What does it sound like?:
A pair of expanded reissues from ex Genesis man Ant Phillips, both coming with extra cds of unreleased material plus a dvd with a 5.1 mix of the album. Field Day marked his return to guitar playing after quite a long lay off, and comprises numerous short instrumental acoustic pieces. All are well played, but none really leap out you – you certainly can’t fault the technique but this is really background music rather than something you’d sit down and listen to intently. The more interesting release is Seventh Heaven, a collaboration with composer and keyboardist Anthony Skeet. Originally a double cd set, it is primarily an orchestral work, and although it veers a bit towards Classic FM territory at times, I think this is one of Phillips’ more interesting efforts. Much of the music has quite a pastoral, dare I say even heavenly, feel to it., some of it being reminiscent of very early Genesis. The stand out piece is the Old Sarum Suite, which, being the longest work here, has the time to evolve through a number of different moods and feels. A bonus cd has a further ten previously unreleased pieces, including a rare 1973 recording of the hymn Take This Heart, written by Phillips with Mike Rutherford and recorded at their old school, Charterhouse.
What does it all *mean*?
These two releases certainly bear repeated listening, despite the often quite ambient nature of the music. For me, Seventh Heaven is the more successful, the collaboration with Skeet seeming to push Phillips outside his normal comfort zone and stretch him both musically and compositionally. The tunes really do have more intricacy and body on this album, which makes for a more in depth listening experience rather than the music just floating by in the background as tends to be the case with Field Day.
Goes well with…
Might suit people who like…
Instrumental music, meditation.