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OceanlinerNotes Artist Interviews
OL:
We'd like to Welcome American Composer Arranger, Dr. Clare Fischer, the great Band Leader & Musician, who for over 50 years,
 has composed, performed, orchestrated & arranged some of the most brilliant recordings...Strings & Orchestration to the Stars!...from Michael Jackson, to Prince,
to Natalie Cole to Chaka Khan,
to Earl Klugh, to Michael Franks & so many more! For us to try and mention them all in this Interview... we would never actually get to Interviewing Dr. Fischer, this multi-talented Artist and his multifacted celebrated Career! So on that note, we'd liked to get started and welcome Dr. Clare Fischer to the OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly feature, as our Special Guest Artist!

OL:
Welcome Clare, and thank you for giving us and all of the OL Site Visitors, for what will be a 7-part Interview on the
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,

for the entire week of August 22, 2010.
Once again, thank you and welcome...

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Always a pleasure to be in the company of such a knowledgeable interviewer.

OL:
To para-phrase somewhat, the famous song.."Where Do I Begin"...but in this case..."Where Do We Begin," to tell the story of how great a love can be?"...
Clare, your love for music is so broad and eclectic, but simply 'great' music, whether it's Jazz, Pop, Classical, Brazilian, Latin, or all of the above. Can you share with us, your beginning love affair with music?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I discovered music on my own.
  My Parents were amateur musicians;
Father playing banjo and singing in barber shop quartets, Mother playing piano for silent movies and tap dance classes.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
My first interest was piano then cello.
 By the age of 9, I was listening to Bach, Shostakovich, Bartok, Duke, Strayhorn and Meade Lux Lewis.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
All of this variety was equally unintelligable to my parents.  I had encouragement, however, from my high school band director, Glen Litton, who gave me free harmony lessons in exchange for my playing any instrument in the orchestra he was short of.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I would be issued an instrument, a fingering chart and the part and would then prepare it for the next concert.  This provided valuable orchestration experience.

OL:
As a native of Durand, Michigan, you studied and received your Masters Degree in Composition from Michigan State.
Our question is...before entering College, what was your very first original composition and the style of music?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I'm 81 now and rely on my wife and son to help me remember.  The earliest piece I can recall was "Requiem for a Friend,"
written for a classmate who died of a burst appendix when I was 13.  This was an orchestral piece.  My original goal in life was to compose for orchestras.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
My wife of 17 years now, Donna Fischer, played in the high school orchestra with me and we were sweethearts all those years.  Unfortunately, her mother refused to let us get married after high school because I was a Jazz musician.  43 years later we met up at a high school reunion and have been inseparable since.

OL:
Clare, You have such a broad catalog of the music that you've worked on over the years. What was the first style of music that inspired You the most?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I am an equal mix of legit and street training.  At the same time I was composing for orchestras, I was also working as a pianist in jazz clubs in... Grand Rapids, Detroit,
 New York, Los Angeles
and elsewhere.
 My jazz influences can be heard in my orchestral writing and vice-versa.  

OL:
With your Jazz roots going back to the days of "The Hi-Lo's," as a pianist-conductor for 5 years... and not long after,
 began arranging for Jazz Legend,
Dizzy Gillespie's,
 "A Portrait of Duke Ellington."

As destiny would have its way,
how did you come upon these gigs?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I was working with Donald Byrd in Detroit and shared the stage with the Hi-Lo's one night.  Soon after I became their musical director and arranger.  Many of my early arrangements for them remain uncredited.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
People would call for years afterward asking me if, because I was their Bandleader,
I knew who wrote this or that for the Hi-Lo's, only to find out they were already speaking with the arranger.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I met Cal Tjader the same way, by sharing a stage one night in California while working with the Hi-Lo's. I think Dizzy had heard something I had written and decided to have me write for his album.  This was another case where I was originally uncredited.

OL:
With your experience as both a Jazz and Classical Artist, what are the similarites and differences, if any, in the way that you approach your musical performances,
as a Pianist?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
First of all, let me make one distinction:
I write Orchestral music, not Classical, which is a style of music from the 18th century utilizing a strict set of harmonic practices, none of which apply to how
 I treat harmony.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
As far as my approach to Piano; harmony is my primary concern, regardless of style. 
This is why I later switched to playing
Fender Rhodes
and then finally
Digital Keyboards.
When I play a beautiful voicing on the Piano,
the sound begins to die away immediately, whereas the electric keyboards give me the sustain to fully appreciate aurally each harmony.  My other concern is to put emotion into everything I play, regardless of the style.  It is the feeling that counts.

