Today I announced my departure from band Strange Currencies. My journey with them is at an end. I wish them well. I was mindful to announce it at the last gig of the year – ensuring the band have time to recruit a new drummer for 2020.
I had real pleasure jamming with talented musicians with some good tunes.
The D.H Lawrence Festival on 7th September was my final gig.
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 It became a very private withdrawn time.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.
An album created by a Reiki Practitioner. An album my Reiki Master/ Teacher enabled me to create. Reiki practice alleviates times of stress, anxiety and introduced me to a natural clean inner peace that I had sought but never found before. Combined with making music. Its as blissful combination. From a very angry and somewhat lost soul. When suffering and searching leads one on such a beautiful and rewarding journey of discovery. To becoming more centered individual, that is ever evolving. It is a practice that helps me chill out and practice on friends to help them. Even during periods when I’ve neglected daily practice, the energies channel during composition. Balance is Zen. I trained to Level 1 Shoden and level 2 Okuden through Reiki East and West (Judith Davies) in West Bridgford, Nottingham with Jane McLennan. I hope attain Master Level when I feel ready.
“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.”
On my birthday. Waking up in our E-den Camping Cabin, going for a wander. Recording the birdsong while looking at the Glastonbury Tor. We love Somerset. Inspired, I made this music to accompany. From my forthcoming 2018 album to be released on 30th May. Written, performed, recorded by Claudine West (Earth Tree Healing)
Currently exclusive to Bandcamp.
Watch the making of Glastonbury at Claudsville Studios.
I was in San Francisco, October 2017 during the wildfires, the fear, the tragedy, the smoky air, watching it live on the news. Unprecedented destruction. I wanted to capture quickening, the forces of nature…I never forget the burning..thoughts and prayers and healing.
I currently working on my new instrumental album ‘Candle Gardeners’ which will be released on my Birthday, May 30th 2018.
Experience The Celebration, The Ritual, The Beauty.
8 Sabbats’ by Earth Tree Healing is the 6th release from Composer/Multi-Instrumentalist Claudine West. This New Age instrumental album celebrates The Wheel of the Year, salutes the Equinoxes, Solstices and Harvest Festivals. From relaxing meditation music to dancing around a Beltane fire. For fans of good vibrations. Claudine meditated and channelled energies to capture the essence of each Sabbat/track. Available from digital stores (iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Play etc) and on CD, October 31st 2017.
The Wheel of the Year (on the traditional Pagan calendar) begins at Samhain. Also known as All Hallows Eve/Halloween. It includes Celtic Festivals with the annual cycle of Solstices, Equinoxes and Festivals. We celebrate the suns transition, fertility, harvests, fire, creativity. We honour the past year and plan the future..
‘Music is a portal. My inspiration for this album, being Pagan. Was to connect further musically with Gaia, our traditions, the history and practices. Honouring the Earth, Nature, Tradition and Spirit. Journey through this musical wheel, from a Pianissimo to its Crescendo, like nature. Feel it, breathe it, let the quiver and the cadence flow. It is the Earth, the Air, the Sky, the Water, the Fire, the Spirits, the Energies…I am grateful for what I have. With our cats often sitting in on recording sessions. As a musician at Claudsville Studios. I sit back, meditate upon the intention and let the vibrations take over. I’m the puppet of improvisation and flow. My guitars, mandolin, bass, sitar, auto harp…Adding piano and keyboards, sounds, frequencies. I am a conduit. Conscious thinking departs. During the composing and recording process, I channel the energies, the essence. I find this experience blissful. I ascend, I dance, I meditate, my fingers flow creating universal vibrations. Blessed be’
Journey through this musical wheel, from a Pianissimo to a Crescendo, like nature. Feel it, breathe it, let the quiver and the cadence flow.It is the Earth, the Air, the Sky, the Water, the Fire, the Spirits, the Energies…
1. Samhain (31st October) As summer ends, we enter the dark half of the year. The vale is thin between our world and the other world. Also known as All Saints Day and Halloween. Samhain is a personal journey I undertake to Wales, with family. Our descendants who reside in the Summerlands gather and dine. Rituals, Divination. Candles burn until they disappear. This is our time together. As the Wheel of the Year continues. We are thankful of the harvests this year. We carve pumpkins, make pumpkin fritters with brown sugar. With a leg of lamb with the roast. The head of the table is laid and dines with us. We place our candles there for our loved ones. This blue library room is where we congregate. Pudding is apples and plenty of brandy for pudding Samhain.
