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The Songs of Steve Dalachinsky

by Scott Fields Ensemble

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prelude 01:03
rear windows 12:06
interlude 00:56
interlude 00:04
interlude 01:13
interlude 00:47
my minutes 08:28
interlude 00:46
conclusion 00:42


Steve Dalachinsky - lyrics
Scott Fields - composition, electric guitar
Barbara Schachtner - voice
Annette Maye - clarinets
Melvyn Poore - tuba
Eva Pöpplein - electronics
Norbert Rodenkirchen - flutes
Florian Stadler - accordion

Recorded & mixed by Reinhard Kobialka
at Topaz Studios, Cologne, Germany, February 2023.
Tracks #2, 4, 6, 8, 10 & 12 composed by Scott Fields. Computer interludes: tracks #1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 & 13 composed by Eva Pöpplein.
Cover artwork by Marisa Malone & Stéphane Berland.


released August 26, 2023

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.

- - - - - - - - -

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


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Ayler Records France

Founded in 2000 in Sweden, Ayler Records has gained recognition among Free Jazz fans by releasing both archive and contemporary recordings documenting the American, Scandinavian and French Free Jazz scenes.

In 2009, Ayler Records moved to France and has since opened the catalogue to recordings in less direct relationship with the Free Jazz canon, while remaining faithful to its original spirit.
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