OL:
Clare, as your Career ascended, going back from the 50's & beyond... we come to a magical  chapter of your days working with Latin Jazz Vibist Legend Cal Tjader.
What was that experience like?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I was originally exposed to Latin music through my college roommates. 
After working with many of the Latino Bands in the barrios of L.A. in the late 50's, I went on tour in South America and brought back the Samba and Bossa Nova with me to use
 in my recordings.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Cal knew of me as a writer and had me arrange and compose for many of his albums, including West Side Story. From there it was a natural progression to work with him as a musician.  He was keenly aware of my capabilities and thus was very easy to write for and play with.   

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I also enjoyed working with
Poncho Sanchez
in Cal's Band,
 and used him as the Congero for my own Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Group
(originally known as
Clare Fischer
and Salsa Picante).

OL:
Your original compositions, namely, "Pensativa" and "Morning" have such distinct melodic lines throughout each piece, which leaves endless freedom for how the music can be interoperated in so many different styles. In general, when you write music, do you have a particular style in mind for the way you want the music to turn out?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
No, I just have a melodic continence that translates many ways.  I do not enjoy, however, when others try to rewrite or otherwise editorialize my melodies for their own versions.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
An arrangement, no matter how different, clever or unusual compared to the original, should always contain the proper melody.  Otherwise it is really a derivative work and should have a different title.

OL:
On Jazz Legend Trumpeter Donald Byrd's cover of your "Morning" track,
the style is pure funk in all of its delight... whereas on your own original recording, it has a nice laid-back Latin arrangement, with the keyboards woodwind type sounds,
taking a clear lead.

OL:
Two great recordings!  That's what is so great about your composing, its wonderful freedom, and yet keeping the melody beautiful and distinct. What we all want to know Clare, is where does this come from?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I've been composing since roughly age 11 and believe that good composition should always present many opportunities for treatment.
 I have lyrics for 'Morning' in English, Spanish and Portuguese.  The English version was recorded on my first vocal album and the Spanish and Portuguese versions
will be on the next one, which my Son,
 Brent Fischer, is currently producing for me and will be released soon.  I also have a full orchestra version done with my group accompanied by the
Netherlands' Metropole Orchestra.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
By the way, others have recorded 'Morning' with their own unauthorized Spanish and Portuguese lyrics over the years.  Trying to claim my rights as composer to choose my own lyric has been like trying to eradicate a cancer that is supplanting my
original intentions.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Lyrics to all my songs, as well as the printed music and CDs of course, are available at www.clarefischer.com

OL:
All this week, we will be covering every color on the palette of your illustrious Career, Clare. A simple, or not so simple question to You... What do You enjoy doing the most... composing, arranging, performing 'live', recording, or all of the above?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
All of the above.  Each is a vital part of the total musical experience.  Don't forget also improvising, which is spontaneous composition based on knowledge,
experience and feeling.

OL:
Before we even get to the 'genius string arrangements' that you are also well-known for, Clare... In addition to Michael Jackson and the other Artists mentioned at the top of this segment 1 of the Interview, and for the those new fans out there, we'd like to mention more of your Strings & Orchestration to the Stars arrangements,

OL:
for all of these great Artists...
Paul McCartney, Spike Lee
["Do The Right Thing" Soundtrack], João Gilberto,
Robert Palmer, Paul McCartney,
The Jacksons, Paula Abdul,
Brian McKnight, Regina Belle,
Norman Whitfield, Branford Marsalis,
Tori Amos
& many others...

Dr. Clare Fischer:
My son Brent actually wrote the
Michael Jackson
orchestra arrangement for "This Is It," even though we are both credited on the CD.  I'm just getting too old to deal with quick deadlines anymore. 
I did write an arrangement for the Jackson 5 in the 70's however.  

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Brent has been absolutely invaluable to me for 30 years now (that's right, he started working for me in 1980).  At first, he assisted me with my writing projects and played bass in my group.  Later he became my
co-arranger, general manager, contractor, touring organizer and now he directs all of my Bands... The Clare Fischer Big Band,
The Clare Fischer Clarinet Choir,
The Clare Fischer Jazz Corps
and my
Latin Jazz Group.
  In addition, he is preparing my entire library - 65 years of my written output-to be archived.  Finally, he has absorbed my style so intimately that
I have had him ghost write orchestral arrangements for me.  Besides Jackson,
he has written beautiful arrangements for
Al Jarreau, Usher, Prince
and many others on my behalf, besides having a successful career in his own right, arranging for Artists such as Eric Benet, Vanessa Williams and Kirk Franklin.  What a joy it has been to share music with my Son in my life.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I do have other credits myself besides those listed above: Tony Toni Tone, Atlantic Starr, Najee, Diane Schurr, The DeBarges and John Pizzarelli. Interesting note about all the arrangements for Prince over the last 25 years: most of them remain unreleased.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
One other point: I prefer to call them 'Orchestral' rather than 'String' arrangements, because many of them include brass, woodwinds and percussion.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
By the way, I was never fully paid by
Mr. Whitfield
for the work I did for him.

