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William Fitzsimmons

William Fitzsimmons is, by his own testimony, one of the oddest people you will ever meet. Born the youngest child of two blind parents in Pittsburgh, he grew up in a house filled with a myriad of sounds to replace what eyes could not see. The household was suffused with pianos, guitars, trombones, talking birds, classical records, family sing-a-longs, bedtime stories, and the bellowing of a pipe organ, which his father built into the house with his own hands. When his father's orchestral records were not resonating through the walls, his mother would educate him on the folk stylings of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Simon & Garfunkel. After achieving his goal of becoming a practicing therapist, William returned again to his love of crafting and playing songs. Somewhere between a singing therapist and a counselor who writes songs, he is often compared to contemporaries Sufjan Stevens, Iron and Wine, and the late Elliott Smith. He uses banjo, melodica, ukulele, mandolin, and sometimes electronic elements in his music. William's new release, "Gold In The Shadow," is a musical reflection of the personal resuscitation and psychological renovation, which took place in the years following his divorce. Based on a specific set of psychopathological disorders from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV), he describes the songs as "a real and long-coming confrontation with personal demons, past mistakes, and the specter of mental illness that has hovered over me for the great majority of my life." However, whereas nearly the whole of William's previous albums have dealt with the bleak and somber side of inter- and intrapersonal disaster, "Gold"is a work focused on healing. William continues: "I had reached the point where I was either going to yield to my sicknesses or engage them headlong. In either case, I could no longer continue the way I was."
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Event Type


  • General Admission $17, Reserved $24

When and Where

Off Campus Location - The Ark- 316 S. Main St.

February 2012


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