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 It became a very private withdrawn time.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. 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, the liberation of rebirth and Motherly love. I thank Kali. The 14th Track Dance Of The Goddess comes from Blood Moon We end this journey with honouring and free movement and expression of dance for all.
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.
Welcome to this journey. Music to be mindful, meditate and chill out to. This was an adventure abundant year in the making. A musical travelogue. Time flows as we capture elements of our life, loves, experiences, states of being. Multi-Instrumentalist Claudine West (aka Earth Tree Healing) releases her 7th instrumental New Age recording via digital stores on 30th May 2018. The name Candle Gardeners came quite suddenly during a celebration of Samhain in 2017. A year in the making. The journey, inspirations and concept created on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Malibu. CA. Wales and Glastonbury, England. This 12-track album explores ethereal places of musical ascension. Starting by the coast. ‘Overture of Oceans’ introduces the album. Explore sonic sunny rambles with ‘Glastonbury’ then wake with the mellow golden dawn of ‘Eos.’ Chill out to ‘Summerland.’ The upbeat ‘Green Man’ sparkles and indulges. ‘Namaste’ is an evolving improvisation with Sitar. The hypnotic refreshing heartbeat and simple piano of ‘Mercury In Retrograde’ gently prepares you for the meditative ‘Doom Mons’ and 25 minute track ‘Realms.’ We then embark on the final 3 introducing the waking rhythms of ‘Illumine’ and ‘Lithosphere.’ The finale wildfire is ‘Diablo Winds.’
The name Candle Gardeners came quite suddenly during a celebration of Samhain in 2017. I was in Wales with Family. We had prepared the table in the Blue Room for our feast of honouring our ancestors. We lit candles for loved ones and were in and out of the room bringing food. I was tasked to guard the candles. It then happened upon us all the ‘garden’ them. Divination, laughter, affirmations and a noisy hamster wheel via Skype followed. Our circle..The Candle Gardeners. This had been the place where Ange and I had been Hand Fasted on April 1st 2011. The place of magic, where the Green Man and wood nymphs roam. Watching over with blessings. There is a strong possibility of the presence naughty faeries too. (The ones that nicked all of our tea spoons last year!) Thanks for giving me back my cowbell you pesky little ones. I need it for gigs!
Earlier on October 15th 2017. I had stood upon the golden sands of Zuma Beach, Malibu. Watching the Pacific Ocean waves.
Track 1: Overture Of Oceans. I have a true love for the sea, the healing, new beginnings. An indulgence of wonderful negative ions. That feeling good experience that revitalizes ones being. Freedom as the waves crescendo on the shore, a vast open expanse of well being. The danger in one moment, that might just swallow you into the deep blue. The recreation of that feeling musically begins this album. See more blogs of the trip to California. I could and would live here. https://wordpress.com/view/claudsville.wordpress.com
Track 2 (recorded 17.03.18 is simply the beautiful guitar and piano of ‘Candle Gardeners.’ It was the last track and 13th recorded. My album theme tune.
Full video playlist making of Candle Gardeners featuring more videos.
Track 3: Glastonbury. Waking up to birdsong on sunny fresh morning gazing at the Glastonbury Tor. I grabbed my phone and captured the summertime. It’s a magical place. Somerset is a beautiful County. I love the vibes. It’s also a place where we could live. This is inspiring in itself. Creating this track, creating the balance of natures music, with variety and feel of the instruments. Acoustic guitars and flute compliment piano arpeggios. I used an accordion that I bought from a car boot sale in Colwick, Nottingham.
Track 4: Eos. The Greek Goddess of Dawn. To become witness to the absolute wonder and beauty of sunrises over and over is one of life’s many pleasures. When each day awakens.. new opportunities for a blissful existence arise. great for yoga and meditation practice. Chasing sunsets draws me into the woods and flourishing skyline adventures.
