, most importantly to me..whilst balancing my composer work. (I’ve been truly honest, whilst fully appreciative with my tutor at college- she gets it)
So next steps for me my medication is meditation and Reiki. I’ve neglected it lately.
There has never a better time to bring good healing music into this world than right now, when the very fabric of all that we once knew is being torn apart, by a lust for power, enabled by fear and negativity. Now with albums like this the gentle fight back of love and light will rise up, and this could well be the musical backdrop with which it happens.
Western Mystical Tradition is the latest release by Earth Tree Healing, who took us on a fine journey with Goddess earlier this year. This voyage of plenty starts with a lively short form musical introduction entitled Capodastro.
At this point we are delivered a composition which must be one of the best in this genre I have heard for years. The track is called Ethereal Sunset 432 Hz, the sound of the universe sweeps over our senses; this is the most beautiful piece of music that you’re ever likely to hear, the vibrational tone works for me, bringing chills to each and every hair on my arms, and the major minor chord structures, along with the build and progression here is utter quality, so much so I never wanted it to end.
Only twice have I see this actually occur, firstly the track is Murmuration and secondly for those who do not know, this refers to the phenomenon that results when hundreds, sometimes thousands, of starlings fly in swooping, intricately coordinated patterns through the sky. The swirling sounds and clever narrative on keyboards is absolutely perfect for this occurrence and one that is deeply fascinating to listen to.
On Mantra we are right in my ball park, to coin a phrase, or even an Americanism, the eastern values are strong here, but there is also an extremely cleverly crafted guitar, aiding what I think is a harmonium. When we gather the energies all together, a careful beat and percussive ethic joins this musical fray and completes a composition that almost takes me back to the late 60’s.
We are now nudging the middle of the album and some sumptuous acoustic guitar and a delicate keyboard greet our ever eager ears, as we herald the arrival of the track Sorrow of Souls, the further addition of strings here just creates a further lush dimension of sound to revel within.
Archipelago is our next docking port, and the gentle sea can be heard lapping up onto its shores. We have many stretches of water further west of us that have many small islands and a beautiful site it is as well. The multiinstrumental nature of this track alone is so well performed, and with such a mindful sense of balance as well, one can easily picture this scene through the music and be simply swept away by its overall chill out nature, a totally divine offering indeed.
The shortest track off the album is this one called Motion of the Moon, but even at only just over two and a half minutes long, it is one heck of an attractive offering, especially the performance on guitar in partnership the keyboards, one that manifested something quite graphic and addictive for us all.
We have three long form pieces now, so to our first spacious room of tone and vibration and it is called Orbital Ghosts, we now see a vast realm of musical brilliance open up before us, one so deep, yet bathed in a spectacular calmness of utter ambience. At just under ten minutes this breath-taking opus seems to drift over our senses like a late autumn mist, across a deep and dark lake, we are never quite sure what may or may not happen next, but the hovering anticipation of the keyboards and synths are just absolutely sublime.
Our longest track on the album is the following composition entitled Zodiacal Light. It partners the previous offering perfectly, but now also has that certain Kevin Kendle, super space music vibe about it as well. One could easily feel themselves floating up into the darkness of space to this one, perhaps even to watch the lights from the Orion nebula themselves. Synths and keyboards are the ship we now traverse the universe in, and the sublime sense of being able to just float within this composition is idyllic, if this track had lasted a whole hour I would not have minded.
Our penultimate piece is called Moonlight Arc, music akin to watching the moon rise on some distant world, a veritable soundtrack for this magical moment, the deep bass sound here was so incredible, the slowness was literally the arc of light gently rising to its zenith, this for me was one of my personal favourites on the album, and one that manifested something so very emotive and powerful as well.
Eulogy is our very last offering, a solo piano piece that takes us out of an album that has been incredibly impressive, a fine ending to a sublimely crafted and quite stunning release. Western Mystical Tradition by Earth Tree Healing in my view is the best work so far by the artist, each and every composition, each and every work of art is gratefully received by these ever eager ears; this must go down as one of the most remarkable new age styled albums to have been released this year, one I have absolutely no problem recommending.
We were travelling at night in the rain through Sherwood Forest Country. The skyline glowed with the orange city lights. Eerie. The flooded roads, as dark as addiction in denial, manipulation failures and that empty bitterness of self pitying rejection for some. Opportunity knocks for all of us when we travel along the road of hope, good omens and vision. Friday night the Harvest Moon had shone brightly. Enlightened and changing times. Synchronicity and gratitude always. You all know who you are.