OL:
When presented with a song to add strings orchestration to, what is the first stage of that process, as you're building your arrangements to enhance the recording?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
The first step is a transcription.  Many Artists do not read or write music, so they would send us a tape or CD and it would be up to Brent to hear and then write out what they played.  He has tremendous ears and gave me everything from chord voicings, guitar solos,
background vocal parts and drum fills to explanations about the grooves and style characteristics.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I liken the process of writing an orchestral arrangement to pre-existing vocal and rhythm tracks to that of piecing together a jigsaw puzzle.  Every part must fit in a complementary way so as to support, rather than overshadow, what's already been done by the Artist.

OL:
We understand that some of your classical influences include... Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Bartok and Berg, to name a few. Do you feel that your Classical roots play a supporting role in the way you approach your string arrangements in general? 

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Just as much as my Jazz roots do. 
There is no separating them.

OL:
Thank you very much Clare, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
1 of 7 segment?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
It has been said by some that I am difficult to categorize and I say why bother.  Harmony is universal to all styles.  It is the harmonic voicing that counts first and foremost.  In this way, what I do transcends categories and
I am perfectly happy with that.  

OL:
We look forward tomorrow in Part 2 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, where we cover more on American Composer Arranger...Clare Fischer's Strings & Orchestration to the Stars... and his impressive Solo Recordings,
Discography and Grammy Awards!

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Thank You!  

OL:
Thank you very much Clare, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist! We'll see you tomorrow! And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


OL:
Welcome Back, Clare It's good to have You back on again, this being Part 2 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. Thank you once again, Dr. Fischer.

OL:
You've written some great music, which over the years has become staple standards in the Jazz and Adult Contemporary worlds. We'd like to highlight some of your greatest Solo CD Projects & cover how Afro-Cuban, Brazilian & Latin music overall,
has influenced your own musical travels...
on this segment. Who are some of the Artists that You first listened to, of these
aforementioned genres?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
That was so long ago.  I just remember listening to the many records my latino
roommates played while in college and then playing with all the bands in the barrios of L.A. later. Some people I do remember enjoying working with, or listening to are Jobim, Moacir Santos, Cachao,
Helio Delmiro
and Cesar Camargo Mariano.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
When I was in South America in the early 60's, I also remember my good friend
Walter Thiers
introduced me to many fine musicians.  At one point I met
Charlie Palmieri,
whom I had always admired.  We discussed recording together but he died before it got any further. 
That is why I wrote the song C.P.,
as a tribute to him.

OL:
Your beautiful standard classic "Pensativa," first recorded on your "So Danco Samba" Album in 1964 says it all, when it comes to your love for the Bossa Nova. On that set, you also cover the music of
Antonio Carlos Jobim,

Brazil's great Composer Legend and
throughout the years later, you've performed and recorded his music in tribute, on various CD's with various Artists. Did You ever get to meet Mr. Jobim ever in your Career?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Yes, but I don't remember the exact circumstances - I think it was in a recording studio.  It was a very emotional experience for me every time I would go to Rio to perform after he had died.  I would always dedicate a song to him at the concerts.

OL:
Your "Pensativa" original classic...
[meaning pensive]. Was that, and is that a place You like to be in, when writing music, or do You like different colors of emotion to arrive at a certain musical destination?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Pensativa means pensive woman and that's what the lyrics are about.
Regarding emotions, I just write music.  Sometimes there are definite moods associated with that but not always. 
I have written songs for many of my friends, family, and animals,
that I've had as pets as well.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Because you're dealing with long term experiences here, there is no one single emotion attached, but rather a totality of  feelings.  A song I write as an homage to someone who has died, however, often acts as a catharsis for me in dealing with the pain of loss.

OL:
Clare, You have such a broad catalog of the music that you've worked on over the years. What was the first style of music that inspired You the most?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Orchestral, from Bach to Shostakovich.

OL:
"Pensativa" and your other original classic "Morning," has been covered by so many Artists, worldwide. What cover recordings of your songs, standout to You?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Cor Bakker, a former student of mine,
and Bert van den Brink, both of whom are brilliant pianists from Holland, released an entire CD of my music arranged for 2 pianos and it's just amazing to listen to.  Besides that, I've also enjoyed my music being played by Rob McConnell and Steve Khan.
Richard Stoltzman
has comissioned several works from me,
including Roland Vazquez,
Nestor Torres
and
French Artist Pierre Bertrand.

