It is my habit to set myself some rules for each project I compose. Otherwise the world is just too big for me. For my contributions to The Phliks book I made myself a rule that every tune would include traditional notation, graphical notation, and improvisation. (To counter misconceptions, perhaps I should mention that the guzheng and analog synthesizer required no special notation.) Like most of the material that I have produced over the last decade or so, in Phliks pieces I would blur the distinction between notated and improvised material. Any musical rules, whether those of Robert de Viseé or Iggy Pop, exist to allow something to happen that otherwise wouldn’t. Even an apparent lack of rules — no scribbles for the musicians to stare at, no chords for one person to strum while the rest watch and learn — can be just as deterministic. Unspoken mores lurk even in free improvisation; a free improvising sideman who insists on quoting Charlie Parker or Zakk Wylde at length will soon be a solo artist. — Scott Fields, excerpt from the liner notes Continue reading
Scott Fields (born September 30, 1956 in Chicago, Illinois), is a guitarist, composer and band leader. He is best known for his attempts to blend music that is composed and music that is written and for his modular pieces (48 Motives and 96 Gestures). He works primarily in avant-garde jazz, experimental music, and New Music. Fields was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He started as a self-taught rock musician but soon was influenced by the musicians of the Association for the Advancement for Creative Musicians, which was active in the Hyde Park neighborhood in which he grew up. Later he studied classical guitar, jazz guitar, music composition and music theory. In 1970 Fields co-founded the power avant-jazz trio Life Rhythms. When the group disbanded two years later he played sporadically, but soon all but quit music until 1989. Since then he has performed and composed actively. His ensembles and partnerships have included such musicians as Marilyn Crispell, Hamid Drake, John Hollenbeck, Joseph Jarman, Myra Melford, Jeff Parker, and Elliott Sharp.