It’s all been positively busy the last month. Shutting one door when it came to the end of the road felt like a demon lifted from my soul. Diplomacy from my part. The escape. The casualties of departures that didn’t take advantage of opportunities lie bitter in ignoreland. With various projects on the go. I’m excited going into the autumn. Beautiful rustic colors. a nip in the air.
Last weekend. (14th & 15th September) I performed 4 sets of my Earth Tree Healing music at Newark Showground, Lizian Events Well Being Show. In the sunny garden. Tired out from a busy working no duvet days off for a while. Reinvigorated in the sunshine and creatively. My tools of communication = my instruments. Again, I am grateful meeting intriguing, spiritual folks. Fluke loop pedals, reptilians, crop circles, the Brexit pantomime….Belonging is a feeling I cherish. (Being one of the non fitter inners in the world.) Thank you Liz and Ian and the community for opportunities.
Reiki practice and meditation is helping a chilled out Claud with a positive, strong mindset.
When opportunity knocks, the knocking get my mojo dancing and romancing. I spent a wonderful weekend performing sets at Lizian Events Well Being Show. Liz and Ian have given me a fantastic opportunity and challenge to explore and perform ‘Earth Tree Healing’ music live. I embraced, I rehearsed, I took essential hooks and melodies from my repertoire. I improvised and jammed it out, surrounded by stall holders, mediums, the public, ghosts. I premiered this live debut and it felt really good. The trance is the dance of music. With closed eyes a new chapter was born. Electronic tambura, acoustic. This opportunity to reach new audiences cemented how much I do enjoy live performance. Solo or in bands.
Watch: Guitar, keyboards and loop pedal improv
I’d decided from the conception that live meant ‘live.’ Solo recreation of home studio multi tracking of instruments, without cheating to backing tracks. Music is vibrational and gravitational. Using real instruments is satisfying. The feel, the sweat. even ghosts love music. Armed with a loop pedal, my acoustic guitar, digital piano and hand pan drum.
Watch: Tambura, Acoustic Guitar, Handpan Drumming
I’d had a reflexology session with Chandu Solanki on Saturday. Walking on air and tranquility. Sunday. Tamra Butler @ TamPara shoulder/back massage, unblocking stuff and her gifts which are magic, sent me off into land beyond time in a very good way. I ended up almost creating a new album during my 2nd set of the day. Wellbeing and wellness doing what one loves.
Thank you all for the great feedback too! – Claudine
Adapting studio recordings in a live environment, with use of a loop pedal is going to be fun and experimental. Capturing the essence, the hooks, raw energy and the vibrations.
Here are a few videos of Claudine in rehearsal
Hand Pan Drum
The event will feature the followingRetail stands ~ Fair trade and ethically sourced ~ Aura camera ~ Astrology ~ Books ~ Tarot and Oracle Cards ~ Authors ~ Nutrition Supplements ~ Natural products ~ Skincare and Cosmetics ~ Essential Oils ~ Clothing and Accessories ~ Homeware gifts ~ Incense and burners ~ Wax melts and Candles ~ Jewellery ~ Hand crafted ~ Art ~ Meditation ~ Self Help ~ Rock Salt products and therapies ~ Crystals, Minerals, Carvings ~ Franchise Information ~ Hypnosis ~ Retreats ~ Shamanic items ~ Past Life Regression ~ Spiritual Counsellors Therapies: Indian Head Massage ~ Seated Acupressure Massage ~ Reflexology ~ Reiki ~ Colour & Chakras ~ Spiritual Healing
Demonstrations of Tai Chi and Yoga for all abilities and ages
Live stage performances of music and song
A truly family friendly event, with a Kids Korner providing activities for children to enjoy
Visitors can spend time at the show and leave inspired with ideas of how to become a ‘well being’
“Goddess by Earth Tree Healing is one of those albums that captures your heart as it plays, it has 14 tracks within the album, but each one is manifested with such unique methodology and musical prowess that you never drift off and you literally can’t wait for the next offering to arrive. To be honest this has been a refreshing change for me and one that I really enjoyed immensely, I have no problem recommending this release, it is inventive, artistic, well thought out and professionally produced and played, this album is what the new age music genre really needed right now.”
