Brian Fielding


Leaping Clear is happy to present another Brian Fielding composition, An Appropriate Response.

From An Appropriate Response, volume one


Album Liner Notes (redacted)

We’d never played as a unit until our one full band rehearsal a few days before the six-hour session at Chris Sulit’s wonderful Trading 8s studio. After Ali Jackson set up his drums we had some time before the others arrived so we talked about the project’s title and genesis. I told Ali about the Chinese Zen (Ch’an) master in Tang-era China called Yunmen (d. 949 CE) who, when asked by a disciple what is the one fundamental teaching of the Buddha, replied “an appropriate response.” 

The last song we recorded was the ballad, Appamada. I recorded a solo version of Appamada, a Pali word that could be translated “care,” in the sense of taking care, being heedful. After the second take we paused, silently letting things settle.  Ali quietly said, “let the song breathe, it almost plays itself.” As Ali was breaking down his kit I asked him if he could talk further about his process of making music as a master improvising musician and how you get there. He thought for a minute, smiled and directly referenced our earlier conversation, the aspiration to make an appropriate response. He said (I’m paraphrasing), “we listen and strive to make an appropriate response to what everyone’s playing in each moment. It’s why we practice and why we play. To make an appropriate response.”


Brian Fielding

Music has been foundational for me since early childhood - listening, always listening, and playing piano and singing in church and school choirs. Recognizing early that music was able to speak, unfiltered and directly, to my emotions, my intellect and my body, I took a degree in philosophy and music in 1976. After a career in law and business, I retired in 2012 and am currently playing & composing music; working as digital media business consultant for my company, Broken Symmetries; working as a digital media lawyer for Outside GC; and traveling worldwide. I aspire to create beautiful music and to release it into this world with the intention of bringing some kind of joy, some kind of understanding, to the listener.