Sunday, September 1, 2019

Jack Gabel

Jack Gabel has written numerous concert hall works for many different combinations of instruments and voices, with and without electroacoustic accompaniments and/or enhancements. He also creates mixed-media works alone and with collaborators, using musique concrete and poetry, frequently his own, some of which has been published apart from its use in contemporary performance pieces and more traditional settings for singers.

Though classically trained with composers Derek Healey, Tomas Svoboda and poet Ralph Salisbury, Gabel recounts as his most memorable musical experience, the impromptu jam session he had with an Afghan tribesman in a Herat tea house in 1972 -- the composer on mouth organ and the local talent holding forth on his handmade, rough-hewn, 3-string lute. The two miraculously found a common modality straight away and carried on for several hours. "No concert-hall premiere or recording session can to date compare," adds the composer, "nor likely ever will."

Representative WorksWhale Hunt Dream for solo viola and orchestra (2000) Karen Dreyfus (solo viola) Selisian Philharmonic, Jerzy Svoboda (conducting); Farewell to Wang Wei for acapella choir (2009), Portland Vocal Consort with Ryan Heller(conducting). Auto-Mobile (1981). Lynn Baker, tenor sax; Moyer, contrabass w/electonrics; Kevin Walters, percussion.

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Oregon Connection: Jack Gabel, (b. 1949) has lived in Oregon (Portland, Eugene, Corvallis) on and off since 1969. He presently resides in Portland. He has traveled extensively, throughout Europe, Africa and Asia and worked many summers as a commercial fisherman in Alaska.