I’ve been following the music of Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist Colin Fisher for over ten years, including his output with the I Have Eaten the City trio alongside Nick Storring and Brandon Valdivia (Mas Aya) and with Not the Wind Not the Flag (a duo with Valdivia). It goes without saying that when new Fisher tunes arrive on the scene, that I’m going to do my best to sniff them out. UK-based Tombed Visions is a new label to me, but upon peeking at their back catalogue I realize that I’ve been hiding under a rock. The aesthetics of the imprint’s releases are fantastic – each is a miniature work of art. I have some investigating to do…
Fisher’s oeuvre is massive and boundary-stretching, as far as creative music is concerned. Whether he’s going solo or teaming up with like-minded heads, there are no laurels rested upon. Yet there’s a cohesive thread running through it all, a signature that is undeniably present in each release. Perhaps epitomizing this phenomenon, The Garden of Unknowing finds the musician pushing compositional and improvisational boundaries yet again. Fisher wields guitar, saxophone, synth, drums and bass all on his own to weave together a series of free jazz pieces that contain the energy of a complete outfit – a collection of masterful players folded into a single entity.
Musically, these pieces are incredibly melodic and appealing. Each of the seven tracks is a mini-universe, complete with interwoven narratives – both though-provoking dialectics and late-night carousals. Each element unfolds expertly as Fisher improvises with himself, the music ebbing and flowing with an inconceivable unison that only a master craftsman of sound could achieve. Particularly engaging is “Unveiling,” which unfolds with an energetic abandon over a searing wail of synthesizer. Its ember sheds tongues of flame that twist and leap freely, cascading upward as bursts of orange sparks, until finally waning at track’s end.
Join Fisher in The Garden of Unknowing; head over to the Tombed Visions Bandcamp. Physical copies are still available.