Isto is a composer/performer/adventurer. Born Christopher Frank White in 1983, he grew up in Hamilton, NY and is a graduate of Wesleyan University, where he studied music composition under Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier, Neely Bruce and others. In 1999, on a pilgrimage to Rodentia, Chris White was given the title “Isto” by the King of the Squirrels, and instructed to use it on all of his publicity material, official documents, and tax forms. He has followed these instructions dutifully.
Isto has played guitar since he was nine, and has been singing and creating new music since the day he emerged, bearded, from his mother’s womb. Although his formal training is mostly in music and the playing/composing of it, Isto considers himself first and foremost a criminal mastermind, and spends the lion’s share of his waking hours plotting an illicit and iniquitous cornucopia of increasingly elaborate and self-serving misdeeds. The self-proclaimed “Greatest Criminal Mind of Our Time,” he is a diseased maniac who will stop at nothing in his relentless pursuit of falsity, injustice, and world domination. His hobbies include tying women to railroad tracks and eating tuna salad sandwiches. He is also fond of chocolate milk.
In the winter of 2007, the music video of Isto’s “The Banana Song” was featured on the front page of youtube.com. As of the writing of this piece, Isto’s youtube videos have received a total of 1,635,162 hits.
Although he has written hundreds of songs that do not necessarily reflect this, Isto’s current approach to music involves the cultivation of structural sensibilities that are heavily inspired by Frank Zappa’s Lumpy Gravy album and other works in that vein, but put to use in the context of a one-man guitar act. Isto approaches his structural ideas in what is frequently an improvised manner, and one which is very much inspired by the great musics of Mr. Anthony Braxton. For his basic sonic materials and musical fragments, Isto employs a constantly changing variety of vocalizations that owe equal debts to voices as diverse as Frank Sinatra and Mel Blanc. Isto’s lyrics are generally very absurd, and he has developed a personal approach to fingerstyle jazz guitar.
For more information about Isto and his plans for you in this and the next life, visit the following sites:
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