In Barry Green’s “The Inner Game of Music,” there’s a quote from psychologist Fritz Perls, that Alexander Paquet, also known as Field Sleeper, has chosen as his motto.
“Trying fails, awareness cures,” it reads.
Paquet said when it comes to performing, the harder you try, the more confused you will get.
“The clearer your head is, the better the performance will be,” he said. “I want to be able to start a performance with a mentally blank state, keep all the nervous tension contained.”
Paquet’s journey as a performer began in Detroit. He was a classical guitarist in his high school’s orchestra when he was introduced to indie-rock by one of his teachers. Soon he discovered artists The National, The Microphones and Grouper.
The stage name Field Sleeper was conceived in 2012 during Paquet’s freshman year of college at Ohio Wesleyan, drawing inspiration from the nights he spent in nature as a Boy Scout. In January 2013, Field Sleeper’s first EP, “Stay Quiet, Stay Ahead,” was released. Among the layers of synthesizer, one can still recognize his classical finger-picking style inherited from his years playing classical music.
Paquet landed in Columbus in 2015 after dropping out of college.
“Columbus brought me a lot of things,” he said. “Not just the experimental vibe. I mean, for the first time I saw (live) music four times a week.”
In October 2015, Field Sleeper released a split project with Hello Emerson, a local band led by spring 2016 Ohio State graduate Sam Bodary. The project shows the influence of Columbus’ experimental and noise scenes in Paquet’s songwriting. If guitar is the backbone of Field Sleeper’s songs, it now has to share the stage with synthesizer, which gives the songs ambience.
Paquet said touring wasn’t possible as he did not own a car until an old acquaintance, Kyle Kerley, offered to take him. Kerley also joined Paquet on stage during the tour, playing trumpet and some synthesizers.
“It was kind of a dream that I never realized I had come true,” Paquet said. “(Touring was) one of the most magical times of my life.”
Kerley said Paquet would adapt his set depending on the mood of the audience, and praised him for his character.
“If I play with Alex it’s first because I like the guy and then because I like his music”, Kerley said.
Paquet said he is deeply thankful for Kerley’s input in his project, and reworked his very personal songs to create space for him to improvise live.
When asked about Paquet’s ambition with Field Sleeper, Kerley hesitated.
“I want to say he’s modest, but he has an accurate vision of himself,” he said.
Paquet wants to put out a Field Sleeper record, but he’s not in a hurry.
“I have seen many friends try really hard to make a big push in the music industry and who got burned out,” he said.
Field Sleeper is set to perform at the Independents’ Day Festival on Sept. 17 on the Fantasy and Folklore Stage at noon.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on Sept. 8 to clarify the date of Field Sleeper’s next performance.