Because Patterns / Deep State


for prepared piano four hands, double bass, and electronics

Because Patterns/Deep State appears on the album Because Patterns, out May 31, 2019 on Aerocade Music.

Excerpt of interview with Meg Wilhoite:

Meg: At what part of the compositional process do creating the electronics and writing the instrumental parts first meet? Do you generally start with one or the other, or do you develop the two strands concurrently?

Isaac: I wish it was more tidy, but often it’s a kind of back and forth where the electronics will affect the instrumental material and vice versa, so sometimes the process takes a lot longer than I would like. Because Patterns was originally an acoustic prepared piano piece with plinky music box-like material that was composed with the help of some algorithms (specifically cellular automata). It was written for the Ray-Kallay Duo, and it demands a lot of precision and tight coordination from them. Deep State, which was written for Scott Worthington, is almost the opposite. It was originally a somewhat improvisatory piece with low bass drones being frozen and extended by electronics, and Scott provided a ton of valuable input that really shaped the piece. But while those pieces worked great live, they seemed strangely incomplete on a recording. We expect recorded music to saturate the frequency spectrum. Also the pieces seemed to be in dialogue with each other, working out some of the same kinds of ideas but at very different time scales. So I thought it would be fun to mash the pieces together, which made the mixing process vastly more complicated than I anticipated! I added a lot more electronic sounds after the fact, including sampled pianos that would frequently double the recorded pianos, bringing out different aspects of the sound like mechanical key noise, pedal resonance, things like that. For a while I had a lot of inner turmoil about whether or not I was allowed to do this, to ruin the real piano sound with “artificial” samples.

About the composer

Isaac Schankler

Isaac Schankler

Isaac Schankler is a composer, accordionist, and electronic musician living in Los Angeles. Their music has been described as “powerful” (Sequenza21), “delightful” (I Care If You Listen), “ingenious” (The Artificialist), “masterfully composed” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), and “the antidote to sentimentality” (LA Times). Schankler’s recent performances and commissions include works for the Nouveau Classical Project, the Ray-Kallay Duo, Friction…
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