Track 5: Summerland. During my first past life regression, described in my Kindle book Claudsville Blogs and Bio of a Bog Woppit I glimpsed a moment in time where I stood gazing upon corn fields. With an electric blue sky and a breeze shimmering. I felt content and accomplished. I felt peace. We arrive at the Summerland. We remember the Summerland. In the afterlife, rapture, blessed be. The music to travel to your places and explore the serenity. I recorded the video on a train travelling back from Wales January 2018.
Track 6: Green Man. It is thought his image was the medieval bridge between Paganism. and Christianity. Our foliage faced Pagan nature spirit. Symbolizing rebirth, spring. I see him as the ‘daddy of the woods.’ Growing up in Nottinghamshire with the Legend of Robin Hood and The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest. Wood nymphs run riot, beheaded vegetation deities, nature is a beautiful thing. What flowed when I composed this was a mandolin menstruation. A fast strum to the beat of a bodhran. I then planted different seeds to grow. The Green Man to me watches over. Lives in the wild abandon. Often glimpsed but ever present. I’d painted him a number of years ago on a box for the Daughter of friends.
Green Man will have its full unveiling upon release. It’s one of my favourite tracks on the album.
Track 7: Namaste. Añjali Mudrā or Pranamasana. A venture into the sitar. I’ve got a beautiful old one from India with a history that dates back decades. How better to honour it with the welcome of Namaste. Starting off on Kalimba. I added an autoharp. This track was Improvised. The spark in sunshine. The limes in a tree. It’s quite a citrine blossom with differing shades of wild orange. I’ve had dreams, meditations and vision during Reiki attunements of temples…floating.
Track 8: Mercury in Retrograde. Spells trouble, trauma for some of us. It certainly meant trying times for us in 2017. Once acknowledged though, one works through it and come out the other end wiser even if a little peeved. I’d been working on a piano riff. The original recording went a bit haywire in my studio. Nothing would sync to it for no apparent reason. I profess not to be a sound engineer. More of a multi-instrumentalist that puts a jigsaw of instruments together. The riff became quite fitting and a reflection of this time.
Now your journey moves into unadulterated relaxation. Lay back, meditate, practice mindfulness, yoga.. dream…
Track 9: Doom Mons. Titan. The largest moon of the planet Saturn. The largest mountain range. I recorded binaural beats and with a setting the turning to God frequency 432hz. This is consistent with the vibrations, patterns and mathematics of the universe. Ancient sites such as Stonehenge and the pyramids reflect the number 432 as the ratio to the sun, earth and moon. Article here There is a subtle difference for listener exploration into Zen compared to 440hz music. At this point on the album it is time to drift off into the cosmos.
Track 10: Realms. 25 minutes of frequency 432hz. Imagine a breeze, imagine a moment. Imagine a horizon. And… relax, meditate, practice yoga, mindfulness, connection.
Track 12: Lithosphere The crust and upper mantle of the Earth. Armed with a flask of tea by the lake. We connect to the earth, the crust. Observing the wonder of the sky and the sunrise.
Track 13: Diablo Winds
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’ll never forget the burning..thoughts, prayers and healing. Trees are born in fire…
Track 13 (recorded 17.03.18 is simply the beautiful guitar and piano of ‘Candle Gardeners’
Full video playlist making of Candle Gardeners featuring more videos.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Making Candle Gardeners. It was a more ‘go with the green, the flow and the rhythm indulgence. Sessions and my creative juices have been so productive during the winter darkness, Vitamin D supplements and Chai Tea. That I’m now halfway thought recording ‘Reiki’ which will be released on July 1st 2018. The commitment to a track a weekend is a welcome release from a stressful and exhausting 6 months in the NUH day job. Summer is coming…..
Claudine West Music/ Earth Tree Healing links
Check out my other albums.. 8 Sabbats, Archangel Divination 2, The Journey, Archangel Divination, Citadel, Meditation Chronicles.
