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Fields, Scott Ensemble

The Songs of Steve Dalachinsky

Fields, Scott Ensemble: The Songs of Steve Dalachinsky (Ayler)

Irish guitarist and composer Scott Fields has worked with the poems of late New York writer Steve Dalachinsky over the years, here bringing together an ensemble of improvisers, electronic and contemporary classical performers to set a suite of six poems by Dalachinsky sung by soprano Barbara Schachtner, with interludes between each weaving them into a larger and satisfying opus.

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Steve Dalachinsky-lyrics

Scott Fields-composition, electric guitar

Barbara Schachtner-voice

Annette Maye-clarinets

Melvyn Poore-tuba

Eva Popplein-electronics

Norbert Rodenkirchen-flutes

Florian Stadler-accordion

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UPC: 3473351400510

Label: Ayler
Catalog ID: AYLCD-180
Squidco Product Code: 33739

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: France
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Topaz Studios, in Cologne, Germany, in February, 2023, by Reinhard Kobialka.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"This suite of six songs premiered in Cologne, December 2016, three years before Steve Dalachinsky passed away. His widow, Yuko Otomo, wrote the liner notes for this release.

Steve and Scott met at a festival in New York where Steve was serving as MC. He was rummaging through the merch table and had an Elliott Sharp solo CD in his hand. Scott pointed to a stack of Sharp-Fields CDs and told him that Sharp was great alone but with Fields magic was made. Not until 45 minutes later, when Steve stepped up to introduce the band, did he realize that the stranger flogging Sharp-Fields recordings was Scott.

Steve was either forgiving or forgetful. Several years later when Scott wrote to ask for permission to set his poetry, he agreed readily without mentioning the prank. Scott told Steve that his intention was to distinguish this music from the performances for which he was known: spoken word over free jazz, often completely improvised. Scott thought that Steve had that genre nailed down. Steve sent dozens of poems and left it to him to choose. Steve couldn't attend the premiere but he did see a video compilation of the performance.

Scott Fields has worked with all of the musicians on the recording for almost two decades and all except Schachtner have appeared on some of his previous recordings. Although some of the musicians have tangential associations with jazz, it is distant from the downtown New York scene that Steve inhabited. The ensemble members' education and most of their work is in classical music and New Music. Rodenkirchen is also a well-known performer of, and authority on, the music of the Middle Ages. That said, all are experienced improvisors. Good thing too; in additional to the formal material, all of the songs in this suite include elements of improvisation within tonal, rhythmic, and structural constraints."-Ayler Records

"Steve ( Dalachinsky ) is generally known for his passionate love of music, mostly Jazz, especially Free Jazz. But his love of anything "creative & inspiring" went way beyond one small category of music. He was open to many things from visual art to cinema, literature & most of all, to life itself.

For a poet, to hear music set to your poem is one of the ultimate gifts & rewards. The thrill of being invited into the new world born & inspired by your own writing in the unimagined sonic/audio dimension is impossible to describe. Simply stated, it is like walking into a dream.

The concept of "Lieder" ( Art Songs ) in the mode of Schubert & other classical composers had been one of our shared loves from the beginning of our life together. We loved listening to them sung & played. Inspired by Steve's poetry, Scott Fields has composed Songs of Steve Dalachinsky. Individual poems with the interludes as a thread to carry all their poetic/musical elements into one fabric of creation woven together. Human voice, human breath & instruments, they all merge into a tapestry of new landscape. There, we can float & roam freely among the waves & wavelets, rippling patterns & motifs of the invisible air & water called music. In such mysteriously ambient & suggestive perpetual motion of the sounds & words, we forget ourselves to rediscover our truest selves afresh."-Yuko Otomo, NYC, USA, April 2023

Artist Biographies

"Steve Dalachinsky is a New York downtown poet. He is active in the poetry, music, art, and free jazz scene.

Dalachinsky was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1946, and grew up in the Midwood section of the borough. He has been writing poetry for many years and has worked with such musicians as William Parker, Susie Ibarra, Matthew Shipp, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen, Mat Maneri, Federico Ughi, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Rob Brown, Tim Barnes, Kommissar Hjuler, and Jim O'Rourke. He has appeared at most editions of the Vision Festivals, an Avant-jazz festival involving many of these musicians. At one time he also appeared frequently at Michael Dorf's club , the Knitting Factory. He currently lives in Manhattan with his wife, painter and poet Yuko Otomo.[citation needed

Dalachinsky performs regurarly with free-jazz musicians to give his text a new life.

Dalachinsky's main influences are the Beats, William Blake, The Odyssey, obsession, socio-political angst, human disappointment, music (especially Jazz), and visual art with leanings toward abstraction. His work, for the most part is spontaneous and leans towards transforming the image rather than merely describing it, in what he now refers to as transformative description/descriptive transformation. "

-Wikipedia (

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"Scott Fields (born September 30, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois) is a guitarist, composer, and bandleader. He is best known for his attempts to blend music that is composed and music that is written and for his modular pieces (see 48 Motives, 96 Gestures and "OZZO"). He works primarily in avant-garde jazz, experimental music, and contemporary classical 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 (AACM), 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 1973 Fields co-founded the avant-garde jazz trio Life Rhythms. When the group disbanded two years later, he played sporadically but soon was institutionalized for an extended period. He almost 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."

