Kenneth L. Field
KENNETH L. FIELD is a composer based in Dillon, Montana. Field, holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from UC Santa Barbara and an MA in music composition from Cal State Fullerton. A few of his works include fifty seven one, for sixteen vocalists (2002) - performed by the Kiev Chamber Choir on Naxos Records; The Beatitudes, for tape (2002); Romero: God’s Microphone – A Chamber Opera in 1 Act (2016); and the score for the award-winning 2018 50-Hour Slam film Budding Love. Field finds his linguistics background informs his compositional choices in many of his works. He is currently working on a Central American song-cycle utilizing texts by Barbara Kingsolver and Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal.
The music for Merce C consists of 2 ten-minute compositions. The first, “Nothing is Accomplished” was written in the fall of 2018 while Field was serving as a resident at Laboratory, in Spokane. This work is based on a manifesto that John Cage included in his 1961 written work Silence. Sampling many of John Cages spoken recordings, I was able to piece together John Cage reading the manifesto. Along with this, I recorded three other speakers reading the manifesto in English, Korean, and Ukrainian. These recordings and their subsequent manipulation along with other recordings such as found objects in my living area serve as the basis for this work.
The second half of Merce C is another ten-minute work, “Grattage – for Prepared Piano, Voice, Appalachian Dulcimer & Central American Flute” which utilizes John Cage’s own creation - the prepared piano. Using carefully prepared recorded samples, the prepared piano rhythmic structure forms the backbone of this work. Grattage – a painting technique made famous by Max Ernst, is a careful scraping away of a surface layer of paint to reveal an image underneath. This sound canvas represents hours of careful “scraping away” to reveal the hidden sonic image.
Original Compositions for VMD
"Tribute to Merce C." 2019