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Because Patterns

by isaac io schankler

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Each record has a unique color combination and pattern...because, patterns!

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Mobile I 10:30


In their aptly-named album Because Patterns, composer Isaac Schankler explores three approaches to creating and manipulating musical patterns, carrying out a full integration of electronic sonic environment, mathematical compositional procedure, and acoustic performance. The overall effect of the title track, “Because Patterns/Deep State,” is that of finespun electronic swells punctuated by the percussive sounds of the piano, performed by the Ray-Kallay Duo, who commissioned the piece. Incorporating a mathematical model called a cellular automaton, the musical patterns begin with a single seed and shift organically according to the rule assigned to it. As the title suggests, there is an element of Deep Listening in this piece—performed by double bassist Scott Worthington—as from minute 17:30 to 20:30 we settle into a sotto voce electronic hum that is present-only, with no sense of past or future. Subtly, quietly the piano returns, a distant echo from earlier in the piece, nestled deep within the electronic texture. 

The electronics and violin in “Mobile I” are interlaced by means of spectral analysis, as the electronic sounds are a reaction to violinist Sakura Tsai’s fragmented statements. The former keen and hum around the latter, creating the sense of a large, open structure in which the violinist is centrally situated. The final minutes of the piece shift to a more active texture, the electronics and violinist merging in polyrhythmic arpeggios. The final track, “Future Feelings,” performed by Nadia Shpachenko, features alternately swirling and languid piano figures overlaid with hissing static and Morse code-like blips panning between the ears. Later on in the piece, the electronics also provide occasional low, reverberant hums. While the piano hints at past styles of lush vibrations, the electronics pull the listener into the noise-filled, pulsating present.

- Meg Wilhoite


released May 31, 2019

Because Patterns/Deep State

Aron Kallay and Vicki Ray, prepared piano
Scott Worthington, bass

Aron Kallay and Vicki Ray recorded at Scott Fraser Recording Studio
Recording engineer: Scott Fraser

Scott Worthington recorded at Cal Poly Pomona Studio B
Recording engineer: Isaac Schankler

Mixing: Isaac Schankler

Mobile I

Sakura Tsai, violin

Recorded at the Evelyn & Mo Ostin Music Center at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
Recorded by Vanessa Parr
Edited and Mixed by Ben Phelps and Isaac Schankler

Future Feelings

Nadia Shpachenko, piano

Recording engineer: Barry Werger
Recorded at Cal Poly Pomona Recital Hall
Mixing: Isaac Schankler

All tracks composed by Isaac Schankler
Tracks 1 and 3 produced by Isaac Schankler
Track 2 produced by Ben Phelps and Isaac Schankler
Mastered by George Horn and Anne-Marie Suenram
Liner Notes by Meg Wilhoite
Design by Meerenai Shim


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isaac io schankler Los Angeles, California

Isaac (they/them) makes various kinds of music for concerts and interactive media.

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