Colin Fisher - V Le Pape (LP)
V Le Pape is Colin Fisher’s debut album for Geej Recordings. Fisher, a mainstay of the Toronto experimental music scene, has spent the last fifteen years quietly blowing minds as a multi-instrumentalist improvisational performer. Perhaps best known as one half of the esteemed duo Not the Wind, Not the Flag, he has forged a unique position somewhere between avant jazz virtuoso and a psychedelic shaman of ecstatic performance.
Fisher is a constant fixture at everything in Toronto worth going to. He is also constant collaborator, attractive to popular musicians who need something more than just a great player, and he has recorded with Caribou, The Constantines, and Many Arms. But now he is on his own, and Geej is thrilled to share his spectacular talent to the world.
V Le Pape was made entirely using guitar and an array of looping and effect pedals. At first listen one might think that Fisher is part of a growing new wave of Ambient/New Age producers, but that would be to fundamentally skip over what makes Fisher so singular. The album was completely improvised and recorded live off the floor there are no overdubs, no multi-tracks, no second takes, and while the music nods to some other heroes of treated guitar; David Torn, Fred Frith, Alan Holdsworth and Fennesz, Fisher is able to construct something unique. V Le Pape lives somewhere between ambient texture and freeform modal exploration.
But all of it is immediate, spontaneous and free. Guitar playing as improvisational divination comes naturally to Fisher who has spent the last decade studying Tarot., which he uses as an interpretive guide. He’s used the image of The Pape (The Pope) for this record as it symbolizes what Fisher calls ‘a spiritual respiration, a sense of a living bridge” The Pape is a communicator, perhaps between himself and a new audience, perhaps between the universe and his instrument. For Fisher improvisation is composition, there is no distinction between what is written and what is performed as he says that “the framework of Improvisation is biological, if we are incongruent from our senses, we are not acting in relationship with dynamic stimulus and we are therefore detached from the world…. improvising is acting in the world”
Fisher’s interest in the connection between elemental music and organic well being has led him to work with jazz legend Milford Graves. Graves, whose pioneering work on rhythm and biology, has had a deep impact on how Fisher sees symbiotic harmony between music and the organism. Fisher is also a certified teacher of Alexander Technique, a strategy popular with artists which stresses psycho-physical unity. Colin Fisher is the real deal, he lives everyday, all day as a musician, tirelessly practicing and honing. It is a rare gift, but it is also a second nature, as Fisher puts it “music is an expression of your biological self”. V Le Pape is a record documenting a musician at being.
New release by Geej Recordings.