Articles by Isaac Schankler
It’s all fine and good to make music for its own sake, but that’s not quite enough for me, and I don’t think it should be enough.
Whenever I’m asked to elucidate my creative process, it occurs to me that the vast majority of what I’ve learned is nothing remotely deep or profound, and in many cases it doesn’t even seem applicable to anyone else.
With the future of Sibelius in question, I’ve been thinking about my issues with the notation software that’s currently available. While I know there are a variety of existing options out there, I’ve been having more fun imagining hypothetical alternatives.
For a while it seemed to me like every successful composer was telling the same story about their working habits—get up early in the morning, maybe have breakfast, then write music for several hours straight. It’s funny how this pattern used to feel like a prison to me, and now it feels like a vacation.
My main issue with the traditional concert ritual is not that it’s intimidating, necessarily, but that it’s based on an unspoken and faulty assumption.
The idea that elites congratulate themselves on their eclectic tastes, while not recognizing that they are class-determined, is thought-provoking and significant. The reality, however, is certainly at least a little more complicated; for one thing, you certainly don’t need to be painfully wealthy to have eclectic tastes.
Morricone’s theme for The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is almost certainly the most recognizable piece of music that he’s written. It’s been referenced and parodied so many times that it’s become easy to take for granted, and harder to hear just how strange and original it is.
Musicians and researchers must work together to build a streaming music service that is musically and technologically sophisticated, appealing to audiences, fair to musicians, and conducive to direct engagement between the two. We must be involved in this next phase of creation, or we leave the future of music up to others.
The more I hang out with scientists and engineers—and this seems to happen more and more often these days—the more I feel like an incorrigible composer. No matter how much knowledge and lingo I absorb, it sometimes seems that our goals or areas of concern are fundamentally different.
When I listen to this kind of music, I imagine I am like an animal listening to human music, perceiving some dim reflection off a distant surface.