OL:
On to your "America The Beautiful" CD. Here, You cover some of the great American Jazz Standards on Solo Piano, including...
'On a Clear Day', 'A Time for Love',
 'Here's That Rainy Day',
'The Shadow of Your Smile'.
Whenever You record Solo Piano, do You like to play as much as You can on a session, or do You like to record each track on different sessions?  

Dr. Clare Fischer:
As much as possible, for two reasons:
 1) If I'm enjoying a flow on a particular day, I want to keep going and take advantage of it and 2) It's more economical.
 Few people have the luxury of only
 recording a little bit, after incurring
the expense of booking a studio.

OL:
What is your favorite track on your,
 "America The Beautiful" CD?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
The title track, naturally.

OL:
Thank you very much Dr. Fischer, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
2 of 7 segment?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I feel my fluency in Spanish and Portuguese helped me to absorb more fully the cultural and historical concepts relating to
Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian music. 
It also made it more fun to hang out with all of those great musicians!

OL:
We look forward tomorrow in Part 3 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, where we focus on the American Composer Arranger...Dr. Clare Fischer's Strings & Orchestrations to the Stars...!

OL:
Thank you very much Dr. Clare Fischer,
for coming on as our Special Guest Artist! We'll see you tomorrow! And thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

OL:
Welcome Back, Clare... It's good to be with You again, this being Part 3 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. Thank you once again, Dr. Fischer.

OL:
On this Interview segment, Clare, we'd like to travel to some of your brilliant Strings & Orchestrations to the Stars. First stop:
The Jacksons' "Destiny" Album,
namely the beautiful ballad with Michael Jackson on lead vocals, called, "Push Me Away."

OL:
Your string arrangements on this track,
as we listen to here, on this Interview are truly magnificent, to say the least.
Please tell us Clare, how you came onto working on this project?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
You're asking an 81 year old man to remember something that happened over 30 years ago!  I remember much from my youth, my Son Brent remembers much from the time he started working for me and my Wife Donna remembers our personal affairs since we've been married.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Unfortunately, the Jackson project falls in between. Aside from that, I just remember that this was one of many calls that came in from either record companies, or producers during this whole time period.

OL:
If you can please finish this sentence:
 The session[s] on 'Push Me Away' were...

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Brent, who was 14 at the time, does recall the comments I made to him when coming home from the session: they absolutely loved the arrangement and were so impressed with one of the violin lines at the end of the bridge they changed their guitar part to play the same notes.

OL:
On the classic 'Soul Train' Television  Show in the early 80's, the 'King of Pop',
Michael Jackson,
performed the song on 'Soul Train' and has said that
'Push Me Away' was one of his favorite songs. He must have been thrilled when he heard the finishing touches on the track,
with your strings soaring so warmly and beautifully!

OL:
Your strings on this song, is just as much the star, as is Michael on this track.
This of course, is not even a question... 
it's more like a worldwide witnessed revelation of your orchestral work, but still, we'd love to know what you have to say about working with this much loved
Legend, Michael Jackson?
  

Dr. Clare Fischer:
The work environment was comfortable, professional; it was very easy to get things accomplished.  It was the same way when Brent and I met him at Neverland Ranch in 2003.  We discussed and then immediately began preparations for a
big orchestral project.   

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Unfortunately, Jackson's legal troubles at the time caused the project to be abandoned. At least we got one more chance to work for him when Brent arranged the orchestra for "This Is It."  I had so much fun sitting in the control room with the producers watching him conduct the session.
 Just as I have consulted with him over the years, he consulted with me on this project and decided to use many of my favorite instruments: besides strings, he had valved bugles (magnificent sound) and all of the lesser used lower woodwinds.  It is the use of these unusual instruments which help to bring a unique color to orchestrations.  

OL:
So much of music we hear today is digitally recorded, whereby the Singer just comes in afterwards, to lay down their Vocal tracks. When you were working on the Unforgettable: With Love Natalie Cole Album, with all of it's string and orchestral glory, do you feel that recording 'live' music makes a difference in the way that a
Singer records?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
No.  A great performer can make a great take no matter what condition the tracks are in.  Just like an actor filming in front of a blue screen, imagination and talent fit the pieces of the puzzle together.

OL:
Speaking of the best of that 'live' symphonic sound, we also love what You did on
Earl Klugh "Crazy For You" Album.