Goddess By Earth Tree Healing Written by Steve Sheppard I first came across Earth Tree Healing (Claudine West) just a few years ago with the release of her impressive album 8 Sabbats. The album intrigued me as does this latest release Goddess. Be ready now for a voyage of voyages within the realms of this release and our starting point is Artemis. As you can imagine we have many buildings with this name here in Cyprus, the Greek goddess of the hunt and a daughter of Zeus. The steady purposeful movement on the keyboards here is a reminder of her stealth and guile perhaps. Next up is one of the most beautiful tracks off the album, it’s has a wonderfully reflective quality and quite mournful in parts, and called Selene. Selene is the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia, and sister of the sun-god Helios, the latter very well known here on the island, at just short of ten minutes, this is the longest track off the release and to be honest I wouldn’t have minded if it had been 19 minutes long it is simply divine, this is new age ambiance at its very best. The shadow of Hecate now drifts over our senses, the goddess of magic and all that moves in the dark realms of the night. This is the complete opposite of the last track with an intense percussive beat and some fantastic string work, creating an atmosphere of ritual and energy being raised, a full flowing harp also adds weight to what is a superbly powerful composition. How can one not get swept away by the sheer beauty of this next offering called Gaia, for those who are not sure, she is the Greek goddess of land and Earth, the mother of all life, and we must all be grateful she lets us walk on her back. The keyboard structures a really charming musical narrative here that is almost film score in style, and draws the portrait of our mother with a pristine clarity through music. I must admit I was really looking forward to this one, as we live on the island of love and just a few miles from Aphrodite’s birthplace at Petra tou Romiou, a beautiful place to visit and just a few miles east of my current location. The composition Aphrodite is idyllic, I could sit at her rock by the ocean and listen to this piece; it is so redolent of the subject matter. The gentle keyboards remind me in parts of some of the more ambient work of UK electronic musician Kevin Kendle and yes you have guessed it, this was my favourite piece off the release. I have now played this three times in a row, simply stunning indeed. Goddess Temple is now upon us, there is a real lightness of spirit about this offering that is so very compelling. There is a slight intensity of performance here which is fantastically alluring and the perfect track to place, as we edge ever closer to the mid-way point in the album, very classy work indeed. So that mid-way juncture has been reached and by doing so we have opened a portal up to the next composition called Bast, as now we travel over the ocean to Egypt to find, the protector of Cats, the warrior daughter of the great Ra himself. The smooth performance on this offering gives us an image of this sun drenched location with ease, and the keyboards and effects really manifest something so redolent of the subject matter. It seems as if this album was destined to land in my lap as now I move to the land of my ancestors in Wales and we visit the goddess Cerridwen, she who is the mistress of rebirth, transformation and inspiration. Listen out for the melody on this track it is addictive and beautifully constructed and the performances on keyboards is delightful and crafted sublimely. Now we must watch and enjoy the tones of this next composition with a deep seated interest, as we are presented the piece Morrigan, and our journey has taken us over the sea once again to Ireland. Morrigan, the great queen of the phantoms is a rhythmic track of great percussive quality and a stylish bass line. The Irish energy is strong in this one, as is the almost hypnotic performance on keyboards, a compelling arrangement indeed. One of my other favourites now plays before us, as we stay in Ireland for the track Brigid. The guitar here is so full and colourful it is a total pleasure to listen to, add the keyboards to this majesty and you have a truly poetic offering, which of course should be a given, as Brigid was considered the patron of arts, crafts and poetry among other things. This has to be the most charming arrangement off the album with ease. The percussive start for this next opus entitled Athena is startlingly superb and almost a little rocky in parts, which I have no problem with at all, the keyboards manifest a wondrous composition about the goddess who is credited to have brought and been responsible for, bringing the first Olive Tree into the world. There is a really clever regal element weaved into this composition which make it so powerful and attractive to listen to. We have now entered into the deeper waters of the release and have journeyed long and far to the east for this next composition called Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity. The performance here almost manifests a slight chill out styled motif, one that has a specific sense of the subject matter beautifully portrayed, with a stylish percussion and a delightful and fluent keyboard all contained within. For our penultimate offering we stay in India and pay a visit to the goddess of time, creation, destruction and power, Kali. Now you may have expected an all guns firing rhythmic offering here, but the artist has been really clever and crated a composition the flows with the benevolence of a mother who protects her children from misfortune. The sensitive performance on keyboards here truly shows what a class act the artist is and further highlights a whole new side to the goddess Kali. So to finish this project off with style, let’s raise the energy for the last offering called Dance of the Goddess. This is a track that simply does what it says on the can, a smooth dance motif is created by a compelling performance on keyboards and simply the most relevant way possible to close down what has been a simply fantastic journey of myth, magic and goddess for us all to enjoy. Goddess by Earth Tree Healing is one of those albums that captures your heart as it plays, it has 14 tracks within the album, but each one is manifested with such unique methodology and musical prowess that you never drift off and you literally can’t wait for the next offering to arrive. To be honest this has been a refreshing change for me and one that I really enjoyed immensely, I have no problem recommending this release, it is inventive, artistic, well thought out and professionally produced and played, this album is what the new age music genre really needed right now.