To swear on air. That was a bloody good ‘straight after work’ vocals recording sesh. After leaving to breathe… The McGuigan coated throats just enough for a velvet vintage performance. Now for Rugby (and a big well done to England Yesterday winning the Six Nations) & Pizza with Wifey. Well done Mr Paul Phillip Johnson.
With a pretty great music ‘information gathering’ week in the bag. Networking a go go. We all feel a refreshed reiteration on how to move the music of Strange Currencies into the universe a little better. With a Nusic Academy Q&A hosted by Mark Del at Nottingham Trent Student Union. Featuring on the panel John Kennedy from Radio X, Kate Holder, Producer for Huw Stephens for the BBC, Eleanor Goodman, currently features Editor at Metal Hammer from and Jamz Supernova from BBC Radio 1Xtra. Being a musician and not a savvy Radio Plugger, promoter. Well not yet… In this day and age. Listening to some valuable tips via iTunes podcasts on the bus to work has been enlightening. Some things are obvious. Some are ‘Aha’ moments. Some are well ‘why do that as I would not..?’ But play guitar with the suggested chord formations. You might just have a tune. With stalls, advice and networking with local promoters I’m Not From London. It was a productive meet and greet.
One of the funniest moments from the Nusic sesh involved as question about visual media eg band photos. Eleanor Goodmans sound advice.. Don’t do photos of bands in front of walls or forests. As its ‘soooooo very unoriginal’ had us laughing out loud. You had to be there! ‘Wanky Cocks’ against depressing backdrops in a nutshell. Its quite possibly 50 shades of grey with arrogance and unoriginality.
A few pre mastered CD promos featuring a few songs were handed out. Some more seed planted from out underground greenhouse.
After finding Bridget Jones’s Baby funnier than expected. Pissing at the one liner “It’s a big wanking bomb Viv” in No Offence, a heart stopping episode of The Walking Dead, season 7 this week. When we thought Rick Grimes was zombie pate. Some really weird dreams followed by milking squids. The question begs… Is it better to gain musical success from your own talent and creating what you love. Thank pulling in favours in Whoreland?
Then at the weekend… a band injury.. I’m recovering with a sore upper bingo wing, being burned by an oven tray full of bacon, I’m still not sure how i managed it at that angle. Maybe….(for album pre release publicity) A unicorn self combusted its horn. Then decided to compete in the winter Olympics while applying lippy. Bought a Moped and then travelled Thelma and Louise style to Balmoral. Later recording an album likened to ‘Rumours.’ Shagged a pony. Had an affair with and antelope. Found an ice pop. Snorted Kryptonite. Went on a cruise with Jane McDonald, burst into song, with a distinct blurred lens. Then trained as a butcher, opened a shop. Decided to become vegan. Discovered that vegetables have feelings too. Went batshit crazy apeshit. Read up on mind control and possession. Did a bit of hocus pocus. Found out the Reptilians wanted to recruit. Found me and did this in the night. Ok ED and James. Your beautiful oh little scar scar.
Recording the album ‘Making Monsters’
It was PP Johnson lead vocals and Claudine West backing vocals of something very beautiful for the album tonight. Take this one to your church. This Girl is understanding.
Album is coming together pretty good. It eclectic! Grunge, country, ballad, Blues, Dance, Pop and more.
So as we depart into the weekend between the day jobs. We are happy. Excited and content and a little tipsy. Rehearsals with the full band commence next week. Good times for Strange Currencies. Great year ahead.
Surrounded by storm sea surges, snow sprinklings and a panic winter press sensationalism. I’ve sat in my little music cave Claudsville Studios. With some instrumental ‘rumpy pumpy’ the first of my new born kids being dropped off at the pool is Mantaray. This embryonic adventure into haunting piano and loops, Fender guitar expelling mellow cries into the night air for alternative progression on this track. With recording equipment situated on my old Reiki treatment couch (for the vibes) I sat in the glow of a salt lamp with a Crassula Ovata (money plant) for company, while the love of my life slept in the next room. As she stirred in slumber, she believed she was sweet dreaming, listening to my early morning vocal take yawns, harmonies and lyric editing as I progressed. With an oceanic theme around rescue. The song explores the burden of love. A song that arouses from the deep blue ocean then grabs souls with its undertow. This track is number 1 of a new solo album in progress. I’ll add each song as they unfold. Under the Stephen Fry inspired working title of ‘Babbling Merchant of Drivel’ progress is inspired in a Rue Morgue kind of way.
