Fanax: the Mycenaean term for "king"; pronounced "wanax". The funny initial letter, "F", is called digamma and shows up in Archaic Greek epigraphy (papyrus and tablet writings). The sound, if not the letter form, and its linguistic equivalent initially show up in the heiroglyphic writings (Linear B) of Bronze Age Greece both at Pylos, in the far west of Greece (Peloponnese), and at Knossos in north central Crete, the funny "F". Specifically, digamma shows up in the Greek of Homer's Iliad with the word "F"anax, but there it's a "rough breathing" in the form "(h)anax", where the term is linked to an important individual at Pylos. In Classical and Hellenistic Greek, the F continues in this aspirant, or "h" sound, form at the beginning of many Greek words.

musicians in the family

May 19, 2009 ·

So, my grandfather, Charles Fisher, known to us as 'Gus', was a music professor at Northwestern, where he taught the young lady who was a piano student at the school and a voice student of his and became his wife and my grandmother Shirley, known to us as 'Gert'. Granpa Fisher was a choral director much of his life, retiring as conductor of the Boise Master Chorale.  My son, Ian, age 8, was recently recommended to the Cincinnait Boychoir by his music teacher.  Auditions were last night, May 18, and Ian was accepted into the Training Choir.  Rehearsals / training will start next fall.  As he trains up and develops, the next tier is the Resident Choir, which is a transition to the Tour Choir, which tours the world giving performances:  Honolulu, Carnegie Hall, Austria, German, the Czech Republic, Arizona, Canada, and on and on, as well as numerous TV appearances.

In celebration of this grand honor and just simply in celebration of Ian's high love of music, I want to share some other Fisher music.  Not only do my mother's sisters have phenomenal voices, including an aunt who majored in Voice and still sings professionally (love you, Laurie ;-), but my Granma Fisher took voice from my Granpa Fisher (yes, since I was a young lad I always spelled those honorifics without the "d").  At Gus's funeral a few years ago, he scripted the entire ceremony, including a set of pre-recorded music.  The fourth track on that CD was a set of recordings from his doctoral dissertation defense, which my grandmother had never even heard.  Here, for your listening pleasure, is my grandfather, Charles Fisher, singing Air from Comus (G F Handel) and The Divine Image (John Donne), as he performed them in 1953.

I played this track for Ian last night when he and Sue got back from the auditions:  Air from Comus / The Divine Image


Share and Enjoy,

miss you, Granpa!


Tags: family

2 responses

  • 1 Laurie Rosin // May 20, 2009 at 5:30 AM

    Jase, I clicked on the above track but my Quicktime Player got a question mark on it..I WANNA HEAR THIS!!! Help, please! (and thanks for the shout-out, much appreciated!!<3)
  • 2 Jason // May 20, 2009 at 7:02 AM

    I'll email it to you this evening! Silly Mac users ... ;-)
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