Fields Were the Essence of the Song is a site-specific soundtrack for a film which does not exist, one which is created by the ever-changing relationship of the listener, formed by their self-steered journey, around the environment. An emotional landscape, shot through with abstract suggestions of narrative, is created by the soundtrack; the rest is up to you. Unlike most soundwalks, there are no instructions. There are no specific places to be at specific times, or actions to perform. You can wander the grounds of Cuckoo Farm freely; you can find a spot and sit and listen. The music and text were written as a response to the site, but Fields is about your individual reaction to both the work and the environment.
To experience Fields wait until you are away from the main building before pressing play on the track. It lasts approximately twenty minutes during which time please feel free to explore or rest as you like. The work makes reference to aspects and features of the environment, so you may wish to move from place to place as it progresses. There are chairs scattered in the grounds if you want to sit and listen. Please feel free to move these if you want. They are just suggestions of places you may want to sit. How long you sit for, how long you move for, whether you remain still or continue to explore the site – these are all up to you. Fields is best experienced alone, away from others. Fields Were the Essence of the Song is an attempt to create a déjà vu where it never existed, to create ghosts and set them to wander.
Someone has been here before, in this space. Their traces linger in occasional traces of voice, a response to the unknown specifics of their time here. The music creates a mood, a sense of their feelings and thoughts. Your exploration of the site during the piece creates a unique subjective experience where the themes and symbols may shift according to your own perspectives and movements.
The ambient noises of the environment are overlaid by music and voice, which may or may not inspire a certain configuration of interpretation, a certain navigation. Unlike the road, with its linearity, its inference of beginning and end, the work invites you to wander. A sense of lost past is created, prompting an engagement with the illusion of permanence of the trappings of the present, set against a landscape which is both forever changing and that will outlast any interventions by man. The machine, the defining mode of engagement with the world of the present, is exposed as a fleeting ghost, a temporary visitor to deeper time. The transient nature of existence and the inability to ever truly know one individual’s response to life and nature, despite the promises of technology, lie at the heart of the work.