Hagiography by Isaac Schankler

for string quartet and processed electronics

A hagiography is a biographical text about a saint, often focusing on the miracles performed by that saint.   Isaac Schankler explores the metaphysical aspect of our search to understand our humanity, and perhaps the miracles that go along with that search. Isaac’s music is post minimalist with a twist, and for this work he will be using processed live electronics. For the piece he created a new max patch to manipulate the acoustic sound of the string quartet live.  The work starts with the quartet split into pairs, each duo fading in and out of the other duo’s woven patterns.  The stitching of the fabric changes focus, creating a sensation of knowing you are now in a different sound space long after the actual change has occurred.  The electronics capture the live sound of the quartet, chopping it up, or stretching it out, and sometimes both to create a feeling of glitchiness.  Later in the piece the quartet breaks down and glitches in it’s own right before returning to the groove.  As the piece climaxes the instrumental lines speed up the woven patterns and break them apart into four unique fabrics, pulling the listener through a tapestry that at times can sound like Wagner and Shostakovich, until returning to the murky streams from the opening.  


09/29/16 @ Center for New Music

03/12/16 @ Neighborhood Church of Pasadena