-Wikipedia (

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Barbara Schachtner is a German soprano vocalist, known for the James Choice Orchestra and Scott Fields Ensemble.

-Discogs (

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"Annette Maye was born in Flensburg. After graduating from high school, she first completed a course in Eastern European history, musicology and Russian at the University of Freiburg. In 2000 she completed her contact studies in popular music (pop course) at the Hamburg University of Music. She then studied jazz clarinet and bass clarinet at the music academies in Cologne and Paris (2001-2005) with Frank Gratkowski, Claudio Puntin and Riccardo del Fra. She graduated from jazz in 2005 with a diploma.

Awards: In the year 2016 Annette Maye was awarded the NRW Female Prize by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in cooperation with the WDR Jazz Prize. Before, he had won the SWR world music award "querBeet" with ensemble FisFüz in 1998, and in 2006 she had received the Torneo Internazionale di Musica (TIM) award in Rome in the jazz category.

Projects: The clarinetist works as an instrumentalist and also in her compositions with jazz, world music, contemporary music and improvisation. She played with internationally renowned musicians like Gianluigi Trovesi (Italy), Arkady Shilkloper (Russia), Jean-Louis Matinier, Michel Godard and Tomas Savy (France), Günter Baby Sommer and Hans Lüdemann (Germany), Claudio Puntin (Switzerland / Germany) , Glen Velez (USA), Giora Feidman (Israel), Mohamed Mounir (Egypt), Joris Roelofs and Alex Simu (NL), as well as with the Tonkünstlerorchester Niederösterreich, Concerto Köln or Noreum Machi (South Korea). Maye has been working with theater director Robert Wilson (USA) in productions at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus since 2017 and furthermore with director Stephan Bachmann in a co-production at Schauspiel Köln and Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus since 2021. She has also worked as a musician with the Théâtre de la Ville/Paris.

She participates in different formations, such as in the German-Turkish oriental jazz trio "ensemble FisFüz" (various CDs, including together with Gianluigi Trovesi), the modern klezmer duo "Doyna" (CD "Sammy´s Frejlach" 2015), the world music formation "Tabadoul Orchestra", the trio "Il Lusorius", the "Multiple Joyce Orchestra" or in their project "Annette Maye's Vinograd Express" (CD "Remembering Masada" 2015): Here the clarinetist together with the Italian Maestro Gianluigi Trovesi made the "Masada Songbook" by the New York avant-garde composer John Zorn, and Vinograd Express also play original compositions - a way of working that is exemplary for Maye: reshaping foreign material so that it can be integrated perfectly into your own creative cosmos.

The musician was a long-time member of the well-traveled world music formation "Schäl Sick Brass Band" and co-founder of the modern jazz quartet "New Gate" and the duo "PyromanDuo"."

-Annette Maye Website (

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"The direction was clear from early on. From the age of four, I played euphonium - like my father; at seven I gave my first public performance; later, I started piano as well; and at twelve I finally decided in favour of tuba."

"But exactly how far one can go with this apparently unwieldy instrument only became clear to Melvyn Poore (born 1951) while he was studying. His experiences as "music director" of the "Birmingham Arts Laboratory" contributed to the realisation that there is a life as tubist beyond the humdrum of the orchestra. "Even as a student, I preferred to play pieces that weren't written for tuba at all."

Poore's first experiments in the "Arts Lab" with tape and electronics led him on to a new passion: the experimental interaction of acoustic instruments and technology, which for him now has the same priority as purely acoustic experiments involving the sound possibilities of the tuba. Poore has passed on his experience in the capacities of interpreter, composer and also lecturer: he was "Research Assistant" at the Salford College of Technology (1989-1991), a guest at the Zentrum für Kunst- und Medientechnologie (Centre for Art and Media Technology) in Karlsruhe from 1992-1994 (where he developed his concept 'METAinstrument'), and 1993-95 "Visiting Professor for Electro-Acoustic Music" at the Royal College of Music in London.

Since 1995 he is a permanent member of Ensemble Musikfabrik and dedicates himself to the creation of the pedagogical department of the ensemble."

-Ensemble MusikFabrik (

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"Eva Popplein is a German computer musician and sound engineer, born in Munich in 1978. She is mostly active in the improvisation scene and composes electro-acoustic music for intermedia productions in the fields of opera, theatre and radio/radio plays. She's been working as sound engineer at Deutschlandfunk since 2006."

-Eva Popplein Website (

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"The fascinating similarities and differences between medieval and modern sounds are the main focus of Norbert Rodenkirchen, Cologne based flautist of the early music ensembles Sequentia, Dialogos and Candens Lilium. He is also known for his flute solo programs reimagining the lost art of medieval instrumental improvisation."

-Norbert Rodenkirchen Website (

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Track Listing:

1. Prelude 01:03

2. Rear Windows 12:06

3. Interlude 00:56

4. Spurlock Reliquaries 08:59

5. Interlude 00:04

6. Gone White Light 08:40

7. Interlude 01:13

8. Richard Wilburs Spine 08:24

9. Interlude 00:47

10. My Minutes 08:28

11. Interlude 00:46

12. With Shelter Gone 13:51

13. Conclusion 00:42

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Song Based Music
Unusual Vocal Forms
Large Ensembles
Octet Recordings
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
New in Improvised Music
New in Compositional Music

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