FIELD MUSIC – ” Making A New World “

Posted: September 18, 2019 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , ,

Big news from FMHQ: We’ve accidentally made a new album – it’s called “Making A New World” and it’ll be out for your delectation in January 2020. And…err…it’s pretty much a concept album about the aftermath of the First World War. Wait! Come back! It’s not THAT kind of concept album! Honestly!

The songs grew from a project for the Imperial War Museum and were first performed at their sites in Salford and London in January 2019. The starting point was an image from a 1919 publication on munitions by the US War Department, made using “sound ranging”, a technique that utilised an array of transducers to capture the vibrations of gunfire at the front. These vibrations were displayed on a graph, similar to a seismograph, where the distances between peaks on different lines could be used to pinpoint the location of enemy armaments. This particular image showed the minute leading up to 11am on 11th November 1918, and the minute immediately after. One minute of oppressive, juddering noise and one minute of near-silence. “We imagined the lines from that image continuing across the next hundred years,” says the band’s David Brewis, “and we looked for stories which tied back to specific events from the war or the immediate aftermath. If the original intention might have been to create a mostly instrumental piece, this research forced and inspired a different approach. These were stories itching to be told.

The songs are in a kind of chronological order, starting with the end of the war itself; the uncertainty of heading home in a profoundly altered world (“Coffee or Wine”). Later we hear a song about the work of Dr Harold Gillies (the shimmering ballad, “A Change of Heir”), whose pioneering work on skin grafts for injured servicemen led him, in the 1940s, to perform some of the very first gender reassignment surgeries. We see how the horrors of the war led to the Dada movement and how that artistic reaction was echoed in the extreme performance art of the 60s and 70s (the mathematical head-spin of “A Shot To The Arm”). And then in the funk stomp of Money Is A Memory, we picture an office worker in the German Treasury preparing documents for the final instalment on reparation debts – a payment made in 2010, 91 years after the Treaty of Versailles was signed. A defining, blood-spattered element of 20th century history becomes a humdrum admi nistrative task in a 21st century bureaucracy.

We’ve done songs about ultrasound and about shooting yourself for the sake of art and about gender reassignment surgery and about Becontree housing estate. We’ve even done a party tune about sanitary pads, called Only In A Man’s World, which is now streaming in all of the usual places  (huge thanks to Lauren Laverne and BBC 6 Music for giving it its first airing this morning.) If you want Only in a Man’s World with a side order of facts about the invention of sanitary towels head on over to our YouTube now.

Only In A Man’s World is taken from the new Field Music album “Making a New World”, to be released on 10th January 2020.

Making a New World can be pre-ordered on limited edition signed red transparent vinyl, CD, cassette and download from our shop along with the first ever FIELD MUSIC MUG (which you can dry with the Open Here tea towel). The usual discounted pre-order bundles are available; just look at these beauties:

Tourdates : 9 Nov – Dundee, Neon at Night 01 Feb – Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery 21 Feb – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms 22 Feb – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club 27 Feb – Whitley Bay, Playhouse 28 Feb – Manchester, Dancehouse 29 Feb – London, EartH

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