Medard Fischer

Medard FischerBest known for his solo work as Arc Lab and Tyyson, and as half of Hidden Shoal’s electronic duo Down Review with Tim Arndt (Near The Parenthesis), Medard Fischer’s eponymous solo work distills the warm ambience and impressionistic piano work of his previous releases into cohesive new forms. These thematically driven compositions orbit the intersection of modern classical music, textured ambient soundscapes and music for film, creating undeniably moving instrumental works.

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Discography

 

Lucky You


Release Date: 25th May 2018

On Lucky You, Medard Fischer’s creative process was influenced by his father’s struggle with cancer and tragic passing. While coming to terms with his loss, Fischer was intrigued by recent studies suggesting that more than two-thirds of cancerous mutations may be caused by random replication errors, and was inspired to explore how the implications of chance shape lives in both ordinary and profound ways.

Taking its cues from generative music and sound collage, stochastic processes are central throughout Lucky You; they define timbres, melodies and entire song structures. Elements pop in and out like sparks, driven by random number generators, multi-tiered probability gates and feedback loops cycling through old electronics. Yet, despite its conceptual underpinning, Lucky You has immediate emotional resonance, befitting the circumstances that inspired it. Pieces shift from playful to contemplative and from hopeful to haunting  – tracing contours of moments lived in the shadow of chance, by turns beautiful and tragic.

 

 

Four Songs for the City of New York


2015

On his new EP Four Songs for the City of New York, Medard Fischer brings all of his considerable musical sensitivity to bear to create exquisitely moving neo-classical ambient. Although best known for his solo work as Arc Lab and Tyyson, and as half of Hidden Shoal’s electronic duo Down Review, Medard Fischer’s eponymous solo work distills the warm ambience and impressionistic piano work of his previous releases into cohesive new forms.

Four Songs for the City of New York pays homage to a dynamic, incomparable city. Opener ‘The Imaginary City’ traces icy outlines in high-register piano notes before a celestial drone and unnerving voices subsume the mix. ‘Five Years Almost to the Day’ is similarly reflective, but infused with undeniable hope and warmth. ‘Monument’ and closer ‘A Light That Doesn’t Go Out’ are perhaps closest to the iridescent electronica of his Arc Lab work, yet they radiate a depth of yearning and melancholy that is indescribably touching.

 

Four Songs for Peter Fechter


2014

Four pieces inspired by the events surrounding Peter Fechter’s death and triumph over the misery of his final moments. To honour his desire for freedom and a better life, net proceeds of EP sales will be donated to the UN Refugee Agency. About Peter Fechter: On August 17, 1962, Peter Fechter, an eighteen year-old East German bricklayer, became one of the first and youngest fatalities of the border patrols along the Berlin Wall. Fechter and a friend ran the wall near Checkpoint Charlie in the Kreuzberg district of central Berlin. Fechter was shot in the pelvis by an East German border guard during his attempt to scale the wall and fell back into the “death-strip” on the eastern side. He lay in agony in full view of western onlookers, and of border guards on each side of the wall. Despite his pleas, he was refused medical attention, and western bystanders were prevented at gunpoint from assisting him. He died of blood loss approximately an hour later. The senselessness of his death and the refusal of both East and West German border guards to render him aid was a flashpoint for anger in Berlin over division of the city and construction of the wall and led to the eruption of spontaneous demonstrations in the city.

Biography

A Toronto native and Sydney resident via New York, Medard Fischer creates music as varied and evocative as the places that have inspired it. As 50% of Hidden Shoal duo Down Review and 100% of Tyyson and Arc Lab (released on n5MD, MMBP and Duotone), Fischer’s releases over the past 10 years have taken in warm ambience, avant electro-pop, impressionistic piano etudes and tough electronics. Dropping the pseudonyms, his latest eponymous work distils these disparate touchpoints into cohesive, thematically-driven compositions orbiting the intersection of modern classical music, textured ambient soundscapes, and music for film. In 2014 he self-released Four Songs For Peter Fechter, a lament for the wrongfully killed – a reckoning of injustice. Four Songs for the City of New York, which pays homage to a dynamic, incomparable city, is his first solo release on Hidden Shoal.

