By Pamela Pike and Rosanne Simunovic
Pamela Pike’s Recollections
This song is about savoring those precious memories of time well spent with the ones you love in this life.
“Fields of Gold” is a 1993 song by Sting from his album “Ten Summoner’s Tales.” In January 1996 Eva Cassidy recorded “Fields of Gold” at Blues Alley which was well received when it was released in May 1996. Sting’s recording was brought to life with Eva’s soul stirring cover with pure vocals and her own guitar arrangement. It was six months later that Eva Cassidy succumbed to melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.
The world needed to hear Eva Cassidy’s voice so a determined group of people posthumous released a studio album, “Eva By Heart”. A year later a California record company compiled music from all three of her CD’s and named it “Songbird” which was released internationally and became a posthumous success.
It was at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics when David Archuleta was eleven he first heard “Fields of Gold’, sung by Eva Cassidy as Michelle Kwan skated her magnificent performance.
As he listened to Eva sing with emotion and sensitivity, a young David became drawn to an artist that would become a major influence musically and teach him how a song can be sensitive and lyrically expressive.
Eva’s spiritual quality poured out in song with a sense that she was given a gift that was meant to be shared, to be passed on to others. David has embraced her quality through the shear depth and passion that his music evokes with the ability to open our hearts to the majesty of our Maker.
The first time I heard David sing “Fields of Gold” it was his control and phrasing that was spellbinding, and the connection in his vibrato, timing, and a volume of his voice that was beyond tangible earth.
There is something about his voice that’s personal…..his voice is a kind of audible kiss.
He brought sweetness and a delicacy to “Fields of Gold.” His voice encompasses such a deep range of emotions and there’s a great intelligence and wisdom in his singing.
His voice is so pure and full of emotion I cry each time I hear this song. He brings new depth with his soul stirring vocals and mesmerizes you while he put his incredible heart and soul into every word with such emotion he brings you to tears.
A pure and innocent yearning in his voice cuts through to your soul. There’s richness to his voice and clarity to all of his inflections.
The measure of a great singer is getting a message across and inspiring us. David is a master at never leaving you untouched, there is always something in the humanity of his voice.
Rosanne Simunovic’s Recollections
In reviewing this beautiful performance by David, I must confess that I never heard this song before. Well, as the saying goes: “There is no time like the present” and what a present this was to my heart and soul.
I am not surprised that the late Eva Cassidy was a source of inspiration for David. She sang from a place so deep, so profound, so spiritual that it was hard for any artist to try and capture the identical emotional impact of this song – or any of her songs – in performance.
Except for David.
Yes, in performing this song, David travels deep inside his soul, selflessly sharing with us his deepest thoughts and emotions.
Vocally, this was David at his best – impeccable phrasing, long, stretched and cohesive phrases and keen vocal focus.
His head voice, whether pure or full, was always front and center. The song rests extremely high in his vocal range, but one never senses that David has to strain or “reach for” the notes.
Rather he sings “over” the upper notes, moving them forward toward his vocal masque and, then, toward his listeners.
As a result, his vocal projection is consistent, always basking in the glow of the forward momentum that is so integral to the ebb and flow of any song, especially a ballad.
My only disappointment was that I could not understand the lyrics and had to search for them online. The video featured above, although most welcome, didn’t really capture the full extent of his vocal performance. As a result, the lyrics were unclear, especially in the first half.
Nonetheless, David performed this song with sensitivity and finesse. And, although this is not a complex song, it is one that is meant to inspire and move us. It is extremely spiritual in nature and, through David’s inherent soulful nature, this song has found a new home, a new messenger in him.