When it comes to instrumental music, with such as Acoustic Guitar Legend 
Mr.Earl Klugh
on lead;
did the band record their track first, or was it all recorded 'live' with the complete string orchestra and what was your favorite track to work on this album?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Almost every orchestra session takes place after basic tracks have been recorded.  That's why some in the industry refer to this as "sweetening," a term I dislike. 
My arrangements are written to be an integral part of the song.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I can remember that, in the 60's when technology hadn't progressed very far, most of the orchestra projects I did were with everyone in the room and sometimes even with just a few overhead microphones.  Brent does remember a few other sessions where everything was recorded at the
same time:   

Dr. Clare Fischer:
1) He and I both arranged for
Vanessa Williams
in 1992 and she was there with her rhythm section next to the strings. 2) The arrangement I wrote for Najee in 1996 was recorded with him in the room.

OL:
Dr. Fischer, there are so many Artists that you've worked with that we'd like to ask about, but we want to save the rest of this Interview to spotlight more of your celebrated original compositions and
Grammy Awards. So on that note,
for this segment, we'll highlight a couple more of your Strings and Orchestration to the Stars. Simply put, can You tell us about working on Smooth Jazz Singer
Michael Franks' "One Bad Habit?"
  

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I wish I could remember.  I know the session must have gone well, because I do remember very clearly the few times when a Producer and I did not see eye to eye.

OL:
Okay let's jump to the one and only Prince... "Musicology" and
"Sign 'O' the Times."
What was that like, work on his recordings?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Prince is a smart man; he gives me the freedom to do what I do.  In the mid 80's, when we first worked together, there was a short phone meeting and then the tapes were sent.  I wrote the arrangements, set the recording date, and at the last minute,
Prince
had something come up which precluded him being there.  He was so thrilled with the results that he decided it was best that he always stay away.  We have worked that way for some 25 years now.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Prince is an adventurous writer, though most of his heaviest stuff remains unreleased.  There were times in the 90's when Brent would have to transcribe track by track from the 24 or 48 track tapes because the sound was so thick. 
Someday a CD entitled
 "Dr. Clare Fischer Arranges Prince"
 should be released.

OL:
Thank you very much Clare, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
3 of 7 segment?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
It's funny how things work out in the music industry.  To this day, I have never met Prince. Brent and I wrote the arrangement for Prince's 2004 Grammy appearance with Beyonce.  We were all there at Staples Center.  Brent met Prince, discussed details with him and even performed in the orchestra, playing percussion.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Prince, however, did not want to "jinx" (his word) our relationship by seeing me face to face.  I heard years ago from his assistant that, as he was handed an album I had won a Grammy for, he turned away and said "just put in on so I can listen.  I have this image of what Dr. Clare Fischer looks like in my head and I don't want to change it."

OL:
We look forward tomorrow in Part 4 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, where we get to spotlight on American Composer Conductor Dr. Clare Fischer's One-Word Playback, for the OL Viewers.

OL:
Thank you very much Dr. Clare Fischer,
for coming on as our Special Guest Artist! We'll see you tomorrow! And thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

OL:
Welcome Back, Dr. Fischer. It's nice to have You on again, this being Part 4 of our 7 day Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.

OL:
We're at the segment Interview feature, where we introduce a 'one word'  Interview question to You, Clare, and if you can you please playback a One-word Commentary Note for the OL Visitors, that would be great! Okay, here we go!

OL:
Feeling?
Dr. Clare Fischer:
Performing.

OL:
Group?
Dr. Clare Fischer:
Many!

OL:
Conducting?
Dr. Clare Fischer:
Emotion.

OL:
Family?
Dr. Clare Fischer:
Love.

OL:
Soar?
Dr. Clare Fischer:
Strings.

OL:
Color?
Dr. Clare Fischer:
Instrumentation.

OL:
Child?
Dr. Clare Fischer:
Inspiration.

OL:
Bossa?
Dr. Clare Fischer:
Yes!

OL:
Home?
Dr. Clare Fischer:
Keyboards.

OL:
Water?
Dr. Clare Fischer:
Drink!

OL:
Thank you very much Clare, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.
Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this
 OL Interview 4 of 7 segment?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Of all the ways in which harmonies can be beautifully expressed, my favorite sonorities are voices, strings and clarinets in that order.

OL:
Thank you, Clare. We look forward tomorrow in Part 5 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Interview, as we spotlight
Dr. Clare Fischer's
Grammys & his Shows Around The World!...on  the next segment.

OL:
Thank you very much Dr. Clare Fischer,
for coming on as our Special Guest Artist! We'll see you tomorrow! And thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

OL:
Welcome Back, Clare... It's good to be with You again, this being Part 5 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. Thank you once again, Dr. Fischer.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
My pleasure!

