Digital Portfolio of Projects in
Nathan Fischer - Artistic Director and Producer of the 2020 World Ensemble. The project started as a response to the pandemic and offered the opportunity for guitarists to perform in a virtual ensemble when it was impossible to do so in-person. This was an inclusive community-building project made of 100 diverse guitarists whose recordings were set to animation by Chia-Hsin Lee (Taiwan). The animation underscores the narrative that we are a global community, uniquely diverse, and alone together.
The commissioned score for Parts, Together is by Azariah Felton, an Australian (Perth based) composer. The audio was recorded by each guitarist independently and was mixed and mastered by D. James Tagg. The performers represent Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Serbia, the United Kingdom, the USA, and Vietnam. The World Ensemble is a Twisted Spruce Music Foundation initiative.
The in-person premiere of the Parts, Together took place at Radford University, Virginia conducted by Robert Trent. This had a release party Nov. 25, 2020, audio is published via Frameworks Records, a performance edition was published via Azahar Press, and the final product has been selected by these film festivals:
Finalist - World Music & Independent Film Festival | Northern Virginia, USA
Best Experimental Short, Best Animation Short
Selected - Waterford Film Festival - Short Programme 2 | Ireland
Selected - Bitesize Film Festival | Virtual
Featured - The 21st Century Guitar 2021 Conference | Lisbon, Portugal
Fincher, Isabella (2021). "Parts, Together" Innovations in the Virtual Guitar Orchestras. [Under review - submitted to Soundboard Journal for Classical Guitar.]
Nathan Fischer - Artistic Director and Producer of the 2021-22 World Ensemble. A falling loop continues on the 2020 World Ensemble project, Parts, Together. It will be an inclusive global-community building project for guitarists performing as a virtual ensemble accompanied by animation. This project is currently in progress. The composition A Falling Loop is by Miles Jefferson Friday (USA), the winner of the 2020 Twisted Spruce Composition Prize and will be set to an animation by a team from CalArts. Among the team will be Chia-Hsin Lee (Taiwan) and mixed and mastered by D. James Tagg.
A Falling Loop is sponsored in-part by the Indiana Arts Commission and the IU Center for Rural Engagement. The purpose will be to reach children in various Indiana underserved and isolated communities to perform in the ensemble, and to contribute visual artwork that the animation team will bring to life. The World Ensemble is a Twisted Spruce Music Foundation initiative.
The in-person premiere of the A Falling Loop will take place on April 21, 2022 at the State University of New York in Fredonia directed by James Piorkowski. This project will have a release pre-screening Sept 30, 2022, audio will be published on Frameworks Records, a performance edition will be published via Azahar Press, and the final product will be enrolled in film festivals. Please register with the Twisted Spruce Music Foundation mailing list to learn more about the project.
Nathan Fischer - President and Director of the Twisted Spruce Music Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to education, and developing new music collaborations between composers and guitarists during the Summer Symposium. The Symposium offers a series of workshops that pair guitarists and composers from around the world to work together and compete as a team. The goal is to advance musicianship, new music, critical career skills, and promote project development for participants.
Participants interested in advancing their musicianship, performance skills, and understanding of compositional techniques for guitar register for the Twisted Spruce Symposium. Two years in the running, the Twisted Spruce has welcomed participants from Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Germany, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the USA.
The Symposium program is divided into two, one-week sessions that are spaced one month apart. The first week in June, introduces students to key concepts through classes and facilitates participants to engage with each other. At the end of the first week, students break into groups and work together on a composition and performance project. During the second week in August, the students and instructors convene for individual consultations on projects and a series of industry topics are offered.
Consultant with Azahar Press. Azahar Press is a startup by a group of like-minded professionals to develop a fresh brand for new music and guitar music, in the sheet music publishing industry. The goal is to progressively open to different instruments. At the moment Azahar Press is focused on participants of the Twisted Spruce summer symposium and select volunteers as a means to develop a the brand with quality content. Azahar Press has strategic three and five year goals based on development through quality compositions, arrangements, projects, and research. The brand is currently hosted on the Twisted Spruce website until it reaches its first inventory goal.
The team includes Luke Henry - Assistant Engraver, Thomas Schaller - Executive Engraver and owner of Mensuro.net, and Mireia Frutos Fernández as CEO.
The Azahar Press pilot publication featuring Nathan's performance edition of Tiento para un pensador by Daniel Cueto, was a feature in the journal Cuadernos de Música Peruana, published in Peru, in July-December 2021.
*Score below provided with permission by Azahar Press.
Consultant with the Chicago Guitar Festival (CGF). The 2022 event will take place at Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago. The founder and Artistic Director is Denis Azabagić who launched the inaugural event in 2018. As the CGF starts in-person operations in the current post-pandemic climate, we are strategically planning a path for reinvigorating the concert series, developing social media outreach, and engaging young performers from the region to participate in the competition and master classes. The plan is to re-launch a live event that will be a complement the Twisted Spruce Virtual Symposium - a potential merger is on the horizon.
