Shawn's Story

 

Shawn started learning to play violin at the age of six. It started in a small bookstore of Peterborough - a city in the Kawartha Lakes of Ontario - while sitting on a pile of nature encyclopedias for his chair. This is where Shawn took lessons with an old and very cliché warlock of a violin teacher. He was shaky, quiet, a little scary, but he was the wisest man Fisher had ever met. The teacher had a rule that on every child's first visit to the store they were allowed a free book. Shawn left his lesson that day holding an armful of warm encyclopedias.  Ten years of lessons, two towns and five teachers - each, with their own unique influences - were factors that shaped Fisher's early musical education and rounded his interest in all genres of violin and fiddle.


At the age of twelve, Shawn moved to Wasaga Beach following his father's career. Moving from the city to a small town brought an overwhelming amount of change to his life. At one point, giving up the violin due to a combination of boredom, stagnancy and social pressure, Shawn believed it would be the last time he would bow the strings of his fiddle; however, this was far from the truth. During his attendance at Collingwood's Jean Vanier Catholic High School, he was accepted to an outdoor education program known as, "Geoventure". This class had an amazing curriculum that involved survival skills training, co-op placements, team-building activities, leadership and multiple camping trips in the great outdoors of Ontario. During Geoventure, Shawn rediscovered his passion for music after developing a friendship with fellow classmate James Stephens - a guitarist and songwriter who happened to also live on Shawn's street. One day, on the shore of Haliburton Lake, Shawn plucked a melody on the ukulele while James added guitar chords, and lyrics. They wrote a song! The song was later recorded for their class documentary, and soon after, the two began writing, recording and performing as Steepsol, an experimental indie duo. This was what Shawn had been missing. The connection that music forms between people and how to channel his creativity through it. It's the motivation for his career in music today.


Now, at twenty-three, Shawn has produced violin on five albums, recorded at four professional studios and has performed in multiple groups playing classical, folk, classic rock, pop, jazz, alternative, singer-songwriter, heavy rock, funk and more. Lately, he has been making waves in the music scene of Guelph. This growing success started through his involvement with Boyscout, a locally popular rock band lead by Nathanael Bachynski. As a group, they have been playing together for three years, influencing the local scene, opening opportunities for emerging artists, selling out a majority of shows and organizing an annual non-profit concert called Music for Change. This concert series has raised thousands in funds for organizations such as, Shades of Hope Animal Refuge, Guelph Food Bank and Community Led Animal Welfare. More recently, Shawn is taking on an ambitious role playing in a six piece band of jazz influence, led by Graham Steinman. Fisher's talent with the violin is known by his peers for beautiful expression, improvisation, ability with simplicity and complexity, clean articulation and anomalous experimental techniques.

Shawn's motto in life is to, "always be yourself: be weird, be fun, be thankful, strive to be everything you dream to be, and never humour a thought that you can't do exactly that."