As a pre-teen Daniel Fischlin was smitten by all stringed things after hearing the two Jimmys, and versions of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Shakti, and The Mothers of Invention). He took lessons on flamenco and classical guitar with the inspirational George Doxas in a church basement in Montréal and went on to receive, years later, a BFA in performance on classical guitar and Renaissance lute, studying along the way with a number of teachers in Canada, France, and the USA. Aside from a short stint with an alt-fusion band that included some of the Doroschuk brothers (of Men Without Hats notoriety), Fischlin was especially active in the early music scene in Montreal, as a founding member of the acclaimed group Musica Secreta (along with Hank Knox, Valerie Kinslow, Suzie Leblanc, and Betsy MacMillan), and as an occasional player in the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal (SMAM) under Christopher Jackson and Réjean Poirier. During this period he was heard as both a performer and composer on CBC, and was a founding member, with composer Alan Belkin, of the Composer’s Concert Society, devoted to promoting new music by young Canadian composers played by young Canadian musicians. As a classical guitarist he has performed world premieres of work by Andrew P. MacDonald and Chan Ka Nin. Fischlin went on to write a dissertation (later a book) on the English lute song, a performance area in which he had specialized, and has since become one of Canada’s most prolific and acclaimed interdisciplinary scholars. Fischlin has also studied percussion, and during a teaching exchange in Cuba worked extensively with traditional Afro-Cuban bata percussionists (from AfroCuba de Matanzas) in the La Marina community in Matanzas. He has been active with the Toronto free-improvising ensemble The Woodchoppers Association for a number of years and co-led a mission to Cuba with Woodchoppers members Dave Clark and Lewis Melville. Recent work has seen Fischlin contributing as a player to CDs by acclaimed Malian musician Jah Youssouf and the compilation CD Afghanistan… On Guard For Thee? as well as sessions work on Tannis Slimmon’s most recent album. The Vertical Squirrels project sees Fischlin combining with long-time musical and academic collaborators as part of a lifelong commitment to improvisation, musique actuelle, unexpected musical synergies, and the spirit in which they get created.
- Performer (guitar)