Isaac Schankler is a composer, pianist, accordionist, and electronic musician living in Los Angeles. Lauded as “extraordinarily eclectic” and “masterfully composed” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), his music is inspired by interactive technologies, improvisation, indeterminacy, spoken language, narrative, and puzzles. He has won awards and grants from Meet the Composer, the National Opera Association, the American Composers Forum, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the American Prize. He has been commissioned by ensembles and organizations including the Friction Quartet, Gnarwhallaby, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Lorelei Ensemble, Juventas New Music Ensemble, and bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood.
As a frequent collaborator with artists in other media, Schankler has worked with acclaimed video game designers Christine Love (Analogue: A Hate Story), Zoe Quinn and Patrick Lindsey (Depression Quest), and Mitu Khandaker (Redshirt); poets Amaranth Borsuk (The Familiar Spirit) and Jillian Burcar (Light and Power); and video artists Christopher O’Leary (Blocking the Exits) and Quintan Ana Wikswo (Sonderbauten).
As a performer and researcher, he is an advocate for musical improvisation between humans and machines, working extensively with MIMI (Multimodal Interaction for Musical Improvisation), a software system for human-computer improvisation designed by Alexandre François. He has presented and performed with MIMI at events including New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) at the University of Michigan, Mathematics and Computation in Music (MCM) at the Institute de Recherché Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris, and the International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research (CMMR) in London.
Schankler is the artistic director of People Inside Electronics, a concert series devoted to the performance of live electroacoustic music in Los Angeles. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from the University of Southern California, as well as Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in composition from the University of Michigan. He teaches music technology at the University of Southern California and music theory at Chapman University.