News

Reviews

  • “Eat Your Friends” Compilation Reviewed at DOA

    “Over almost a decade, Hidden Shoal records developed a reputation as a consistently innovative and experimental music label, giving to us music of remarkable qualities whether it was the instrumental excursions of Gilded, the blissed-out indie of My Majestic Star, the electronica of Marcus Mehr, the alt.folk stylings of Kramies – the HSR list of significant talents was a lengthy one. I say was, as in 2014 or thereabouts, the Hidden Shoal label underwent a reorganisation of sorts, and it began to seem that one of the more influential Australian record labels of the recent past was itself going into hiding. Perhaps so, although only to return refreshed, renewed, invigorated and with its varying artistic visions intact – the Eat Your Friends compilation proves that the Hidden Shoal label is properly with us again.

    One thing I’ve found when reviewing compilations is that not infrequently, when I put them into my music players, the tracks separate instead of remaining in their album folder, and that has happened with my copy of Eat Your Friends, encouraging me to view each of the tracks as a single release rather than view the album itself as a cohesive whole. Then there’s the fact that only some of its contributors are already known to me and so, ditching some of my preconceptions about what it’s going to sound like, I began listening to the 11 tracks in a random sequence, and prepared for the unexpected.

    Firstly, there’s singer/songwriter Erik Nilsson’s “Moksha Can Wait”, a song which electronic composer Marcus Mehr has taken and adapted to his subtly developed production sound, a track that begins almost inaudibly and builds to a staggering crescendo of soaring, roaring electronic sound and with Nilsson’s guitar and piano providing a counterpoint to Mehr’s swirling atmospherics. The ambient chill of City Of Satellites is given an added gloss by Tim Manzano, although I’m not so sure what he’s actually done with the track – it does sound a lot like the City Of Satellites I know from their Machine Is My Animal album, although as the track progresses and the rhythm and bass begin to disintegrate into a dubby conclusion it seems more apparent where Manzano has left his mark. Arc Lab’s “Through The Burning Glass” is remixed by Glanko, beginning with a club-level bassline before levelling into a noir tinged synth epic. And just when you thought the tracks on Eat Your Friends were entirely instrumentals, Rew perform a cover version of Umpire’s “Green Light District” and they do it with a vocal, alongside the strings and crashing cymbals and haltingly uncertain rhythms, a highlight of an album each of whose tracks is in one or another way remarkable.”

    DOA

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  • Medard Fischer “Four Songs for the City of New York” Reviewed at Luna Kafe

    “More ambient gold from the fab Hidden Shoal label. Medard Fischer’s soothing and tranquilising EP, Four Songs for the City of New York. Yes, the EP holds four songs. Dive into it.

    Medard Fischer is a Canuck, being a Toronto native residing in Sydney, Australia via New York. Fischer – known for his solo work under the monikers Arc Lab and Tyyson (check out labels such as Duotone, Music Made By People or n5MD) – put last year out an EP (under his own name) called Four Songs For Peter Fechter (self-released). Who’s Peter Fecther, one might say (though you might have heard the name sometimes)? Peter Fechter was an eighteen year-old East German bricklayer who became one of the first (and youngest) fatalities along the Berlin Wall. Facts (by Hidden Shoal): ‘On August 17, 1962, Fechter and a friend ran the wall near Checkpoint Charlie in the Kreuzberg district of central Berlin. Fechter was shot in the pelvis by an East German border guard during his attempt to scale the wall and fell back into the “death-strip” on the eastern side. He lay in agony in full view of western onlookers, and of border guards on each side of the wall. Despite his pleas, he was refused medical attention, and western bystanders were prevented at gunpoint from assisting him. He died of blood loss approximately an hour later. The senselessness of his death and the refusal of both East and West German border guards to render him aid was a flashpoint for anger in Berlin over division of the city and construction of the wall and led to the eruption of spontaneous demonstrations in the city.’ A sad, horrendous story from a gruesome time. Well, the times they are not a-changing… However, this time Fischer hails New York City. His music is still of the low-key kind. The spirit of the music is still lamental – grievous and sorrowful, even though he pays homage to ‘a dynamic, incomparable city’.

