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Phillips, Anthony: Field Day

Having focused on his keyboard based Library Music and TV soundtrack work, Anthony Phillips could feel the stare of his many neglected stringed instruments burning into him and, with a clearing appearing in his schedule, decided, for the first time in many years, to put the keys and synths to one side and focus purely on his 6 string guitars. And his 10 strings… and his 12s. As well as his bouzoukis… and cittern, charrango and mandolin! The process, however, took much longer than anticipated, as a mixture of lack of technique from being out of practice and then some physical ailments resulting from poor posture and the toll six to seven hours a day of guitar work took, resulted in numerous false starts. Composing began in earnest in 2001, but the main body of work was finally recorded in 2004, with some completed the next year. Released in 2005, Field Day was the result. Running to 61 tracks, the music amassed became Anthony’s a first ever double studio CD, the string-pieces that ranged from around the one minute mark to a couple that reach beyond six to eight creating a quite huge body of work. If that sounds like it would make for a piecemeal effort, nothing could be further from the truth, with, for example, a number of the shorter pieces flowing together to make mini-suites and movements, while even the shorter, isolated excursions feel intrinsically linked to those around them.

The efforts of Anthony paid off massively, none of the anguish, or the stop start nature of the album’s composition and recording, ever coming across. The performances are sublime and, arguably, as a guitarist, Phillips is never better showcased than he is here. The eight part “Parlour Suite”, played on a Paul Hathaway Parlour Guitar, is an undoubted highlight of disc one, the flow and beauty interspersed with a few more exuberant moments that snap you into focus. This disc also features a couple of revisited older compositions, “Steps Retraced” a reworking of the Invisible Man (with Richard Scott) piece “Traces”, with the original electric guitar composition now retold quite beautifully on Fylde cittern. Whereas “Nocturne” first saw the light of day in 1980 on the “Back To The Pavilion” Private Parts & Pieces album, however, with Anthony always having some reservations about his performance on that initial recording, this updated effort can be seen as the definite version. That said, it is the eight minute-plus “Concerto de Alvarez” (recorded on a 12 string Alavarez) that takes the crown as the most memorable piece not just on disc one, but on this entire double album, with the mystery and enigma at the piece’s core utterly compelling.

Disc two also has much to recommend, “Weeping Willow” a considered and unsettling rumble, while “Fallen City” adds a much deeper, darker edge than is found pretty much elsewhere. However, whether it be the patient “Oubliette” or gentle stream of “Babbling Brook”, Field Day never at any point proves to be anything less than an immersive journey. Whether that’s a voyage you want to take in one sitting might well be the only question here, for there is an awful lot to take in, even on disc three’s superb all new 5.1 surround mix. However, in the varied, impressive and long running catalogue of Anthony Phillips, for me, this is one of his best moments.


Track Listing
DISC ONE: FIELD DAY REMASTERED
1. THE VOYAGE OUT
2. HIGH FIVES
3. CREDO
4. CERISE
5. RUNAWAY HORSES
6. HOME SWEET HOME
7. STEPS RETRACED
8. FIELD DAY
9. NOCTURNE
10.TRYST
11.GIRL IN THE GALLERY
12.BEL AMI
13.CONCERTO DEL ALVAREZ
14.LIFER
15.CHASING THE LIGHT
16.PARLOUR SUITE I
17.PARLOUR SUITE II
18.PARLOUR SUITE III
19.PARLOUR SUITE IV
20.PARLOUR SUITE V
21.PARLOUR SUITE VI
22.PARLOUR SUITE VII
23.PARLOUR SUITE VIII
24.SWOON
25.RIVER OF LIFE
26.MOMENTO
27.OPEN ROAD
28.WHITE SPIDER
29.HALF WAY OUT


DISC TWO: FIELD DAY REMASTERED
1. WEEPING WILLOW
2. THE LOVE NOT SHARED
3. SOJOURN
4. DAWN OVER THE FIELD OF ETERNITY
5. FALLEN CITY
6. RAIN ON SAG HARBOUR
7. DAYS OF GRACE
8. TIMELINE
9. OUBLIETTE
10.TANIA
11.BABBLING BROOK
12.SHIMMERING SHARON
13.TEA ROOM IN TERRA DEL FUEGO
14.MUDLARK
15.TEARAWAY
16.MIDNIGHT BLUE
17.EVENING SHROUD
18.RAPSCALLION
19.BEYOND THE CASTLE WALLS
20.FORGOTTEN PATHWAY
21.FAIRY RING
22.LARGO D’AMOUR
23.WHIPPERSNAPPER
24.KISSING GATE
25.TO THE LIGHTHOUSE
26.DRIFTWOOD
27.FESTOONS AND BILLOWS
28.FLOTSAM AND JETSAM
29.SUNFISH SHALLOWS
30.SMART ALEC
31.PRAYER FOR NATALIE
32.OUT AND BEYOND


DISC THREE: FIELD DAY 5.1 SURROUND SOUND MIX NTSC ��" REGION 0
1. THE VOYAGE OUT
2. HIGH FIVES
3. CREDO
4. CERISE
5. RUNAWAY HORSES
6. HOME SWEET HOME
7. STEPS RETRACED
8. FIELD DA Y
9. NOCTURNE
10. TRYST
11. GIRL IN THE GALLERY
12. BEL AMI
13. CONCERTO DEL ALVAREZ
14. LIFER
15. CHASING THE LIGHT
16. PARLOUR SUITE I
17. PARLOUR SUITE II
18. PARLOUR SUITE III
19. PARLOUR SUITE IV
20. PARLOUR SUITE V
21. PARLOUR SUITE VI
22. PARLOUR SUITE VII
23. PARLOUR SUITE VIII
24. SWOON
25. RIVER OF LIFE
26. MOMENTO
27. OPEN ROAD
28. WHITE SPIDER
29. HALF WAY OUT
30. WEEPING WILLOW
31. THE LOVE NOT SHARED
32. SOJOURN
33. DAWN OVER THE FIELD OF ETERNITY
34. FALLEN CITY
35. RAIN ON SAG HARBOUR
36. DAYS OF GRACE
37. TIMELINE
38. OUBLIETTE
39. TANIA
40. BABBLING BROOK
41. SHIMMERING SHARON
42. TEA ROOM IN TERRA DEL FUEGO
43. MUDLARK
44. TEARAWAY
45. MIDNIGHT BLUE
46. EVENING SHROUD
47. RAPSCALLION
48. BEYOND THE CASTLE WALLS
49. FORGOTTEN PATHWAY
50. FAIRY RING
51. LARGO D’AMOUR
52. WHIPPERSNAPPER
53. KISSING GATE
54. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE
55. DRIFTWOOD
56. FESTOONS AND BILLOWS
57. FLOTSAM AND JETSAM
58. SUNFISH SHALLOWS
59. SMART ALEC
60. PRAYER FOR NATALIE
61. OUT AND BEYOND

Added: December 2nd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Felld Day @ Cherry Red
Hits: 120
Language: english

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