Beneath the Sun

Chris Field

Chris Field, musician, made his name as a film composer. But he did not score to picture. Instead, Field licensed his music for film, and became one of the most successful film trailer composers ever. Field wrote themes grounded in classical composition; he then hired orchestras to perfect "the art of the thirty second movie". For his efforts, Chris Field was recognized by his peers as having started a new direction in film music.

On Field's new album, Beneath the Sun, he has written new music, around the the themes which proved so popular. The music blends into your memories of films; but by God, it is from the advertising of the movie. It makes sense; trailer music is designed to get the audience to see the film. It must inspire; be enticing, moving, heart shaking. Field makes everything sound so great and big. "Time Will Tell", licensed for Kinsey, is a rush, a thrilling stolen moment. "The Vision", used for Atonement, is the slow build of a moment's realization. "The Journey" is derived from Field's music for the end title credits of the movie The Secret.

Field's newest pieces, "Metamorphosis", sun dappled "Summerland", subterranean "Interlude", the ever reaching "Beneath the Sun", stretch the boundaries of New Age music. Credited for having contributed to the evolution of film music, Field now expands the edges of the New Age sound. This music is visual. It inspires the drama of action.

All things are possible. Any dream can come true. This music was written for you.

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REVIEWS


Bill Binkelman
Wind and Wire


Describing instrumental music as “cinematic” is somewhat overused and sometimes undeserved (and I include myself as a critic who may do that at times). However, in the case of Chris Field’s second release, Beneath The Sun, it’s not just a well-deserved term as to the music itself, but is underscored if you delve into this composer/performer’s background. Field’s list of soundtrack and movie trailer credits includes such monster hits as Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Fellowship of the Ring, Tomorrowland, XXX, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Hotel Rwanda, and more. His musical chops would be unassailable regardless whether Beneath The Sun was a recommendable recording, which it most definitely is if you enjoy, well, cinematic music.

Why do I refer to this as cinematic music? Well, obviously, the presence of the Northwest Sinfonia strings has a lot to do with it (and they sound gorgeous – and I mean sumptuously so) but it’s much more than that. Field’s compositions, which span a wide assortment of moods, styles, and tempos, can easily whisk the more imaginative listener away to any number of “imaginary” movies (trust me on this as I did my fair share of “creating films” while listening to the album during my many playings). There is a visual component to the main piano melodies as well as the string accompaniments that may instantly triggers images. Here’s an example: “Summerland” with its funky opening segueing to lush strings and infectious semi-breakbeats could easily be the backdrop for a drive through the mountains by, say, James Bond, on his way to a rendezvous, or maybe it’s the opening credits to a thriller laced with comedy elements (the tune blends adventure with a sly sense of humor). “Time Will Tell” features an opening piano line with midtempo beats, underlying strings, and a sensation of mystery, before soaring off on a powerful dramatic passage with thundering drums, visually escalating into a foray of action on the screen, then descending into a dreamy flute-driven piece (ethnic wind instruments on the album are played by Sandro Friedrich). The blend of melancholy and tenderness in “From The Heart” might accompany the bittersweet reunion of star-crossed lovers, or the returning soldier as he or she walks up the block to greet the family after being away. The album-closing “In Motion” more than lives up to its title with an energetic lead synth chord melody, trap kit drums, and strings that dial up the intensity nicely, yet the piece is actually friendly in mood and tone, conveying a sensation of rushing, but not in a panic, more out of fun and good cheer.

The only piece I had a hard time connecting with was the title track, but this is purely a matter of personal taste, as the power guitar chords and prog-rock sounding keyboards seemed out of place (for me) amidst the other the tracks. The juxtaposition of the rock elements with the strings didn’t resonate with me for some reason (odd since I have loved prog rock/prog fusion since the 1970s). But, I enjoyed everything else on the album, with the standouts for me being the aforementioned “Time Will Tell, “Summerland,” and “From The Heart,” although if I am honest, the remaining seven songs all have a lot going for them.

After hearing Chris Field’s music, I suppose I will have to become more judicious using the term “cinematic” in my reviews, unless, of course, it’s this talented composer’s next album, which I hope will arrive sooner than later.

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Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
TFOV Founder


Chris Field has a name in the music industry for his cinematic instrumental music in many well know music trailers. Now for his second full-length release Beneath The Sun, he continues to create instrumental music that is energizing, beautiful, and incredibly mesmerizing. I would describe it as contemporary instrumental and new age.

The epic tone of the opening track “Time Will Tell” features the beauty and the impressive rising energy of his compositions. I can tell from the very first track why he has made a name for himself with many well-known movie trailers.

Beneath The Sun will most certainly show the diversity and all-around talent this artist commands. Chris produced, composed, and performed all the music, except for the Ethnic wind instrument that is credited to Sandro Friedrich on the inner CD sleeve. With all of this considered, there is a lot to listen to in each track presented.

"From The Heart" is what I say all music comes from and I like to write about it the same way. The song starts as a true cinematic adventure. I could picture some footage of a beautiful sunset or the peak of a majestic snow-capped mountain top. That is the advantage of music such as this, it allows you to encapsulate your entire being while letting your imagination take over. Watching a movie of your own making prompted by music is a beautiful thing. It is truly a gift.

