Sesame Street Soundtracks

Field has composed, produced, and played on a number of soundtracks for Sesame Street segments, mostly animated by his late wife, Karen Aqua. Each segment is between 30 seconds and 2 minutes in duration. Most of the segments are summarized below, in reverse chronological order (most recent first).

If you enjoy the music from these Sesame Street pieces, you might also like to know about Field's solo CDs Subterranea and Pictures of Motion.

Dancing With the Flowers

Initial Air Dates: 4/6/04, 5/12/04, 6/17/04 (show #4058: "Best Pet in the World")
Lyrics by Karen Aqua, melody by Karen Aqua and Ken Field, chords and arrangement by Ken Field. A girl (Ella Williams) dances with flowers, trees, and the sun! Musicians are Steve Langone (drums), Jesse Williams (acoustic bass), Dinty Child (mandolin and accordion), Karen Aqua (spoons), Ken Field (percussion), Franc Graham (vocals). Engineered and mixed by Andy Pinkham at Mortal Music, Charlestown, MA.

Rhyme Time

Initial Air Dates: 4/25/03, 6/2/03, 7/8/03 (show #4045: "The Cookie Flu")
Lyrics by Karen Aqua, melody by Karen Aqua and Ken Field, chords and arrangement by Ken Field. An animated frog goes for a jog with his friend the hog, and there's also a log. And a quail with a purple tail meets a big snail along the trail. You get the picture. Musicians are Phil Neighbors (drums), Jesse Williams (bass), Mike Duke (guitar), Franc Graham (vocals). Engineered and mixed by Andy Pinkham at Mortal Music, Charlestown, MA.

Jumping J

Initial Air Dates: 5/5/03, 6/10/03, 7/16/03 (show #4051: "Telly's Duckling")
Lyrics by Karen Aqua, melody by Karen Aqua and Ken Field, chords and arrangement by Ken Field. An animated jaguar, a jackrabbit, a jaybird, and a jackal all join the jump with the jumping J. Musicians are Phil Neighbors (drums), Jesse Williams (bass), Mike Duke (guitar), Marjie Alonso (vocals). Engineered and mixed by Andy Pinkham at Mortal Music, Charlestown, MA. This piece also appears on the Sony Wonder/Sesame Workshop dvd/videotape "All-Star Alphabet" (along with appearances by Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, and Larry King). A rearrangement of the music also appears on "Happy Healthy Monsters"

Animal Dance Duet

Initial Air Dates (Elephant): 3/22/02, 5/31/02, 8/9/02 (show #4015)
Initial Air Dates (Octopus): 6/21/02, 8/30/02, 11/8/02 (show #4030)
Lyrics by Karen Aqua, melody by Karen Aqua and Ken Field, chords and arrangement by Ken Field. A girl (Rebecca Robinson) dances to a samba rhythm with an elephant and an octopus. Musicians are Steve Langone (drums and percussion), Jesse Williams (electric bass, background elephant vocal), Dinty Child (accordion, background octopus vocal), Ken Field (saxophones, samba whistle, and shaker), all plus Karen Aqua (clapping), Wanetta Jackson (vocals). Engineered and mixed by Andy Pinkham at Mortal Music, Charlestown, MA.

Wall of Numbers

Initial Air Dates (Wall of Numbers #4): 4/27/00, 6/15/00, 10/26/00, 12/14/00 (show #3904)
Initial Air Dates (Wall of Numbers #6): 5/2/00, 6/20/00, 10/31/00, 12/19/00 (show #3907)
With lyrics and melody written by Karen Aqua, and chords and arrangement by Ken Field, this is a true musical collaboration between Karen & Ken. A character holds a number (in this case, either 4, 5, or 6) and tries to match it to one of the numbers on the adjoining wall. When the matching number is found, it joins some characters at the top of the wall in a celebratory dance. Vocals are by the Crown Electric Company gals, Carolyn Kaylor, Linda Viens, and Denise DiZio. Drums by Eric Paull, acoustic bass by John Styklunas, and layered alto saxophones by Ken Field. Engineered and mixed by Andy Pinkham at Mortal Music, Charlestown, MA.

Ten Dancing Kids

Initial Air Dates 4/25/00, 6/13/00, 8/23/00, 12/12/00 (show #3902) & 5/9/00, 6/27/00, 11/7/00, 12/26/00 (show #3912)
Ten cute kids (animated using cutout photographs) dance and "freeze" to an afro-pop groove. Electric bass by John Styklunas, drums by Eric Paull, layered alto saxophones and percussion by Ken Field. Engineered and mixed by Andy Pinkham at Mortal Music, Charlestown, MA. Kids counting voices by Zoe & Annie Aqua, Taylor Tibbrine, and Emma Hart. The dancing kids are Mimi Rondeau, Ryan Prothro, Haile Kahassai, Matt Yalouris, Isabel Cummings, Emma Child, Kine Camara, Tyrone Stewart, Trevor Tibbrine, and Taylor Tibbrine.