I’m currently in the middle of recording Strange Currencies album ‘Making Monsters’ So it a very musically indulgent time. Pretty darn cool actually. I’ve spent the last 2 evening sessions suffering low mood and red light fever recording the acoustic guitar parts for ‘Stay Down Kid.’ My one take wonders rule left me for dust! With cats jumping all over the studio during takes, and sore fingers. I’m hoping next weeks session will tell a different story. Luckily the swearing flowed like warm pee then the boiling hormonal blood ran free and with a little assistance from some garnet gemstone in my shorts pocket. I kind of nailed it last night. We had recorded a live version to work to. PP Johnson liked his live vocals. So as I’ve just D.I.’d the acoustic. I’ve had to overdub it and mic my trusty ‘Taylor’ up. A song that has been played loads live with my eyes closed… Well.. maybe I should have swapped mugs of tea and vitamin water for Rum. But I think its kind of there ready for mix and master. As this album evolves.. getting the right balance of ballad, funky, poptarty, dirty, distorted and hints of country. Even though I know it will work out great in the end. I learn Logic Pro X as I go. The January blues will depart and be looked upon kindly as a productive time in the darkness.
Whispers on the waves of silence I sensed the love in buoyance In the eye of a hurricane Our ship sails for America A vortex where the renegade goes This riptide rides the ebb and flow Chorus Jettison flames This cargo is killing me Mantaray Set me free Verse 2 Those that inspire me, desire me I’m certain of the dance Lethal switchblades and urban food chains Bridge The world lights up and jettisons The embers burned you, The embers burned you, The embers burned you,
Verse 3 I buried myself in the Earth To seek what it was worth I carried strength and faith around Buried scars and saviours I quit the bad behaviours I stopped this drowning before it took you down
Released January 9, 2017
Written, performed and recorded by Claudine West 2017
Oh yes we made it! The mid-season break for us is the opposite of a writers strike. With a 2 week break over the holidays and New Year. 2016 had killed my Banjo. (A new Hercules triple whammy guitar stand purchased for out of its case protection) catching up with sleep, countless games of drunken ‘New market’ and ‘Cards Against Humanity’ and indulging the sick horror of human nature when prompted. Arse sitting whisky a go go was a luxury. When the over indulgence ended and the toilet rolls depleted, the detoxes began. Armed with a Garnet stone for creativity. 2 New Age albums ready to go in 2017. I began more work on the backing tracks for the new album. Plans as of this blog are: Making Monsters by Strange Currencies. It’s useful to lock ‘oneself’ away during the darkened months. I don’t get ‘SAD’ I get ‘Gutted’ =’ Godforsaken Unadulterated Traumatic Tedious Exhausting Darkness’
Pumped up with extra vitamin D complexities. Strange algae and red berry concoctions downed inspired by some doctor on my face book feed turned. Ones PP into rainbow bright droplets of strange waz. After a fleeting though of knowing now what I didn’t then ‘should I have not done ‘normal’ day jobs and dedicated myself to music full time when younger with gigging. Not drank, smoked, got stoned and let my shyness and rage rule too much.’ But then again I wrote and recorded loads. https://bogwoppit.bandcamp.com/ So not time wasted. But you see now. As my only left addictions to crisps and chocolate fade after getting some dietitian help. I looked at my video reflection on facetime last night and thought no no NO!
