Have you ever dreamed of finding a '62 Corvette in a farmer's barn in mint condition?...Or a '59 Fender Stratocaster or Gibson Les Paul in mint condition hidden under the bed at your great uncle's house?....Or a never-before-heard- or-released early Clapton recording in the record label vaults... well produced and in mint condition? Well. We haven't discovered the car or guitar, but we have found the equivalent of the early Clapton production via a Kansas singer, songwriter, guitar player named Toby Fisher. This finally-released recording definitely will be an great addition to our Clapton collection. We caught up with Toby on a Sunday afternoon to find out more about this exciting find.... Q: Toby, Your Anvian Voyage project has been something you have had in your music vault for some time. Can you tell us about the capsule of time when this project was written and originally recorded? A: In the summer of 1970 I went on a camping trip for the first time, to the Colorado Rockies. It was a very magical,creative time for me. I had always loved music and admired musicians, and somehow in this environment in the mountains, it occurred to me that I wanted to become a musician. In fact, during that trip I envisioned creating an album of original material that I hoped I would be able to record sometime in the near future. The only problem was that I didn't know how to play guitar - I didn't even own one. When I left Colorado and returned home, I kept that vision with me through a very circuitous journey, I bought a guitar for $55 and began to teach myself to play. Immediately, in keeping with my Colorado vision, I began trying to compose my own songs. Throughout my musical career I have emphasized and focused on songwriting, composition and improvisation. After thousands of hours of practicing, writing, and developing my style, and 21 years after my original vision, in February, 1991, I first went into a recording studio to record what became Anvian Voyage. ----------------------------- Q: It has an obvious Clapton influence, but yet original. Was Eric a big influence at the time? A: Yes, I first heard Eric Clapton with the Cream in 1967 on the album Disraeli Gears, and I immediately became a fan of Clapton and Cream. Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix were the guitarists that most influenced my playing style when I began. I also enjoyed the guitar work of George Harrison from Sgt. Pepper's through Let it Be. The 1969 Blind Faith album is another of my favorites from that time period. To me, alot of the music of the late 1960's was incredibly creative and original. ------------------------------- Q: What is an 'Anvian Voyage'? A: The word 'Anvian' actually came to me in a dream. I remember someone speaking the word to me in the dream, and telling me how to spell it. When I woke up, I went to check the dictionary to see if I could find that word, and possibly what it meant. There was no such word in the dictionary. Eventually, I came up with the title 'Anvian Voyage', which to me is a metaphor of the original vision I had for this album in 1970. ----------------------------- Q: Why has it not been released until now? A: The original tracking for the recording that was done in 1991 by Larry Funk was of excellent quality, but in the mixing process, technological limitations surfaced, and the album didn't meet my expectations so I put it back on the shelf. Eventually, I had the original 2' analog tapes transferred to hard drive, with the plan being to remix the album. I had heard of Billy Stull from two different sources, both of whom were amazed at the Masterpiece analog mastering processor that Billy had developed with Rupert Neve. I made contact with Billy, and over a period of time, we collaborated on remixing the Anvian Voyage project to give the music the presentation it deserved, without technical distractions. In December 2008, we met at Salmon Peak Studio in San Antonio, and over 3 days, with the help of Mark Sinko, we remixed Anvian Voyage. We were very pleased with the sound. ----------------------------- Q: I understand it has an accompanying book and poster of an original Work of Art that goes with it? Tell us about that. A: I commissioned a very close friend of mine, David Pummill to create the cover art work. We collaborated on the concept and he did an incredible job of capturing my vision. His painting inspired me to write a story, which I titled 'To Anvia'. Anvia is the Land of Lost Dreams and Visions. The story follows the adventure of three friends that visit Anvia and in the process discover truths about themselves and Life. It's a fun and whimsical but introspective and entertaining story. ----------------------------- Q: Are you still writing and recording? A: Yes, in fact I am beginning a new recording project this month with Billy Stull at Salmon Peak. ----------------------------- Q: Anything else you want to tell the music fans out there? A: I would like to extend a personal invitation to them to take the Anvian Voyage with me. This is music I lived and experienced, and I believe there are many other travelers out there who will recognize and remember the journey.
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