Consultant with Frameworks Records Dave Veslocki is the Founder and Sole Proprietor of Frameworks Records. The Los Angeles based music publisher and record label is rethinking how artists can reach and expand audiences with their music publishing. Their mission is to empower the artist. Consultations include building toward Billboard charting releases, maximizing royalty payout, creating an innovative business model, digital distribution, physical CD sales, and other topics. Part of the strategy between our consultations is collaborative growth. included publishing the audio of the World Ensemble’s first project Parts, Together which resulted in nearly 100 guitarists being published by Frameworks. The label also publishes the winner of the Twisted Spruce guitar competition and reserves the right to publish an EP of the winning composers.
Founding President of the International Guitar Institute (IGI). The IGI was incorporated as a means to control finances for the Alexandria Guitar Festival of Virginia (2001-2009), and the Alexandria Suzuki Guitar Institute (2005-2007). The IGI brand became popular and was later also blueprinted into the Las Vegas Guitar Festival which ran for two years (2007-2008). (After accepting the Fulbright Award to Egypt and staying for the Assistant Professorship with the American University in Cairo, Egypt, Nathan discontinued the in-person festivals and the web platforms were repurposed for social media activities.) The IGI Facebook page is now used to promote the Twisted Spruce Music Foundation Symposium, Competition, World Ensemble, participants, and events.
The IGI was Nathan's first business venture, and the IGI was used to run these festivals for nearly a decade out of the George Washington Masonic Memorial, the Old Presbyterian Meetinghouse (George Washington’s Church), and the Athenaeum all located in downtown Alexandria, Virginia. This also included events at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada. Through the IGI, Nathan established a network of nearly 10,000 patrons, supporters, faculty, and students over a 10-year period.
Since graduating from Eastman in 2004, Nathan has built a career in education and made concert appearances full swing around the world - innovating his program along the way. An avid performer of new music and music that hits on cross-cultural genres, Nathan has developed repertoire, engaged audiences, and built a unique performance path through his entrepreneurial activity and mindset. For example, he created the first body of Malaysian national and Egyptian national music for the guitar.
Through his career he has discovered unknown works, arranged compositions, and commissioned music by unique artists elevating the repertoire in new and interesting ways.
Ensemble projects include the Silver Sands Guitar Trio with Australian guitarists Jonathan Paget and Craig Lake, Orphika duo with Spanish pianist Mireia Frutos Fernández, and a songs with baritone Brandan Sanchez.
“Fischer is a fine player who has strong identification with the material... A treasure trove of interesting and unfamiliar works.” - Al Kunze of Soundboard.
Current research looks into aspects of arts administration leadership, pedagogy, new music for guitar, project development in virtual ensembles, and multi-media. In the current artistic climate Nathan’s research and pedagogy engages students to develop skills that combine design thinking, project development, and strategic career planning. His next publication will look at innovative examples that lead to change in the music industry.
Pride, Pedagogy, and Performance: Getaran Jiwa, Variations on a Malaysian Song, Op. 125 by John Duarte, is a peer reviewed publication in the Scopus ranked Malaysian Music Journal. These variations are the first concert work on a Malaysian theme by a non-Malaysian composer for the classical guitar. The Op. 125 Variations were relatively undiscovered Western practitioners since 1999. This article explores sources (scores and original audio recording) to unpack stylist procedures for a Malaysian inspired performance practice.
Nathan has presented papers at conferences in Istanbul, Turkey; Tanjong Malim, Malaysia; Perth, Australia; and Denver, Colorado, USA. He will present a paper on Innovating a Loop: The New Genre for Ensemble and Mass Media for the 21st Century Guitar Conference, at Ball State University in Muncie, IN, March 2022.
His recent album Tales from Malaysia for solo guitar (2019) was released by Soundset Records. The album features premieres that are the result of six years of research and collaboration while living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Works include the first two concert works by Malaysian women composers, and incorporates elements of folklore, jazz, popular music, and neo-romantic music.
Most recently, Nathan recorded the song cycle Con Antonio Machado by Joaquín Rodrigo with Baritone, Brandan Sanchez. He has completed studio recordings by living composers including two concertos, one for the film soundtrack Half for Revolution by Ahmed Saleh, and Las Guitarras Azules by Aaron Travers. In addition, he has made recent solo works by Aaron Travers (2020), Daniel Cueto (2020), Marcel Castro-Lima (2021), and Roni Glaser (2021).
His self-published album Images (2000) draws on traditional repertoire of the 19th and 20th century. It includes composers such as Joaquín Rodrigo, Manuel Ponce, Giulio Regondi, and Mauro Giuliani. Additional recordings can be accessed online via Soundcloud.
Bloomington Classical Guitar Society
Currently on the Board of Directors ofthe Bloomington Classical Guitar Society. The organization engages the Bloomington community to participate in an ensemble in addition to hosting a festival each year through the IU Jacobs School of Music Guitar Academy. The board makes recommendations toward operations management, fundraising, social media marketing, and project development.
In the past, Nathan has served on the Board of Directors for the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association in Alexandria, the Las Vegas Guitar Society, and assisted with launching the Midwest Chapter of the Lute Society of America.