The Making Of Candle Gardeners

The Making of Candle Gardeners. Released 30th May 2018 http://hyperurl.co/ef3qxg

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! 

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The Blue Room Wales. Samhain

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.

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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 11: Illumine Enlightenment. Awaken. Attain insight. Attain spiritual knowledge.

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.

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Mabon and The Master Plan

The Autumn Equinox, the harvest and changing of the seasons. I also cycle through the Wheel of the Year with composing tracks for my forthcoming album (2018 release) 8 Sabbats’ by Earth Tree Healing.

The darkness is coming. I’m at the point of disillusionment in Muggleland. Whilst grateful the bills get paid and a few treats. Its very easy to get sucked into that vortex and remain totally unfulfilled and frustrated. Anxiety and stress levels increase.  Change is on the horizon. Which is only a good thing. The stagnant pond that has been… needed it. A feeling of hopelessness has enveloped for a month. Whilst I accept I’ll never really fit into that world. It still stings. My soul and fingers are given to creative adventures. Once I enter the healing room/studio. Thats where the magic happens. Bliss returns. A rotation of Rose Quartz and Amethyst is pillow rotation to help the bad dreams of late.

Yes these current energies are creating havoc. When one feels them as I do. It makes my exposure to the bad ones, the liars, the lazys, the users, the manipulators .. one giant ice cream headache. In this world I am at time so very lost and disappointed with peoples selfishness.

Even after a week off on hols. We did some serious life reevaluating. I want to become a recluse for 6 months and recharge. But…the drive to succeed is strong. Sometimes you just have to get on and make the best of what today brings. But on a positive. The practicality and decision to better balance my life has been made and fingers crossed begins soon. The wants for a Hurdy Gurdy after a trip to Arundel Castle watching jousting is a treat waiting to happen.

Getting back to nature and my Pagan roots has been refreshing and inspiring. When one is all time consumed. The Universe will interject occurrences to freeze frame and rethink the master plan.

We spent last Sunday seeing old friends at Pagan Pride in Nottingham. The need to reconnect is now stronger than ever.  A canal boat ride at Cromford Canal. On a sunny Saturday afternoon chatting to strangers was needed. I shot this video footage to Mabon.

A Psychic Supper last night with Sally Wathen at Rainbow Bridge. The realisation further being confirmed each time I visit to just do it! Things, synchronicity and sods law can have one almost bitter seething on the edge of a razor. When you find out the world is flat and enter the rabbit hole. Its time to step back. Switch it all off and make music.

“Some of the ugliest things are the loveliest things.”

It’s time to make waves

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With quite a few albums in the pipeline for 2018 onwards. Claudine is a busy Bog Woppit. I keep affirming that everything is going to be ok. It is isnt it?

 1 day later. An amazing opportunity occurred…. I love the Universe. 

A day after that. Another box ticker. Hard work, dedication, positive mindset. Doing things for the right reason brings an incalculable abundance to my life here. 

It shines so very brightly when the right path is followed. 🙂 

 

Stranger Things…

“If you never try, you’ll never know what you are capable of.”  John Barrow

Stranger things have happened. things nearly didn’t happen… but…I’m an improv inspired kind of bird. Go with the flow. This ideal is not shared by all. Which is why…..

12th Feb 2017 was the day Strange Currencies shot a the music video for ‘American Saviour.’  Paralleled with a pseudo documentary of ‘the making of’ to rival others .. should be released in the summer. With a story line and undertones of Cuprinol. This dip into politics may cause ripples with nipples. A few conti pad giggles.

With a self financed tiny budget, (500 x 50p and a mars bar mini) the kindness of The Acacia Centre  volunteers fancy dressed to impress, sausage and chip cobs(naps, buns, rolls to non locals), orange face paint, raspberry sauce and more wigs that Donald’s closet. Began a day of filming. After ditching his initial script in comparison to The Cure For Insomnia running length of 87– 10 mins in ‘cat years’ ;-0. A barrage of hissy fits ensued the day before. (A lesson about better communication, planning, prepping and making sure minutes are written in future with things!)  PP Johnson (band vocalist) overcame what can only be described as…. a fucking flid and directed. #evidence below.  Yet again I’ll quote this sunshine… “If you never try, you’ll never know what you are capable of.” John Barrow