Sometimes I create my best works when I feel vulnerable, at a loss with life. My escape into Claudsville, into rapture. Music is my Panacea. I’ve struggle at times with depressive episodes. If I don’t look after myself. If sustained stress encapsulates me, I fight but eventually crumble into a desert wilderness. Low mood, the fog, hopelessness surrounded me in 2018..many many months.
A sustained draining and soul destroying circumstances bled me to the brink. I’d put on the acting face of ‘everything is ok.’ Eventually my health and wellbeing became cake left out in the rain. Deterioration lead to the inevitable health, emotional and mental health issues. I’d gotten quite poorly so took time out to heal. I didn’t want to lose my relationship or sanity.
Cycling round the lake. Being amongst the beauty of the trees. Meditation, and music making. Months later.. week by week. I began to feel like myself again. It became a very private withdrawn time. Talking about it did not help. My recuperation plan worked. My Lesson: Never let the day job damage and drain me to the walk to the edge of a chasm and dip my toes in the despair. When the sunshine gets shut out during a heatwave, it’s time to swim upon the tides of the moon.
The experience I am grateful of… As I will never have to suffer it again. I won’t allow it to happen again. I let myself down and others by not being fully honest with myself and allowing the harm and anger to take hold. We are all accountable for our actions. Humans can be selfish. Some don’t care about the ripples in the water they create, that build up to tidal waves. Life lessons are there to teach us. In some ways I’m far too sensitive to exist in this maddening world. Put an empath in a tunnel of pain and observe the carnage.
I found Zen creating this album. This infinite and connection to Goddesses.
There were days when I’d call upon a particular Goddess. But a different one appeared. The music poured, oh how it eloquently poured out. It was like lying on snow looking up to the sky. With every detail of snowflakes tinted with rainbows. My breathing returned after being stifled. The warmth embraced and travelled beyond the timeless gentle deeper dark of my meditations. The connection to Earth, Trees.. the healing of the skies. The composing became a cycle of daily therapy. It energised. It comforted. I indulged in sunsets and horizons. It made my world more alright.
The Triple Goddess, The Maiden, The Mother, The Crone )0( I sought Goddess of the hunt, Artemis in the wilderness. Under a magical moon I meditated to Selene. At the crossroads I asked for guidance and protection from Hecate. I became one with the Earth in the woods and the sky with Mother Earth, Gaia. In my darkest times I reached for the sea and asked for the return of feelings and love from Aphrodite. I retreated into meditations often in the Goddess Temple. Protector of Cats, Bast… Our 3 cats were very much part of recording this. I enjoyed further inspiration, music and creativity with Cerridwen. I called upon Morrigan, Goddess of war and fate. To help me endure my battles within. Healing came from The Celtic Goddess of Fire, Brigid, which I have also honoured with my track Imbolc from my album 8 SabbatsAthena gave me direction and taught me how to better cope. We drove around Snowdonia under blue skies to her sounds. Asking for assistance from LakshmiGoddess of abundance. We lit candles in the dark. Helping us see the way and what we have to do for the self sustained life we aim for. When you dance with death, there is the liberation of rebirth and Motherly love. I thank Kali. The 14th and final track in this album is Dance Of The Goddess. It comes from Blood Moon We end this journey with honouring and free movement and expression of dance for all. New beginnings…
Breath in the awe-inspiring. Recharge by the sea. Be well, indulge, connect, ask, sleep well.