    Fischer is a sensible, sensitive and careful musician and componist, creating impressionist, ambient electronic music merging classical music and ambient pop in his delicate musical stew. His tender songs is gentle carresses and probably quiet memories brought into sound. The four, piano driven tracks – “The Imaginary City”, “Five Years Almost To The Day”, “Monument” and “A Light That Doesn’t Go Out” – well, they all bring out, or expose a present foundness and longing for a city you’ve left. I guess there are love and hate shoulder to shoulder. All the tracks are pleasant compositions that glide through the air. They leave the speakers to fill the room around you. Not in a scaring, or disturbing way, but in a most comforting way. Fischer musical efforts are warm and friendly. These are welcoming, gratifying songs. Come on, let Four Songs for the City of New York delight you. You will not regret it. This is the soundtrack for Colibri birds when they’re sleeping.

    Four Songs for the City of New York EP will be released on 3rd of September 2015. Fischer can also be heard as half of Hidden Shoal’s electronic duo Down Review (alongside fellow Canuck Tim Arndt a.k.a. Near The Parenthesis).

    PS! Net proceeds of the Peter Fechter EP sales was and will be donated to the UN Refugee Agency. Respect. Go get that one as well!”

    Luna Kafe

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  • Medard Fischer “Four Songs for the City of New York” Reviewed at Hypnagogue

    “Whichever point in day you choose to listen to Medard Fischer’s Four Songs for the City of New York will simply be the most beautiful 18 minutes of your day. Moving neo-classical tinted with the soft light of ambient, these are graceful and gorgeous comments that, though brief, come through with strong, human resonance. This is one of those times when words won’t suffice. Fischer’s piano holds the lead on these songs, but it’s supported by an airy ensemble of sounds with a cinematic quality to them. The release opens with the delicate tones of “The Imaginary City,” said tones getting nearly drowned in a rising wash and distorted vocal drops. “Five Years Almost to the Day” comes in hesitant and perhaps a little sad, but brightens as it has its say. “Monument” has a soft, sequenced feel, a comforting pulse over long string pads. It ends a note that is held like a mix of longing and expectation. “A Light That Doesn’t Go Out” took hold of my heart from the moment I heard it. For reasons I cannot explain, of the four tracks this one comes off the most like a love note to the city. In my head I see a montage of shots of empty city streets, the canyons between Manhattan skyscrapers, just after dawn, the city only thinking of waking. It is sunlight on high windows, a sparkle on the Hudson, the city glimpsed through the railings of a bridge as you reluctantly leave.

    Enough from me. Get this. Listen. And listen again. Few things are this beautiful.”

    Hypnagogue

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  • “Long Range Transmissions” Reviewed at Tome To The Weather Machine

    “I am an unabashed Hidden Shoal fan. The Australian label has been pumping out releases of lush, cinematic aspirations of ambient and neo-classical artists for a better part of it’s existence that, at times, is overcome by its eclectic output ranging from conspiracy-punks to 90’s slowcore revivalists to every deriviation of weirdos (Australian and otherwise) in between. Long Distance Transmissions, however, is a surprisingly cohesive collection of sprawling ambient, electro-acoustic, post-classical and just about ever derivation (Australian and otherwise) of lushly produced, slightly melancholic, wordless music in between. Highlights include Markus Mehr’s Tim Hecker-meets-Heinz Riegler meditative distorted synth composition “Hubble, the chopped and glitched electro-acoustic number by Kryshe, the minor key minimalist techno of Cheekbone and the emotional heft of the 80’s nostalgia of Slow Dancing Society’s bubbling arpeggios and soundtrack-worthy dynamics. It makes sense that Hidden Shoal also exists as a licensing company, many of these compositions, if not already, seem to soundtrack some deeply resonant scenes in films (never made).”