OL:
Let's go right to the Grammys! Your first Grammy, Clare, on the "Salsa Picante"
 
1978 Album... featured your classic hits such as 'Bachi', and 'Morning' & more great Salsa originals... On the recording set you had Musicians: Alex Acuña, David Acuña,
Peter Riso, Poncho Sanchez &
Rick Zunigar,

with You of course on the spotlight;
playing Organ, Piano & Keyboards.
Tell us about your recording sessions
with all of these guys?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
David Troncoso also played on that album.  It did not win a grammy though.
 I have been nominated quite a few times,
and my Wife and Son
keep track of these things. 
The Grammy Award was for Best Latin Recording in 1981.  The song was,
 "Guajira Pa' La Jeva" from the first
2+2 album.

OL:
When you were writing the music for your
 "Salsa Picante" Album, you focused in on salsa styled music. Throughout the course of your Career, you've incorporated a good share of salsa music, [this well-loved music], into your recordings. When you played this set for the first time 'live',
what was that like?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I've always said that I don't play Latin music; I use it to my own ends.  What I mean by that is, while I have studied the historical contexts and played in some fine Latin groups, what I do is really a synthesis of
 many elements.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
When it came time to start my own group,
I used many of the same musicians I had already been playing with; people such as Poncho Sanchez and Alex Acuna. 
I had also been playing my own material with Cal Tjader as well.  In that way it was a very natural progression to form
Salsa Picante.

OL:
Your next Grammy in 1986 was for your "Free Fall" Album. ...featuring
 "Clare Fischer & The Latin Jazz Sextet." Everyone knows the excitement of seeing an Artist win their first Grammy...  So how did it feel to win yet another one?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I was never given the grammy. 
They only gave them to the singers
 in my group.
 Can you imagine Duke Ellington's sax section winning an award without the band leader himself being recognized? 
That's what happened to me.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I composed and arranged the song,
rehearsed the band, coached the singers to perform exactly as I needed to fulfill my vision and produced the album.  Then one of my singers pulls a political stunt to make it look as if 2 + 2 was a separate group in its own right, even though that group had never performed or recorded without being under my direction.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
When I wrote for The Singers Unlimited,
it was clearly a vocal group that stood on its own.  Everyone who is familiar with my writing for 2 + 2 knows that the vocalists function as part of a larger whole,
like a string section in an orchestra.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Shortly after the grammy incident,
I decided to call the group
Clare Fischer and Friends
so there wouldn't be any further confusion about who's band it was.  Later, I also changed Salsa Picante to the Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Group
for similar reasons.

OL:
What's your favorite song on your
 Award Winning "Free Fall" Album?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
That's a very difficult question.
  Nobody loves a composition more than the composer.  In that respect I have strong feelings for each piece, even the arrangements of songs by others because the treatment was so different from the original.  The few that I'm proudest of because they took so much work to bring to fruition are:
 "The Night We Called It A Day" and
 "The Quiet Side."  

OL:
Let's see, to name a few... You play masterfully the Piano, Clarinet, Organ, & Keyboards. Are there any other hidden treasure Instruments that has always intrigued You...
that you might want to pick up playing?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
As I mentioned before, I have played nearly every instrument in the orchestra at some point in my life so I would know how to write idiomatically for each one.  I even spent time playing all of the valved bugles before writing for my Jazz Corps,
a thirty piece big band incorporating the aforementioned with french horns and winds.
Besides that, I have performed with my big band playing various saxes
(including sopranino) and Eb valve trombone, plus played cello on some of my recordings.

OL:
Speaking of hidden treasures, your Son Brent, has collected into a Songbook, a group of your unrecorded material over the years. They are published now and can be viewed closely at your site as well.
Did you ever perform any of these songs 'live' with your band?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Brent is finishing up editing volume 3 of my songbooks for our publisher, Advance Music. Each volume contains some unrecorded material but that will change soon.
 Brent has also been systematically identifying everything in my library that needs to be recorded and has made significant progress towards achieving
that goal.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I have also asked him to arrange some of my songs.  The last Clarinet Choir CD,
"A Family Affair,"
contains some of Brent's arrangements and compositions.
Shortly, a new vocal CD will be released.  Brent is also busy producing big band and orchestral CDs for me, all with mostly new (meaning never recorded) material.

OL:
Dr. Fischer, You've performed all over the world! If you can share with us, your varying experiences going from performing with various Jazz Bands to
Symphony Orchestra Concerts?  

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I have performed with some great musicians around the world and realize that my music is demanding both technically and conceptually.  I appreciate all of the effort that these people put into preparing performances.  Of course,
I realize some of them felt intimidated to be in front of me, especially when I'm standing on a conductor's podium wearing my
"Tune It or Die"
sweatshirt.  But that was never my intention.  I just wanted their utmost attention to detail.

OL:
Thank you very much Clare, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
5 of 7 segment?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
If I could pick my favorite musicians from around the world and assemble them into one group that would really be something!

