Garrett Fisher’s music-driven, theatrical world combines opera, dance, Indian raga, Noh theater and film which The New York Times describes as ”fusions that have both a ritualistic intensity and an improvisatory freedom…a groundbreaking hybrid…a strong, unified and strikingly individual utterance of unambiguous beauty.” Based on a collaborative process that allows performers their own interpretations, his pieces cohesively integrate a diversity of influences and defy any specific genre or tradition.
Considered a “star of Seattle’s new music scene” by The New Yorker, Fisher draws on the power of ancient forms to allow performers to tap into something archetypal in a way that’s uniquely their own. As a result, the clarinet solo depicting the lead character in Magda is infused with Jazz and Indian modes; the sounds of Byzantine music echo through At the Hawk’s Well; medieval chant is woven into Stargazer. Fisher layers these different approaches in order to augment the music-based narrative, as he does in Kocho in which a flutist, dancer and vocalist form a character-trinity. Wall Street Journal critic Brett Campbell writes: “Among American composers of his generation, Garrett stands out because of the way he’s assimilated such diverse global musical and other artistic influences into a distinctive, original, yet listener-friendly sound. And he’s successfully created a strong collaborative process for making multimedia productions that may be a sustainable model for independent twenty-first-century American composers.”
Fisher has created “web operas” that upend the traditional model of filmmaking in which music comes last. The digital animation of arrows in The Passion of Saint Sebastian and quick-moving POV shots and site-specific choreography in Psyche help bring the pieces’ internal dreamscapes to life. His screenplay and LA Production of his full-length feature Magda (in development) earned a feature article in the Los Angeles Times; his screenplay was shortlisted at the Gotham Screen International Film Festival.
Garrett Fisher grew up in Michigan and Maine, and lived in Istanbul and London as part of his parents’ sabbaticals. After graduating from Oberlin College he moved to Seattle where he formed the Fisher Ensemble. His work has been presented at On the Boards, Consolidated Works, and the Nippon Kan Theater in Seattle and in New York at HERE Arts Center and Judson Memorial Church; his opera Kocho was produced by Beth Morrison Projects at Brooklyn’s Galapagos Art Space. He has received acclaim from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TimeOut NY, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, Gramophone, Fanfare Magazine, Classics Today, City Arts Magazine, The Seattle Times, NewMusicBox, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Seattle Weekly. He has been interviewed by WNYC (David Garland), KUOW (David Beck, Marcie Sillman), NewMusicBox (Molly Sheridan), and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Richard Campbell). He received a “Best of ’08” award from the Seattle Magazine for Psyche. The Passion of Saint Thomas More, on the BIS label (Sweden), received a 10/10 from Classics Today and was re-released as part of a 30 year/30 recording commemorative set. He has received commissions from such organizations as CrossSound (Alaska), House of Dames, AC Petersen Dance, and the Esoterics (Seattle), and has received support from 4culture, the Allied Arts Foundation, ASCAP, Bossack Heilbron Foundation, Centrum Arts Colony, City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, the King County Arts Commission, the King County Performance Network, Meet The Composer, Puffin Foundation, the Seattle Arts Commission and the Wiggly World Foundation. He was awarded a Seattle Magazine 2011 Artist Spotlight Award.