The combination of instruments and effects utilized gives each track its personality and atmosphere. I certainly appreciate the diversity offered from track to track so it kept my ears glues to the speaker, wondering what was coming next. Take “Summerland” for instance, it is a total step away from the previous tracks with and a modern funky beat, jazzy keyboards, and beautifully layered orchestrations for all that to glide along on like a musical magic carpet. It was one of my favorites and it had a great rhythm and movement to it all. I could picture Times Square in NYC with all the people walking in the streets and traffic buzzing by. If you have been there pre-virus times you would understand what I mean.

Beneath The Sun is cinematic new age instrumental coming from the basic foundation of classical with elements of jazz and funk peppered in between, depending on what track you are listening to. This music continually builds and evolves, which makes Chris a multitalented artist with a true vision within each track.

"Eucalyptus" is a slower-paced track with a kind of sadness to it. Like watching the story of a child growing up, going to college, getting a job, then starting a family. There is joy in watching that progression but if you are a parent, you long for the days when the children were little again and life revolved around them and all the joy that brought.

These are the ever-changing tides of life in the music. It is altogether exciting, energizing, picturesque, beautiful, and more importantly entertaining. The title track “Beneath The Sun” was effortlessly flowing and it pulled on my heartstrings so much I had to select it for my NAMR Spotify Playlist. I particularly enjoyed the guitar passages and the way the keyboards were layered and how it all moved together effortlessly. It was a ray of sunshine for this listener and very inspiring. “The Prophet” was also very uplifting and positive, it gave me a good injection of high energy and optimism, like knowing you can conquer anything that comes your way in life.

Beneath The Sun is an absolute joy of sounds, colors, and textures that any music appreciator could enjoy. For music without words, it says a lot about who we are and how creative and wonderful music can be and how it pushes a listener to places that can only be reached with its help. This can be a soundtrack to your life, a movie, or simply an incredible listening experience that you will never forget.

Remember the name Chris Field, and his masterful instrumental collection of songs titled Beneath The Sun!

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R J Lannan
Artisan Music Reviews


With bold, bright cinematic touches, Beneath the Sun, the newest release from composer Chris Field beckons you into new worlds of excitement and exploration. There are eleven new doors to unseal into places unknown on this transporting album. Every one is a musical and emotionally driven adventure.

There is something exciting about music with a cinematic twist. On composer Chris Field’s latest album Beneath the Sun, I heard themes to what could be eleven different films and each one was an adventure unto itself. Some were bold and thrilling, others were heartwarming and delightful. Chris Field is the creator of “Epic Music” that is, music used at epic moments in film and the always imaginative preview trailers. It is the kind of music that makes you look up and take notice. I believe this kind of music operates at a subliminal level. Think how you would perceive the next Batman movie trailer if it had Mary Had a Little Lamb playing in the background. Just wouldn’t be the same. So on Beneath the Sun Mr. Field uses his copious composing talents to deliver some epic music that is entertaining and exhilarating, and like all good cinematic scores it tells a story in short order.

The adventure begins with the tempting track "Time Will Tell". This is the beginning of the journey. This theme represents long dusty roads, craggy mountain passes, and endless miles of seashore just waiting for you to explore. Time Will Tell is more of a musical promise that something exciting will come your way. And it does.

With a dark and brooding intro, the track "Metamorphosis" is quirky by nature. The main character is represented by a keytar like sound that is peculiar, yet sympathetic. Like Oblio in “The Point” we identify with this oddball who is just a bit different from the rest and we rally behind him. As the title suggest, there are changes coming. Expect the unexpected.

"From the Heart" is a romantic tune with a memorable leitmotif. It is music that suggests the beginning of a new day, the sun emerging from his nightly dreams to wake the earth. Warmth and light spreads upon the land giving promise to the day. It is music that says let’s do something together.

"Beneath The Sun", the title track, opens with a dramatically sincere piano riff and changes into an anthem for the undaunted spirit who tries no matter what. "Beneath the Sun" reminds us that heat and light go hand and hand and it is the fuel for every day bravery. Every dawn is a promise. Every sunset is a reminder that tomorrow, you get another chance. Carpe that solis.

A very long time ago, somewhere in a deep dark cave filled with a strange fog, he stands at the crude altar and enters his trance. Somewhere in the swirling mists are the answers that he seeks. "The Prophet", wizened and ancient, looks for responses in a time not yet come. This track is one of Field’s best works with a western chorus and Eastern influences. There are dark mysteries here and secrets to be revealed. This is one of my favorites on the album as it seemed to be a self-contained story song. And yes, there is discovery. The tune segues appropriately into the track, "The Vision". Like a rolling landscape, this tune unfolds to reveal what will be and it may change the world as we know it. Field’s music is so vivid and cohesive that is easy to envision a number of scenarios, all of them optimistic.