A word from Director PP Johnson:

“I feel at this stage that I might have to go into more of an explanation as to why I didn’t want to make this video initially. In light of a pretty damning blog, it’s now become important to me that people understand my side of this particular issue. I guess I’d have to say that I was the architect of my own downfall on this one. Basically, I pitched the idea for the video a couple of months back and we all agreed that we should do it. We’d been looking for a concept to hang a music video on for a while and so this seemed as good an idea as any. So we greenlit the project and everyone was happy. Fast forward a few weeks and new jobs for both myself and the band manager plus an album recording that was well under way meant that I started doubting our ability to produce a quality piece of work in such a short space of time. So… I went to my bandmate and the manager with my concerns and suggested that we either postpone the project or shelve it altogether. This suggestion was met with a fair amount of resistance and I was told that we were definitely going ahead and “I shouldn’t pitch projects if I had no intention of going ahead with them”. Suddenly one person was less happy. 😉 Anyway, life and work began to take priority, as they tend to do. Production meetings didn’t happen and communication on all sides became almost non-existent (due to individuals not replying to messages and various important sporting events). During that time a script was written and some pre production work had been carried out (admittedly not as much as I’d had liked but that’s on me). Come the eve of the shoot and I was a very frustrated bunny indeed. We were on a ship which seemed rudderless and heading for stormy waters, and I seemed to be the only one that saw it. After numerous tense phonecalls and a (now very public) meltdown from your’s truly, it was decided that we would change the project in order to try and turn the project’s weaknesses into a strength. Ultimately a new concept was born and the shoot went ahead. Upon reflection, I still feel that I was right to feel the way I did but I am grateful that we were able to turn potential tragedy into (fingers crossed) triumph. My actions in the build up to the shoot were those of a man who was being forced to do something against his will and it garnered the appropriate response. So there it is, the story from my side. Hopefully to be concluded in the summer with the release of American Saviour: A Cautionary Tale.”

So….after a winter of ‘Toblerones’ and turkey. With pre menstrual bloat, some virus illness shite that the flu jab possibly caused. You can imagine my surprise and horror at being directed with speaking parts! Bear in mind.. an E in ‘A Level’ Drama happened for a reason with me! I mumble and can’t remember lines or prompts, or act.I can barely function as a non musician at times. So genuine uncomfortable madness.. Fanks!

With the sort of pre match bitch diva fits that potentially split bands up and ruin friendships and prompt the band manager to consider leading a meditation with monks tour with backing band ‘Satans Minions.’  By the power of Greyskull.. no one died. A punch up did occur. Filming completed.

What won this Shoot was :  Wait for it…Team work, yes where no ‘i’ belongs.  Resilience, imagination, ripping off others ideas and persevering seeking the bigger picture. What one watches in hindsight though the looking glass in years to come. Becoming a coffin dodger is a daily Pac man challenge.
Big thanks for last minute leads, Angela Barker, who is also the manager who fortunately for some only used the boxing gloves ‘acting.’ Stepping in to the Trumpalumpa ‘Ronald Gump’ character. Notts Drag Queen, Madam Tesstickles (Steven Newbury) for the ‘Vanessa Theresamay’ hilarity. Talented true divas and excellent hilarious performances. The DJ’s, friends and families at Acacia Radio for giving us their time, featuring and letting us use their building and props. Kendal Louise Turley, who I first met in 2009 while recording an Idolins album at Confetti Studios, Nottingham. Joe our cameraman. Both very cool and talented folks.

Watch behind the scenes footage

Trump May punch up

Here are some pics. To follow…. hopefully a music video and making of documentary 😉

I became rather fixated Baywatch wise too…..

~ Claudine

Making Monsters

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.

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We’ve had a lot of fun on Acacia Radio http://acaciaradioaw.weebly.com/ Big thanks to Ian Hales, Shaun and Lucas Jackson. Interviews and live songs without swearing of to many FCUK ups. I even shocked myself doing Xmas songs with enthusiasm.  I was even in a good mood and excited! Little Donkey and Jingle Bells all the way baby!  https://www.facebook.com/strangecu/videos/1136161273172057/

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!

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Then I went blond

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Then we went to Harry Potter World

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The end…..of 2016

Into 2017…

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…

  • Claudine