Having both appeared in various guises on these pages before, Field Glass is the coming together of brothers Dan and Jacob Mayfield. As well as performing in a variety of other projects, the brothers also formed the School of Noise a workshop for children and young people exploring music and the science of sound, which was a major inspiration behind the pair rediscovering their own excitement for making music and playing with sound. Recorded with Mike Collins at Big Jelly Studios in Ramsgate, the debut Field Glass album, Kin was released back at the start of the summer on Happy Robots.
Unusually for such an electronic-led recording, Kin was largely recorded live, and often in a single take, the duo taking an almost improvisational approach, adding an urgent and instantaneous quality. Field Glass’ music has the sense of a fusion of musical worlds, combining acoustic instruments, such as a Victorian travelling organ and a dulcitone with an array of analogue electronics. Although entirely instrumental, the resultant record is a wonderfully versatile affair, taking in everything from the Air like Everyone Was Beginning through to the folktronica-influenced beauty of Landings, reminiscent of the brilliant Lau. By the time the record ends on the intriguing A Boat Turned Turtle, which contrasts playful almost lullaby-like melodies with fizzing glitches of static, it feels like a gentle triumph, the sound of two musicians falling in love with making music all over again. With plans already afoot for a second record, potentially to be completed by the end of the year, Field Glass are clearly enjoying themselves, and thankfully for us, they’re inviting us all in to enjoy their intriguing, inventive and quietly ambitious music too.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Field Glass?
We are brothers Dan and Jacob Mayfield. We make music using a variety of acoustic and electronic instruments including a Victorian harmonium, dulcitone, omnichord and analogue synths. Our debut album ‘Kin’ was released in May on Happy Robots Records
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Our first show was a night we put on ourselves at the Victoria in Dalston, featuring friends who are involved with School of Noise (the music workshops we set up in 2016) including a debut show for our good friend and fellow Happy Robots artist Alice Hubble. With Field Glass, we set out to write electronic music that could be performed live, so it was great to give it a go and know we can take our music from the studio to the stage.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
We grew up surrounded by folk music and spent a lot of time as kids recording our own compositions onto 4-track cassette tapes. Playing with sound and using different instruments is something we continue to find fun and being able to make music tougher is really enjoyable.
FTR: What can people expect from the Field Glass live show?
We deliberately try to limit the number of instruments we record on a track so it is possible to faithfully perform live, so you can expect to see us playing all the instruments heard in our music, including the harmonium, dulcitone, 606 drum machine, and omnichord.
FTR: What’s next for Field Glass?
We’ve made a start on the second album and would really like to try and have it finished by the end of the year. It’s going to have similar sounds and textures as the first album, however, we’d like to try and push things a little bit further by including more found sounds and our new instrument which is made from glass!
They Listen To…
Hunter Muskett – Press Gang
Ivor Cutler – Beautiful Cosmos
Hannah Peel – Andromeda M31
Brian Eno – In Dark Trees
Nils Frahm – Says
Kin is out now via Happy Robots. For more information on Field Glass visit fieldglassmusic.co.uk.