Scott Fields was born in Chicago. As a teenager, he played guitar, sang, and wrote songs for rock and blues bands. Soon, he became interested in New Music and avant-garde jazz. His neighbourhood was home to the AACM, which incorporated Asian classical music, African tribal music, jazz, and European classical traditions.
Hearing this music changed Fields’ creative direction. At 17, he formed the loudest avant-jazz trio in Chicago, for which he played guitar, tenor and soprano saxophone, flute, clarinet, and percussion. The group appeared at rock venues and festivals.
At 23, Fields stopped performing and moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he studied classical and jazz guitar and took classes in composition and music theory. During this period, Fields earned an electronics technician diploma, a BA in journalism and economics, and an MA in mass communication research. (His thesis was an experiment that tested how reading music criticism affects the way people listen to music.)
In 1989 Fields returned to performance, touring throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
As a composer, Fields is best known for his modular compositions and for using text (such as Charles Bukowski poems and David Mamet or Samuel Beckett plays) as musical structures.
On occasion Fields is commissioned to write for dance troupes, instrumentalists, and multi-media artists. Grants include awards from the Wisconsin Arts Board (research fellowship), the Dane County Cultural Commission, Madison CitiArts, and Arts Midwest. Fellowships have included the Omi Arts in New York State and the NAIRS Arts Residency in the Swiss Alps. He has been commissioned by Ensemble Musikfabrik, Beethoven 2020, the Milwaukee Improvisers Orchestra, Kanopy Dance, Li Chiao-Ping Dance, the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, Douglas Rosenburg, Arno Oehri, the Köln Musiktriennale, the Brühl Haydn Festival, and Kunststiftung NRW.