Pass-Along Alphabet

Initial Air Dates 3/13/97 (Show #3740) & 5/14/98 (Show #3784)
Cut-out photographs of a bunch of kids, and cut-out drawings of a bunch of animals, toss, kick, elbow, bump, and otherwise pass the letters of the alphabet from one to the next. The music is kind of acid/jazz/hip-hop, performed by Ethan Meyer/drums (Bad Art Ensemble), Mike Rivard/acoustic bass (numerous credits), and Ken Field/alto saxophones & percussion. Clapping by Ken Field and Karen Aqua. Voices are by Rebeccah Lijek, Nick Gage, and Eva Eichen. The photographed kids are Mimi Rondeau, Suryani Dewa Ayu, Ryan Prothro, Haile Kahassai, Matt Yalouris, Jack Curci, Emma Hart, Peter Neusner, Isabel Cummings, Emma Child, Kine Camara, Tyrone Stewart, Trevor Tibbrine, Taylor Tibbrine, and Zoe Aqua. This song is available on Ken Field's solo CD Pictures of Motion.

Building a Rhythm

Initial Air Dates 3/24/98 (Show #3747) & 4/24/98 (Show #3770)
A collection of animals dance together, first in unison, and then in increasingly complex contrasting rhythms. Each dance rhythm is accompanied by a musical rhythm, played on bottles and percussion instruments to a background Middle-Eastern clay drum beat.

More Dancing Petroglyphs

Initial Air Dates 5/1/98 (Show #3775) & 5/6/98 (Show #3778)
The "Dancing Petroglyph" concept (see below) is extended to include the numbers 18, 19, and 20. The voice is by Rebeccah Lijek.

Elmo Dances to "Dancing Petroglyphs"

Initial Air Date 5/2/97 (Show #3645)
Elmo dances live to the instrumental music from "Dancing Petroglyphs" (see below).

Dancing With Elmo

Initial Air Dates 4/19/96 & 10/18/96 (Show #3505)
Cut-out photographs of the muppet Elmo are animated to dance with a drawn dog, named Dash. Dash recites a poem about the dance, to the funk soundtrack. The voice is by Boston singer/songwriter Randy Black. Musicians are: Ethan Meyer/drums (Bad Art Ensemble), Jesse Williams/bass, Dana Colley/bari sax (Morphine), Alec Haavik/tenor sax (Jayuya), Ken Field/alto sax, Rick Barry/percussion (BimSkalaBim). Lyrics by Karen Aqua.

Family Dance

Air Dates 3/26/96 & 9/24/96 (Show #3487)
Cut-out photographs of Karen's brother Hal Aqua's Denver family are animated to dance together. The central character is Karen's niece Zoe, who dances with each family member in turn (father Hal, mother Risa, sister Annie). The voice is by Alicia Bell. Musicians are the same as for "Dancing With Elmo". Lyrics by Karen Aqua.

Parade of Numbers

Animated characters with miniature masks for heads march across the screen carrying numbers, to the mardi gras music of The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble. Kids' voices by Ben Kusiak, Emma Child, and Jeff Rovanelli. This segment also appears on the Sesame Street videotapes "One Two Three, Count With Me" & "The Great Numbers Game: The Best of Sesame Street's Classic Cartoons" in case you want to march around your living room on your own schedule... This song is available on the Ken Field CD Pictures of Motion, and on the CD "Year of the Snake" by the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble.

Move to the Beat

Cut-out photographs of Karen's niece Zoe dance with an animated tiger. Musicians include Jesse Williams/bass and Ken Winokur/drums (Alloy Orchestra). Voice by Marlene Aqua. Lyrics by Karen Aqua. This segment also appears on the Sesame Street videotape "Elmo-cise!", in case you want to have your own personal copy for repeated viewings!

Outdoor Letter "N"

A live-action piece (actually run backwards!) in which Nancy Johns Fleming dances under, around, and behind a stone structure (located near Roswell, New Mexico) that looks amazingly like The Letter "N". Musicians include Dan Kellar/fiddle (Krewe de Roux), Dinty Child/mandolin (Funky White Honkies), Mickey Bones/spoons/washboard (Krewe de Roux), Jesse Williams/bass.

Dancing Petroglyphs

Rock art figures dance around the letters "Y", "O", "W", and "S". Multitracked tenor saxophones by Field, with percussion by Ken Winokur (Alloy Orchestra). Voice by Emma Child.

Forward/Backward

Fish, birds, and islanders demonstrate motion forward and backward to a Carribean groove. Voice by Alicia Bell.

Number Dance

Masked characters appear mandala-fashion around the numbers from 1 to 10 and back, to a percussion soundtrack played by Ken Winokur. Voice by Alicia Bell (English version) and Rosa Vasquez (Spanish version).

Fast/Slow

Two exotic birds and an alligator demonstrate the concepts of fast and slow. Percussion by Ken Winokur, voice by Alicia Bell, lyrics by Karen Aqua.

Dance to the Rhythm

A small dog watches a little girl and an alligator do a dance. At the end, the dog decides that he can do it too, and does a great solo dance! Percussion by Ken Winokur.

Animals on Parade

An elephant, a zebra, an ostrich, a hedgehog, a frog, and a ladybug walk across the screen, each adding the rhythm of its own walk to the soundtrack as it appears. At the end, each animal jumps on the elephant's back in turn, and the piece ends with just the elephant's rhythm left as it walks off with the others riding. Percussion by Ken Winokur and Ken Field. The sound of the zebra landing on the elephant's back was produced by Ken Winokur throwing himself onto the floor.

Imagination

A boy reads a book in his room, which transforms into a jungle: his cat turns into a tiger, his plants turn into trees, and he goes for a short ride on the tiger. Everything changes back (this is Sesame St, not X-Files...), and he closes the book. Electric Bass by George Hicks, the engineer, since the scheduled bass player didn't show up for the recording session...