Cellist Isaiah Gage’s ‘Some Day’ is a Jubilant Folktronica Album Born of Friendship

Together, Gage and guitarist Drew Taubenfeld, recording under the sobriquet Dt/IG, have created an engaging 11-track album that blends Americana and folk with electronic music and jazz. 

By Greg Cahill | From the May-June 2024 issue of Strings Magazine

“We started over the pandemic. At first, it was just a friendship blossoming,” says cellist Isaiah Gage, describing the inception of Some Day (Slow & Steady Music), his jubilant CD collaboration with guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Drew Taubenfeld. “Drew had interest in playing the cello, and I loaned him my old green—yes, painted green!—cello. After a few pointers, he was already sounding great, of course. From there we started to play on our primary instruments, him on nylon-string guitar and me on cello. And it just worked—it just flowed.”

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Some Day, Dt/IG (Slow & Steady Music)

Together, Gage and Taubenfeld, recording under the sobriquet Dt/IG, have created an engaging 11-track album that blends Americana and folk with electronic music and jazz. 

Some Day is the latest effort in an impressive career. The classically trained Gage, who started playing cello at age seven, could be seen onstage at American Idol as a member of the 2021 house band. As an in-demand L.A.-based session musician and performer, he has contributed (often as a soloist) to the scores of such hit TV shows and films as The Good Fight, Evil, SEAL Team, Arrested Development, Dear White People, and The Good Place, among others. He has performed with Pharrell Williams, Adele, John Legend, the Eagles, and Pink Martini, and played on records by Ringo Starr (with Paul McCartney on bass), Edie Brickell, Jennifer Lopez, and Steve Martin.

Gage plays a hybrid instrument constructed of various cello parts. “We don’t really know the provenance,” he says. His bow is a Daguin. “It’s light, and I like the way it draws.” He uses Larsen A, D, and G strings and a Thomastik-Infeld Spirocore C string.

Strings asked Gage about his latest duo project.

Some Day has a strong Americana influence.

Yes, Drew is definitely well versed in the Americana traditions, and I was not when we first started writing together. I think the album blends a bit of both of our influences well. 

What was the songwriting process?

Each of us has very different processes. But the most success we found was in bringing the outline or even a kernel of an idea to the other person, and then having them add a section or a melody. And then just playing the tune over and over until it felt super clear. 


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Tell me about the solo cello piece “Celli Prototype.” How did that originate?

Just from my mind in the room. Drew has this beautiful solo guitar piece on the record called “Rest Awhile,” which is so inspiring, and we thought, “Why not add a solo cello thing?” I just sort of improvised it on the day of. Some of the little themes were things I had in my head already, and then it was just making mental stitches in the room. 

What were your goals when you set out to make the album? 

Just to make music we felt fulfilled by. Truly, nothing more. 

What obstacles did you encounter, given that you set out during the lockdown?

I’d say very few. I think we both really like each other. The challenge recently has been keeping the ball rolling and continuing to write between busy schedules and life stuff. But we will get there. 

What’s the key to success?

Time, patience. 


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Are you happy with the results of the recording?

We couldn’t be happier. We felt fulfilled even when it was us just playing the finished songs in the room, so the record was just icing on the cake. 

What was your classical training?

I was so blessed to go to the legendary Third Street Music School Settlement in the East Village of New York City. I studied with Maureen McDermott there, and she taught me so much and was everything I could have wanted in a teacher as a young musician. I went on to the Boston University College of Fine Arts to study with Michael Reynolds. I did some summer camps, Music at Port Milford, the Disney Orchestra, and a bit of the Perlman Program. 

How did that training benefit you as a working musician?

Maureen taught me technique and discipline and how to use my voice through my instrument. She lit the fire in my dedication to growing as a player, always. College brought its own challenges, but I learned how to schedule my time. Sort of! 


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How do you see your arc as a player?

I don’t conceive of it as an arc, more like a journey that has had many turns. Every setback or challenge has been an opportunity to learn more about the instrument, but most importantly about myself.

What are your long-term goals?

Get better at the instrument always, and continue to create new music and friendships along the way. 

Any advice for those struggling to decide if they should pursue their dream of becoming a musician?

Listen. Learn. Be open to styles of music and ways of creating music outside of your comfort zone. Try your best, and be kind to everybody.