Fields of Silence

Pete Stollery

Fields of Silence

  • Pete Stollery
  • Year of composition: 2005
  • Duration: 8:55
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Gordon Forum for the Arts with support from the Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Arts Council
  • ISWC: T0116323999

I’ve always thought that once they have been harvested, fields fall silent. They don’t make a great deal of sound when they’re full of crops, admittedly, but, as a child, seeing fields ready to be harvested always suggested a particular sound in my mind. In this piece I use sounds recorded in fields before harvesting and also sounds made from what is left afterwards, particularly plucking the short lengths of stubble, some of which produce sounds with a perceptible pitch quality.

As well as this, there is a second concept of a field… that of a previously empty space which is defined by the sounds that are put in it. There are many such fields in this piece and the opening is a good example — a recording of the ambience prior to an auction gradually fills the listener space — particularly effective in the first performance when the piece was performed in the same space where the recording was made.


Fields of Silence was realized in 2005 and premiered on November 8, 2005 during the 34th concert of the Discoveries series in one of the auction rings at the Thainstone Centre (Inverurie, Scotland, UK). The piece was commissioned by Gordon Forum for the Arts, with support from Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Arts Council.


  • November 8, 2005, Discoveries Series: Concert 34, Thainstone Centre, Inverurie (Scotland, UK)