Jack Gabel

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Portland, Oregon

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Jack Gabel, (b. 1949 -) presently lives in Portland, Oregon. He has traveled extensively, throughout Europe, Africa and Asia and worked many summers as a commercial fisherman in Alaska.

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."

Today, Gabel's work is infused with widely varied ethnic and ancient colors and motives, most notably those of the ancient, native cultures of North America.

His 1997 article on electronic music for the All Music Guide can be found at allmusic.com

In addition to his NPM releases, Jack Gabel's discography includes

Whale Hunt Dream on the MMC (2000) release Viola Concertos, Vol. II by Karen Dreyfus with the Silesian Philharmonic, Jerzy Svoboda conducting

Etude de la Saison for solo koto, by Elizabeth Falconer on the Sparkling Beatnik (2000) release, Water Colors

Auto-Mobile from original poetry for tenor sax, processed string bass and narrator/percussionist on a percussion battery infused with junked car parts, on the The Third Angle New Music Ensemble's Gagliano Records (1999) release, The Junkyard Concert

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  1. Agnieszka Laska