Paul A. Epstein (b. 1938) — Isorhythms (2017) for organ
“Isorhythms” (2017) creates a single line made from two isorhythmic melodies, one with a 5-note color and a 7-note talea and the other with a 4-note color and 9-none talea. The four patterns are prime to one another. The piece begins them all in sync and completes a full cycle. Changes of articulation, register, or key occur at the beginning of each talea and when 2 or 3 patterns come into sync.
American composer Paul A. Epstein (b. 1938) was educated at Brandeis University and the University of California at Berkeley. His teachers included Harold Shapero, Seymour Shifrin, and Luciano Berio. Epstein’s music is generally classified as postminimalist, and his catalog includes two operas and much vocal music, as well as instrumental works for large and small ensembles. Epstein was Professor of Music Theory at Temple University where he taught from 1969 to 2001. He has also been active in collaborative work with theater and dance. From 1969–72, he was associated with the New York environmentalist theater group The Performance Group and from 1974–87 was composer and music director for ZeroMoving Dance Company of Philadelphia.