I’d hoped for a quiet return to the day job into 2017. https://strangecu.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/into-2017-strange-currencies/ This was marred by it not being quiet. Organised chaos where everybody pulls out the stops to help out. I like my NHS job. It is rewarding when you can help make a difference….. and never boring. I might ache from running about miles of corridors after ‘slothing’ on my hols. Regret purchasing the ‘on sale’ £21 walking shoes that basically shit. I’ll stick to my Nikes and shoes for office/ meeting days. Luckily my trouser still button up and I can bend over without splitting my britches!
I regress… So plans in motion for a video for American Saviour. Really.. Really soon. The album is taking shape over evenings and weekends. Got some late January gigs with Strange Currencies. The 30 min set has been chopped and honed. Last year we tested various songs; have buried the ones that got less reaction from the people ignoring us on stage. We’ve got a set that we like playing more now.
Big thank you to Andrew Neil for some inspiring advice and opportunities via his Facebook feeds.
The last time I dressed as Santa ended up being my last gig. I quit the band that I’d cofounded and put so much creative effort into a decade earlier. So the curse of Xmas jumpers… Only time will tell 😉 Jesus seriously doesn’t want me for a sunbeam.
Doing the amount of gigs we did from July 2016 https://strangecu.wordpress.com/gigs/ (as well as a full time day job and recording an EP.) At times the enthusiasm to play live after a long day was hard, tempers were tested, moods low. Well there were times when I just wanted to walk away and quit. As did PP Johnson. But. Then we’d have a good gig. The bad gigs when we played to the bar staff or crowds with their back to us were atypical of the growing expectation for musicians in the wrong venues to be background noise or karaoke with a guitar. There were nights after a long day I was tired and questioning, full of PMT and just want to cozy up with the Walking Dead. Resilience gets one through. The drive to achieve and surprise myself is strong like the force. My strumming fingernail has still not recovered and I’ve had to resort to more plectrum usage when used to my usual finger picking style. Evolving….
I love technology. Xmas also produced make over app fun! (My zombify pictures of Ange over xmas didn’t go down too well!) But putting her Dad who had fallen asleep and provided an opportunity… Alan in make up and wigs did!
Then I went blond
Then we went to Harry Potter World
The end…..of 2016
Onto the album Making Monsters
I’ve just bought a £23 self-assembly blues cigar guitar. I’ll be indulging along with the sitar to use on recordings this year. It’s very easy to get caught up with loops when in studio. American Saviour began as a mess about around the punch line. ‘Ride The Pony’ That Ange (My Wifey) and I were going to do for a piss take. We have some tracks nearly ready such as ‘Stay Down Kid.’ Originally a riff from one of my own ‘Sonic World’ reworked. I’m quite excited about Gypsy Disco. In Your World is a loopy starter for ten. The first batch is nearly there for final vocal takes. ‘This Girl’ is a haunting piano ballad. ‘Automatic’ is currently a bone of contention. The song ‘Making Monsters’ is near. There is a new song ‘Mantaray’ that I’ve done some vocals on. This may end up on my next solo ‘Claudine West’ album though. There is a duet under the working title ‘Twosome’ about to be written. I’ve initially recorded a backing track and submitted some lyrics and concept ideas that may well be scrapped. I imagined a dark ‘Islands in the Stream’ around obsession and blame, about a lover and bit of a motherFCUKer that loses the plot and murders the man she is having an affair with. We will see what the next few months produce. PP Johnson has been producing lyrics and ideas. I do love the writing and recording process. Big Thanks again to Angela Barker. Who organises, manages, drives, rodies, networks, gets the sh1t, gets the drinks at the bar and much more. We are not easy Divas 😉
We spend the end of 2016 watching the winter sun setting in Portsmouth. Its rather lovely sat on a beach with a cup of tea readying for new musical adventures…
Under the heading Original Rock Band with Psychedelic Funk & 70’s Soul. Nottingham Unsigned band Subway Circus are about to go back into studio to record part 2 of their 2016 debut album ‘Pilgrim Commuter‘