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Marc Chénard

There are some musicians who stand out from the crowd, and guitarist Scott Fields certainly qualifies. Not that his music is overtly provocative or extreme, but there is an unquestionable singularity to his vision, one more readily identifiable as contemporary music rather than jazz or free-form improv. A case in point is this single, flowing, fifty-nine minute piece performed by him, on acoustic guitar, Matt Turner on cello and Guillermo Gregorio, playing only straight b-flat clarinet. More than that, all musicians play percussion, striking what seem to be metal plates or tubing in ways reminiscent of Balinese gamelan ensembles (which the leader himself alludes to in his insightful notes). In doing so, one may well be reminded of John Cage's translation of Far Eastern musics into the contemporary classical vernacular; there's an underlying reflective, meditative quality to the work, which is spiked by the clattering percussion passages. While the bulk of the performance is improvised, written passage surface throughout, like signposts along the way of a mysterious journey in time, space and tone color. Accordingly these are never bright and bold, but subdued and dark, yet no less intense, like the deep ultramarine hue that adorns the cover.

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