James Birchall aka Rough Fields
Rough Fields is the solo project of UK-based producer James Birchall. Began in 2011 with a series of epic lo-fi cassettes on the Bomb Shop label, the Rough Fields project progressed through expansive song forms on debut album Edge of the Firelight, and surreal, dreamy pop on the High Time EP. Constructed from a wide array of stringed instruments, found objects and home-made soundmaking devices, his early work brings together influences from drone, UK techno and minimalism to form unique works. In 2013, Birchall collaborated with Steve Reich to release the first ever solo version of “Music For 18 Musicians”.
The current Rough Fields live show stems from the 2013 album “Wessenden Suite” - a long-form drone piece constructed from layered field recordings. The performance involves recording environmental sound around the venue throughout the day of the performance, and then manipulating those recordings live using Max, Ableton and a series of custom built resonant filters to achieve densely layered textures of blissful, harmonic sound. Rough Fields has recently played with Steve Hauschildt (Emeralds), Karen Gwyer, Philip Jeck, Cooly G, Actress, Gnod and James Blackshaw; he also supported Manuel Gottsching at the UK premiere of E2 - E4 in October 2015.