Because epic music has common elements such as the use of strings and horns, and quite a few juxtapositioned classical elements, some of Field’s music is reminiscent of E.S. Posthumous’ cinematic tinged compositions and at other times the bright, bold cues of Howard Shore or Andre Desplat come to mind. Anyone with a smattering of imagination will be able to visualize eleven different and exhilarating vignettes with the help of this splendid music. One of Chris Field’s previous works is a terrific New Age Album called Sub-Conscious which crosses many genres and has won more than a few awards. As for Beneath the Sun, I truly enjoyed every track and this recording is highly listenable.

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Sub-Conscious

Chris Field

EXCELLENT for unwinding the body. Sleep. Stretch. Relax. Unwind. Yoga. Meditate. Contemplate. Levitate. A smooth soft 50 minutes of gentle relaxation and body kindness. Superb. Sub-Conscious is an Editor's Pick in two categories: Neo-Classical and Ambient new age music.

Recorded in beautiful Seattle on the shores of Lake Washington, at Bastyr Chapel, Sub-Conscious features the Northwest Sinfonia, under the direction of master violinist and conductor, Simon James. Sub-Conscious takes a classical and filmic approach to new age music. Calm and soothing, with soaring strings and breathtaking melodies, Sub-Conscious was awarded Best New-Classical Album, 2006, by New Age Reporter. Sub-Conscious is a top seller on cdbaby for ambient music.

Chris says, "I like a lot of things and just explore them. I don't want to be pegged to one thing, it's too limiting. I did a New Age symphonic album called Sub-Conscious and I am surprised by how large the market for new age music became. I guess people are stressed out! I am very proud of that work."

The Sub-Conscious album has sold countess time and has been licensed for cutting edge radio shows, films, and all other media through Magnatune.

Album Review by Tom Wynn

"Sub-Conscious", the new album from Chris Field, is a surprisingly unique offering from an artist who is new to my ears. I'm not sure where to begin. How do you explain beautiful complexity? How can you put into words a musical style that you have never heard before? I will start by saying that Sub-Conscious is a powerful and haunting collection of eight stellar tracks, all of which flow together seamlessly and leave the listener moved.

Sub-Conscious is a great example of the kind of music you have heard from X-Ray Dog, Immediate Music, and ES Posthumus. On a first listen, it is obvious that Field's sound is beautiful and catchy. But the more you listen to it, the more you begin to understand the subtleties of his orchestral arrangements, and the intricacies of the string and vocal melodies, and the odd time signatures which define Field's style.

You've heard Chris Field's music in the trailers for dozens of first rate Hollywood productions, from Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds to Gore Verbinski's Pirates of the Caribbean. One of Field's most popular works is "Gothic Power" which has been featured extensively to advertise The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Field is one of the most experienced and well known movie trailer composers today.

Chris Field's talent for symphonic orchestration has made him one of today's forerunners in cinematic, new age, and world music. Sub-Conscious hypnotically undulates on the borders of many different film styles. Many of the tracks are poignant pieces which seduce the listener. Although the songs on Sub-Conscious could be used in a film, their construction is intentionally build to satisfy an album format. And that is why it succeeds.

Christopher Field is a master at understanding musical intangibles. He understands that music is as much about emotional catalysts as it is about theory. Listening to Sub-Conscious, it is obvious that he knows which keys, melodies, arrangements, and voicing pull the listener in a certain emotional direction.

On a first listen, you are mostly surprised by the individuality of Field's music. The first track, "Floating", begins with a lush layer of strings, and then introduces one of the main themes of Chris Field music: the relationship between string ensemble and grand piano. Field's introduction of drums to complement the strings and piano is a surprising and innovative move.

"Ave Maria", the second track, is one of the signature pieces on Sub-Conscious. Alternating between minor and major tonalities, "Ave Maria" has elaborate arrangement and powerful vocal melodies. Such vibrant melodic construction is what Field is known for -- whether it is composing and arranging hit music for movie trailers -- or in the production of a solo album.

The sense of the mysterious continues through "Five", with its odd time signature, and "Days", a cinematically constructed piece that combines electric guitars with B3 organ and string sounds. The album takes a turn for the electronic with "D&A", a powerful tune that is driven by an infectious UK-Garage/ drum & bass beat, and a seductive Wurlitzer organ.

Never one to bring the listener to complacency, Field again surprises the listener with the simply astounding "Blue". Coming in at 14 minutes and passing through several interludes, this epic track pays homage to George Gershwin with its use of symphonic blues. Beautiful and lingering, Blue is nothing short of perfection.

Rounding out the album is "Mother", another signature track, and the ethereal title track, "Sub-Conscious". Chris Field's music is for people to whom music is a transitory device to reach another level of consciousness, and the title track is a perfect example of this approach. Sub-Conscious, a collection of soothing and magnetic sounds, brings the listener down in a kind of denouement. It is a great way to round out the ear.

Although this album has a great background vibe, I believe that to truly experience the power and complexity of Chris Field's music, the best thing is to put yourself in a safe and quiet place, turn off all cell phones, get comfortable, and focus on the music. I found myself enjoying it immensely. I look forward to more music from Chris Field in the future. It is truly Music in the Twenty-First Century. --Tom Wynn

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