OL:
Thank you, Clare. We look forward tomorrow in Part 6 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Interview, as we spotlight
Dr. Clare Fischer's
World Tours, & his new found musical treasures & more!...
on  the next segment.

OL:
Thank you very much Dr. Clare Fischer, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist!
We'll see you tomorrow! And thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

OL:
Welcome Back, Clare... It's good to be with You again, this being Part 6 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. Thank you once again, Dr. Fischer.

OL:
Dr. Fischer, your Concert Tours throughout your travels have been quite extensive... from Paris to Finland, to Norway and so much more. What would be some of the Concert Halls that you've played in, whether it be with a Symphony, a Jazz line-up,
or Solo Piano Concert, as far as great acoustics, stages  and atmosphere,
that are your favorite places to play?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
-The Kolner Philharmonie concert hall in Cologne, Germany
-Carnegie Hall
-I performed once in a Castle in Dubrovnik, Croatia - beautiful sound
Also many fine concert halls in Holland

OL:
To date, what was your favorite location to tour as a Professional?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I would have to say Holland, Germany and France.  The audiences there are so appreciative and I have many friends.

OL:
In your leisure time, what music,
or Artists are you listening to currently?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I am very proud of my former students,
many of whom have gone on to successful careers in their own countries.  I constantly receive CDs from them and it is just a joy to hear them all.  I also have many friends that are doing wonderful things out there and
I enjoy their CDs as well.

OL:
In a world that's become so automatic for ready instant results in life's everyday journey... What advice do You have for the today's Students of composition,
 arranging and conducting?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Just write.  By doing, one gains experience.

OL:
We know this next question is somewhat unfair, [because we ourselves, would be
hard-pressed to pick our favorite of your musical works, Dr. Clare Fischer],
but we have to ask... what is your absolute favorite of your originals?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
My favorite song is always the next one!  Past works that I am especially proud of are my orchestral works on "After the Rain."

OL:
Thank you very much Clare, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
6 of 7 segment?

Dr. Clare Fischer:
For those of you who have been writing for a while now, re-visit your old pieces.
 One day, years ago when I was in my fifties, I was looking at pieces I had written in College.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Brent urged me to record one that he particularly liked and that became the title track of my "Starbright" album.  You never know where your next inspiration will
come from.

OL:
Thank you, Clare. We look forward tomorrow in Part 7 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Interview, as American Composer Conductor Dr. Clare Fischer shares with us his closing music liner notes on where 'live' music is Today!...as OL concludes the Interview with this extraordinary Artist
..on the next segment. And thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

OL:
Thank you very much Dr. Clare Fischer,
for coming on as our Special Guest Artist! We'll see you tomorrow! And thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

OL:
Welcome Back, Dr. Fischer. Its been so wonderful having you on this week!
We're at Part 7, the conclusion of this Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series...
and Oceanlight Records would like to
thank You, Clare, for sharing your incredible musical and life's journey...with all of the
 OL Viewers!
Its been such an honor interviewing You for the week...!

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Same here, thank you.

OL:
Dr. Clare Fischer, we know that it's
 A Family Affair for You and your super talented Son Arranger Musician
Brent Fischer.
Brent,
we look forward to Interviewing You about your soaring Career and all of the awesome works that you have Produced,
and are building yourself.

OL:
So thank You Brent, for making possible this Interview with your Dad, Dr. Clare Fischer,
a true genius!
For this last Interview segment, Dr. Clare Fischer... if you will, please give us your closing liner note thoughts on where You feel 'live' music is today in a digital music world? Thank you.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
You'll have to speak to Brent about digital music.  I write, record and perform as
I always have and leave technology
to the engineers.

OL:
Thank you, yes we certainly are looking forward to Interviewing your Son
Brent Fischer,
about his own incredible Career as a Musician, Conductor and Arranger. It's no doubt A Family Affair...
we can't wait!
Looking forward to it in the near future...

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I am continually amazed at how studio technology is making it possible for people with little talent to become popular while at the same time many professional studio musicians now are so incredibly skilled they need less and less technology to make
great recordings.   

Dr. Clare Fischer:
The training and experience of today's professional musician builds upon all the strides made by earlier generations.
 That's what makes listening to them live
an absolute joy.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
The musicians that Brent assembles for me at sessions, or concerts are always superb. 
He is one of the few that hire based on capability rather than political game playing.  Because of that, I can rest assured that what I have written will sound the way I want.
 That's of the utmost importance to a Composer.

Dr. Clare Fischer:
I want to leave you with an anecdote
I've enjoyed telling for decades now:
Famed composer Cesar Franck returned home from the premier of his latest symphony bristling with joy. 
His wife asked him,
 "Why are you so happy?"  

