Fresh Stream

Scott Fields – Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame


SCOTT FIELD’s BURNING IN WATER, DROWNING IN FLAME is a contemplative downer of masterful improvisation. A more thorough deconstruction of acoustic guitar tropes I have rarely experienced. Bill Orcutt certainly walks these same streets, but at an often much louder volume. Lovers of extreme breakdowns of classical guitar method need apply.

Bach exists there in the background somewhere. Shards of the master flashing through the scraps of guitar motif heard above the groans and grumbles of the legendary guitar player. A fractured masterwork, that in its unusual beauty has the power to envelop. It seems foolish for me to take the tweezers to BURNING IN WATER, DROWNING IN FLAME. I couldn’t do it justice anyway. Know this however, the music within is presented in the form of two suites: BURNING IN WATER, and DROWNING IN FLAME. The nine compositions spread across those two suites are based on nine Charles Bukowski poems from the collection The Pleasures of the Damned. DROWNING IN FLAME, the second suite, uses a quarter-tone tuning that Fields believes he invented. I believe him, do you? It might help you believe him if you get a look at his unusually strong, talon-like fingernails that he keeps polished to a razor’s edge. I shit you not.

Strange, beguiling solo acoustic hybrid compositions/improvisations. Give yourself the opportunity to dim the lights, hangout with gary, lay back and let this musical thing wash over you in its entirety. Totally cleansing. Alex Henderson wrote that Fields is “arguably the Anthony Braxton of the guitar.” Yeah. Incredible stuff. Out now on the ever incredible NEW ATLANTIS RECORDS out of Yellow Springs, OH.

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