    Tome To The Weather Machine

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  • “Long Range Transmissions” Hidden Shoal Compilation Album

    “Happened across this as we were turning it in for the night, a new name your price downloadable compilation by Australia’s finest purveyors of elegantly drawn dream pop Hidden Shoals. Entitled ‘long range transmissions’ it features a gathering of talents, some familiar – Antonymes, Markus Mehr, Slow Dancing Society et al along with some not so such as gilded and cheekbone. However what attracted us apart from the obvious as ever high quality seductive ambience tonalities literally peeling from the grooves was a delightful little thing from Elisa Luu entitled ‘chromatic sigh’. A breathlessly beautiful slice of porcelain noir classicism, an all too brief heavenly visitation, the slow shift into focus of the sound of a celestial calling emerging into the open to bathe all in the tingling shower of warming radiance, an out of body astral gliding odyssey which for a moment utterly transfixes its delicately balanced and perfectly poised gaze to fix and fill you with ethereal enchantment. And so to something familiar, regular visitors to these pages will be all too aware of our affection for Chloe March who here with ‘old tree, mon coeur’ doesn’t disappoint in the slightest and into the bargain offers up this sweetly mesmerising rustic ghost light, a fairy dust sprayed dream draped lost in the moment beguiling bouquet that shyly treads in the kind of amorphous star twinkled worlds of Musetta albeit as though aided and abetted by a soiree of siren sighs from a chill tripped Laetita and Mary from Stereolab.”

    - The Sunday Experience

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  • “Lost In Transmissions” Compilation Reviewed at Wake The Deaf

    “You might recognise Hidden Shoal from our piece on Olive Skinned, Silver Tongued Sirens Sing Swan Songs, the latest album from REW<<. The label has recently released Long Range Transmissions, the first in a series of themed compilations which showcase the ambient/neo-classical acts in their catalogue. It’s the perfect place to introduce yourself to a diverse and interesting collective of musicians.

    While the collection comes from a particular genre, there is still room for much variation across the thirteen tracks. Antonymes and Kryshe favour fragile, graceful piano, Cheekbone push a sci-fi inspired electronica and Chloe March creates a lush chamber pop. Todd Tobias evokes a mixture of shimmering bliss and nostalgia, his track ‘Nan Madol’ playing like a super-cinematic missing number from the Twin Peaks soundtrack, while Stockholm’s Erik Nilsson’s gently tropical ‘Drawing/Dreaming’ feels like watching the sun set into the sea on the last night of your holiday. Other highlights include the goosebump-inducing melodrama of Slow Dancing Society’s ‘Pull’, Elisa Luu’s ethereal ‘Chromatic Sigh’ and the aching melancholy of closing track ‘Empty Cradles’ by Sleeping Me.”

    Wake The Deaf

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  • Medard Fischer “Four Songs For The City of New York” Reviewed at EtherReal

    [Translated from the original French via Google Translate]

    Developing electronic projects under a pseudonym and keep its own name neoclassical proposals: the schema is known and other musicians have been able to do so. It is the turn of Medard Fischer to do this: follow these pages for his records, appeared on n5MD under the name of Arc Lab or on Review Down duo, Canadian stays true to Hidden Shoal Recordings (Australian label hosting, specifically, his duet publications) for this event.

    Second of its kind (a first digital EP had previously been self-produced), this Four Songs For The City Of New York could simply align graceful piano notes, without further ambition, and it’s a little fear Like to listen to the first minute of the opening track. Fortunately, an electronic table enriches the atmosphere of The Imaginary City. Thereafter, if it is a quasi-stripped piano we find with this eternal aspect of contemplative and slightly elegiac, on the writ Almost Five Years To The Day, the last two tracks are sailing towards more ambient shores and more convincing.

    Monument with his swing, as tapped, especially A Light That Does not Go Out (a priori nothing to do with the piece of The Smiths), seven minutes long, is more ambitious tendencies receptacle. In fact, there converse few piano keys and a light texture, all bathed in a delicate melancholy and certainly constitutes the strong point of this EP.

    EtherReal

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Licensing

Medard Fischer’s music is  available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.

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