Dr. Clare Fischer:
Did the audience love it?" to which he replied "No, not really."  She then asked "Did the musicians enjoy playing it?" and he shook his head "No." Finally, she said,
 "Well then, what's the grin on your face about?" He replied, "It sounded exactly as I had imagined in my head when I was writing it!"

OL:
Dr. Clare Fischer has shared with the universe his most amazing musical talents and gems, that have both enhanced and enriched many lives and music lovers, worldwide.

OL:
We just have this feeling that his music will be around forever and ever! Thank you,
to Dr. Clare Fischer, and thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!
...For All OL Visitors...
Thank You.

OL:
Thank you Dr. Clare Fischer,
it has been so wonderful to Interview You!.
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


American Composer
Arranger Legend
DR. CLARE FISCHER

1. Delirio
Dr. Clare Fischer string arrangements
(C
ésar Portillo), arr. Jorge Calandrelli
2
. Fina (Clare Fischer 'Rememberances' CD) - Dr. Clare Fischer: Composer, Primary Artist, Producer, Synthesizer
3. Push Me Away (The Jacksons 'Destiny' CD) - Dr. Clare Fischer: Arranger, String Arrangements
4. The Very hought Of You (Natalie Cole 'Unforgettable: With Love' CD) - Dr. Clare Fischer: Arranger, Piano, Rhythm Arrangements
5. Morning (Clare Fischer 'Salsa Picante' CD) - Dr. Clare Fischer: Composer, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Primary Artist
6. Xapuri (Clare Fischer 'Rememberances' CD) - Dr. Clare Fischer: Composer, Primary Artist, Producer, Synthesizer
7. Inside You (The Michael Franks Anthology: 'The Art of Love' CD) - Dr. Clare Fischer: Conductor, String Arrangements
8. Coco B. (Clare Fischer 'Rememberances' CD) - Dr. Clare Fischer: Composer, Primary Artist, Producer, Synthesizer
9. Crazy Bird (Clare Fischer & Salsa Picante 'Crazy Bird' CD) - Dr. Clare Fischer: Composer, Liner Notes, Organ, Performer, Piano (Electric), Primary Artist
10. Bachi (Clare Fischer 'Salsa Picante' CD) - Dr. Clare Fischer: Composer, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Primary Artist
1
1. Crazy For You (Earl Klugh 'Crazy for You' CD) - Dr. Clare Fischer: Conductor, String Arrangements
1
2. Pensativa (Clare Fischer 'So Danco Samba' CD) - Dr. Clare Fischer: Composer, Keyboards, Piano, Primary Artist
Special Guest Artist Online Interview Feature...
DR. CLARE FISCHER
AMERICAN COMPOSER ARRANGER LEGEND (1928-2012)
www.clarefischer.com
Original  OL Records Artist Interview: 8/29/10 - 9/5/10


(1928-2012)
Oceanlight Records Remembering and
honoring this great Legend of Composing
and Arranging! for so many...
American Composer Arranger Legend
Dr. Clare Fischer
(1928-2012)

This Original  Interview with Dr. Clare Fischer in 2010, stands  out as one of the most precious, and yet awesome Interviews of OL's Oceanlinernotes Weekly Series. To encompass & travel through the vast  musical works of Dr. Fischer,
it would take a lifetime...

And this is exactly what Dr. Clare Fischer  gave to the world,
 a lifetime of his music, his vision, his gifts...
And to 
Oceanlight Records, a truly wonderful Interview...
We treasure every note and word that you have
 shared with us, 
Dr. Fischer...
We'll hear You in the Strings & will see You  in the Stars!


As with all of our Interviews, You are reading the Artists' own direct thoughts & travels about their illustrious Careers.
We hope that our 
OL Readers can enjoy and treasure their words of life  and music, just as we do here at OL...


OL Quote Pick of the Guest Artist's Interview!

"My favorite song is always the next one!
Past works that I am especially proud of are my orchestral works on,
"After the Rain
"

...Dr. Clare Fischer

('After The Rain' CD - Dr. Clare Fischer)
Remembering DR. CLARE FISCHER (1928-2012)

(The Clare Fischer Clarinet Choir / Clare Fischer  'A Family Affair' CD)
(The Jacksons 'Destiny' CD)
(Clare Fischer 'So Danco Samba' CD)
(Earl Klugh 'Crazy for You' CD)
(Clare Fischer 'Rememberances' CD)
Natalie Cole Unforgettable With Love e' CD)
(The Michael Franks Anthology: 'The Art of Love' CD)
(Clare Fischer 'Salsa Picante' CD)
(Clare Fischer & Salsa Picante 'Crazy Bird' CD)