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David Archuleta Retrospective Series Part Fifteen: Fields of Gold


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.

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About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

6 Responses to “David Archuleta Retrospective Series Part Fifteen: Fields of Gold”

  1. Thanks so much for the wonderful review Pamela and Masterclasslady. It just adds to the beauty of the song. Fan of Michelle and David. A beautiful combination and so grateful they were both inspired by Eva. Fields of Gold is a beautiful song and sung with such beauty.
    Your writing and interpretation add to the beauty and meaning of the song.

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  2. I love reading what you both have to say about David! Thanks so much for your review. Eva Cassidy was an amazingly gifted performer. David has a way of responding to people like Eva with his own interpretation of their songs. How many young people have the ability to emote like David? When Amber had no understanding of My Funny Valentine, it made me think of David and how he takes every word of the song to heart and applies it to his life.

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  3. Thanks everyone. David is such a story-teller and a genuine one at that. Every word he utters is gently and expressively caressed with his voice. What a gift!

    And I so appreciate the support of the David Archuleta fans very much. You guys are the best!!! XO

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  4. Thank you MCL and Pamela for this wonderful article. David’s rendition of Fields of Gold is exquisite! He can connect with the emotion of a song better than almost anyone in the music industry. I appreciate him more than words can say!

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  5. MCL and Pam,
    Thank you both for this excellent article! I love the way David “caresses” each word he sings as if those words were a song all by themselves!
    I cannot wait to hear him live again!

    Like

  6. Thank you to all of David’s fans who can see what we see in his talent! It will be a glorious day when he returns to the music we all love and adore.

    Your supporting comments are most appreciated!

    Like

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