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<<  -- 3 --  Anya Lomakova    AN UNCANNY EMERGING ARTIST


Purely to play Devil's advocate for a moment, I counter Fisher's last point, arguing that although he might find it easier to build a career via unconventional channels, it certainly doesn't mean that such options are available to all young performers. 'I'm not pretending that what I'm doing right now is what I will always want to do,' he replies, 'but I do feel I'm doing right by myself in terms of discovering what interests me. It seems that there is a huge pressure to "get famous" in this world. But if music truly is something that performers want to do for their entire lives, then really -- what's the rush?'

I finally take the plunge and fire off the burning question, a question that has been incubating ever since I first saw Fisher read that score cold: How does he do it? How does he process at lightning-speed, to be able to sight-read flawlessly? What is his secret?

'It's hard to say how I do it' he answers, 'really, there must be so many factors involved. I am pretty sure that early exposure to the process of learning to sight-read is of incredible importance. At a very early age, the fear element that a musician might face when suddenly asked to sight-read simply doesn't exist. After years of training -- training geared toward providing a musician with the tools to not make mistakes -- it then becomes very difficult to divorce oneself from the stigma that it presents. This is surely the case with learning in general, and this particular skill is no exception, I feel. Young musicians must be allowed to make those mistakes as early as possible. Anyone, in any business, field, or specialty, will tell you that they have learned more from their failures than from their successes. On a smaller scale, I think the same applies here. One can definitely learn more from errors than from correctness.'

As our interview concludes, Fisher gets up from the café table, thanks me politely for my time and prepares to leave. I call after him with one more question: How do you manage to find time for everything?

At the door he turns and says, 'Well, I guess we all just have to manage, don't we?' And with a wink, he's out the door, running off to his next rehearsal. As I watch him from the window of the café, dashing across the street, dodging traffic to beat the light change, it hits me that Fisher is the kind of guy we would all love to hate (or love to love, depending) -- he is charming, intelligent, and talented; sharp in mind, and noble in air. He's also the kind of guy we would love to label as arrogant, and it's sort of a kicker that he's such a damn 'nice guy'. But since the music business commands supreme commitment and conviction from all its vying contenders, a little confidence never hurt anyone. Philip Fisher is a young man who knows what he's doing, and that alone will surely carry him far.

Copyright © 24 November 2005 Anya Lomakova, Brooklyn, USA



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