In the years that have passed. I’ve cried, I’ve overcome. I miss them when they visit and offer support and advise… Good advice! We’ve all discussed what needed to be. From the books… we learned more through divination, than they told read cover to cover. With warmth into darkness. We walked through flames and overcame. We planned, rescued, supported. Where lectures helped awaken. Our hand fasting date on 1st April 2011 came from Samhain. Being part of this something has been welcomed and fabulous. I’m writing this, as am on the brink of my own evolution into bliss. Belief, small steps, giant bounds. The truth and a little help from my loved ones in spirit, got me here right now. Thank you. Oh and enjoy the music 🎶
2. Yule (21st December) The Winter Solstice. The shortest day. It’s time for us to light the Yule log. Celebrate the rebirth of the sun. Watch the fire crackle, bring warmth and hot soup for the soul. Settle with the cats as the evenings get darker and magical. We prepare our intents for the coming year of new adventures. As a child the excitement of the winter snow has never left me. The white blanket that comforts. Present giving and seeing the surprise and gratitude is wonderful feeling. I’m hoping with a little help from the law of attraction, 2018 will bring a Hurdy – Gurdy 😉 (Luckily we just got given a free hot tub!) This time has also been spent with our circle in Wales. With this track I wanted to enhance that magical feeling. The peeping from under the covers. Rebirth in the Solstice sun.
3. Imbolc (1st-2nd February) Following what feels like the damp, dark month of January, the land awakens with the beginning of spring. Where udders lactate. Receive blessings from the Goddess Brigid. This is the time for creativity, inspiration, initiations and music making. (Claudine filmed the video of beautiful skies on a flight back to the UK from a trip to California and Nevada in October 2017)
4. Ostara (21st March) (Spring Equinox)From the North to the East to the South to the West. This is the Spring Equinox. The first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. If Imbolc was a breath on the wind …Ostara is the refresh. The jolt, the spark, the greenery. Life comes alive. The rebirth of nature. The fertile 5 elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit combine for growth. The Cross, the Wheel of the Year. Night and day are almost equal. I love this time of year as it’s the big wake up. The flowers begin to bloom. Colour returns. This is a personal favourite on this album. This track has orchestral instrument arrangements such as French Horns and Clarinets. Whilst a big fan of using the Harp. I put in the pulse of rhythms for this true awakening and celebration.
5. Beltane (30th April-1st May) The festival of fire. This is the beginning of summer. Known as May Day. Bonfires are lit to honour the sun for future harvests. Originating from the Celtic God ‘Bel’ (The Bright One). The rhythm. With guitar, mandolin and drums. This track encapsulates the power and the passion. Dance round the maypole in the wild. Here is a clip of me recording a guitar part.
6. Litha (Summer Solstice) (21st June) With the longest day and the shortest night. The sun is at its Zenith. The Fire Festival with The Sun God. Stonehenge gatherers celebrate midsummer with rituals. This was the first track I composed and recorded for 8 Sabbats. Happy times, sunshine and excitement.
7. Lammas Lughnasadh (1st August)The prelude, first harvest of the season. The festival of the cutting of the grain. From the Irish God ‘Lugh.’ This music for a medieval feast. Don’t forget to make Corn Dollies!
8. Mabon (21 September) (Autumn Equinox) Night and day are of equal length during this harvest festival. Reap what you sow. Be grateful for the blessings that you have. Process the past year, plan your future.As we head into Autumn. I like to get my blankets out, burn lots of candle and romance in the atmosphere. While the leaves will fall. The greens turn into beautiful oranges, red and yellows. The air freshens. A purity in the crisp mornings with the lowering sun. (Filmed 12.08.17 on Cromford Canal Matlock, England. Thank you http://www.cromfordcanal.info/ for the canal boat trip.)
Meditate, relax, dance, celebrate and love ~ Claudine