Brian Field is an award-winning composer and lyricist whose compositions have been performed throughout the United States and around the world. He first sat behind a piano at eight years old. By sixteen he had composed his first serious orchestral piece. He would go one to earn his undergraduate degree in music and English literature from Connecticut College, his Master of Music from New York City’s prestigious Juilliard School and a Doctorate from Columbia University. Through the years he studied with legendary composers like Noel Zahler, Milton Babbitt, George Edwards and Mario Davidovsky.
“Brian Field: Vocal Works” is the latest album from Brian Field, released worldwide to all major streaming services on August 13, 2021. Recorded in two sessions, 31 years and 4,000 miles apart, the record is a showcase of Mr. Field’s works composed for vocals. Within the construct of a Classical choral and orchestral record he weaves elements of comedy, Jazz and Classic literature.
The first 7 tracks on the album were performed by the Budapest Chorus and Hungarian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martón Tóth and recorded Feb 20, March 2, and Dec 6, 2021 at Dega Studios in Budapest, Hungary. The record opens on an acapella choral version of the traditional Gospel hymn “By and By,” written by American Methodist minister Charles Albert Tindley and arranged by Brian Field. The three part “Canciones de Amor” follows, featuring orchestral interpretations of the work of historic Chilean poet and diplomat, Pablo Neruda.
The record takes a turn to comedic musical theater with the hilarious Brian Field original “Let’s Build a Wall! (An American Satire).” “Durme, Durme, Kerido Ljiko” is a beautiful solo soprano and orchestral arrangement of a traditional Sephardic lullaby. Before leaving Hungary we are treated to another Brian Field original, as the full Budapest Chorus performs and angelic acapella Gospel hymn, “Let the Light Shine on Me.”
The album closes on the six part “Chimneys,” recorded April 29, 1990 in New London CT. The set features Brian Field’s musical interpretation of the work of iconic poet E.E. Cummings. The six pieces move through wildly original avant-garde Jazz and Classical piano compositions as vocalists Edward Whalen and Veronica Tomaneck perform the words of Mr. Cummings’ debut 1923 collection of poems “Tulips and Chimneys.” It is a fascinating set and an effective stylistic pivot for this celebration of the human voice.
Listen to the album “Brian Field: Vocal Works” in its entirety below, or on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear the song “Let’s Build a Wall! (An American Satire)” on the Deep Indie Songwriters playlist. Follow the links below to connect with Brian Field and dive into the rich musical history of a tremendously talented and versatile American composer.