gabel image

photo © Chris Leck

New and Upcomming Events

Jack Gabel's Through a gentle Rain, performed by Tessa Brinckman and Mitsuki Dazai, on the NPM CD release Glass Sky as sound track in new slide-show Okinawa 1965-66 by Katherine O'Connor

view large frame on You Tube

Jack Gabel's Surnella neglecta (piano solo), performed by Alexander Schwarzkopf; May 20, 2017, on Cascadia Composers Sense of Place concert, at Colonial Heights Prebyterian Church, Portland, Oregon

Recent Events
Surnella neglecta prmiere review
Surnella neglecta prmiere review
Surnella neglecta prmiere review

Sara Daneshpour (piano)
Portland Piano International commission premiere
November 3 - 6, 2016
McMinnville, Milwaukie, Portland, Hood River, Oregon

Skeleton Piano Dances

SOUNDING THE FURIES for alto sax and digital media
Tom Bergeron (sax), Takafumi Uehara (video)
October 3 - 4, 2015
BODYVOX Studio, Portland, Oregon


FJORD for SATB a capella choir
October 5th, 2014
First Presbyterian Church of Portland
Portland, Oregon



May 17th Agnes Flanagan Chapel,
Lewis & Clark College

May 18th Lincoln Recital Hall
Portland State University

Resonance performed new music from the Pacific Northwest and Scandinavia exploring the beauty and spiritual connection of the natural world. Performance included the world premiere of Jack Gabel's The Moon's Passing Smile.

The Stravinsky Project
       Jack Gabel's
       'Ritual March of the Ancestors Moderne'

one of 10 one-minute marches, based on themes from Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring', commissioned by Bob Priest for Portland's 2013 March Music Moderne, perfromed by the Free Marz String Trio

Friday 8 March
Community Music Center
8 pm - free



Brian McWhorter and Florian Conzetti perfrom DIAMETER X
in the lobby of Portland Center Stage Gerding Theatre at the Armory
photo by Takafumi Uehara


Part the First Thursday February 7 (2013) Arts Walk in the Pearl - a rare opportunity to hear the entire set performed (DIAMETER I through XII - scores detailed here).

DIAMETERS is a set of 12 duets, each for a different orchestral instrument and set of percussion instruments. Each is under five minutes in duration and designed to be programmable in any combination. This video is from the premiere performance of the entire set at the Gerding Theater at the Armory, Portland, Oregon, February 7, 2013 — a rare opportunity to hear the entire set performed (DIAMETER I through XII, back to back).

Moreover, the performance was uniquely staged in the Gerding Theater lobby, with percussion instruments spread across the main floor and musicians arrayed around the Mezzanine balcony. Not a typical "concert," as the audience mingled around performers and instruments.

Much is written in the early 21st C. about crashing the so-called 'iron curtain' between Western Classical Music (in the concert hall tradition) and Popular Music (in the street or public house tradition). Unfortunately, the discussion is too often over musical language, style, affectation, attitude, etc.. Staging and accessibility are perhaps as important, if not more so. Typically, hybrid or crossover creations are held up as breakthrough successes, but too often leave little substance in their wake. Another option is presenting aesthetically substantial work in unusual contexts. Either as a 'destination' event or a 'discovery', challenging expectations and achieving memorable stature.

This performance and post-production is supported in part by Cascadia Composers, Northwest New Music, Portland Center Stage Gerding Theatre at the Armory, Ronni Lacroute / WillaKenzie Estate, Regional Arts and Culture Council, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Music Teachers Association; Anna Laska, Kasia Kosciuszko; Agnieszka Laska Dancers

Jack Gabel has written numerous concert hall works for many different combinations of instruments and voices, with and without electroacoustic accompaniments. He also creates mixed-media works. As Agnieszka Laska Dancers' Resident Composer, his musical output for the past 10 years is primarily programatic work for the dance theatre stage -- intimate dances like SPRING QUARTET and the award-wining multi-media-performance movie THE FALL '01. Returning to his DIAMETERS series (started 1980 as a graduate student and completed 2011 on an Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship), a rarely heard, abstract side to Gabel's music comes to the fore.

Island Phantasy

Presented by Cascadia Composers, a chapter of the National Association of Composers, USA. Recorded live on October 20, 2012, at St. Anne's Chapel, Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, OR.
      Performed by Tylor Neist (violin 1), Lucia Conrad (violin 2), Marissa Winship (viola), and Diane Chaplin (cello).


Six Diameters (II, III, V, VIII, X, XI)

Oregon Music Teachers Association Composer of the Year performance
Skamania Lodge, Stevenson, Washington
     Performed by Brita Horlings, cello; Noah Weiner, oboe; Samuel Zacharia, viola; Annika Horlings, clarine; Jonathan DeBruyn, violin; Nick Halsey, trumpet; Ian Kerr, percussion
     July, 29, 2012
(vcl., vln., ob., cl, vla, tpt., perc.)

     electroacoustics from the Dog Star CD

rendering of Gerard Manley Hopkins poem,
      I am like a slip of comet
with video montage by Agnieszka Laska

Cherry Blossom Musical Arts
Visual Music 2012

     March 29, 2012, 8:00 pm
Bodyvox, 1201 NW 17th Avenue,

Fifth Quasi-Annual International Teeny Tiny Film Festival
     March 31 @ 7 pm
Estacada Auditorium
500 N. Main Street
Estacada, Oregon

     solo busker wth dancer and electroacoustics
     from the Dog Star CD

Agnieszka Laska Dancer Heidi Nelson with Harrison Welter

March 5, 2012
Preview Party & Panel Discussion
Hipbone Studio * FREE


REMEMBER ME      SATB a capella

Performed by Portland Vocal Consort: Best of the Northwest Concert

Joined by the Pacific University Chamber Choir,Portland Vocal Consort presents world and northwest choral premieres of works by Northwest composers:

February 25 at the First Presbyterian Church, 1200 S.W. Alder

February 26 at Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center on the campus of Pacific University in Forest Grove.

     electroacoustics from the Dog Star CD

rendering of Gerard Manley Hopkins poem,
      I am like a slip of comet
with video montage by Agnieszka Laska - presented by Scrratch PDX

     February 11, 2012
Hipbone Studio
1847 E. Burnside
Portland, Oregon     MAP

     electroacoustics from the Dog Star CD

rendering of Gerard Manley Hopkins poem,
      I am like a slip of comet
with video montage by Agnieszka Laska - premiere presentd by Cascadia Compores on Sighs and Spirits

     October 29, 2011
Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church
2828 SE Stephens Street
Portland, OR 97214     MAP

     electroacoustics from the Dog Star CD

rendering of Gerard Manley Hopkins poem,
      I am like a slip of comet
with original choreography by Agnieszka Laska - premiered by Ciudad Interior

     October 29, 2011
Museo de la ciudad
Queretaro, Mexico

Elegy on a theme by Jean Sebelius for solo cello

Performed by Diane Chaplin
     March 19, 2011
PSU, Portland, Oregon


Mama's Song for solo violin

Performed by Lisa McWorter
     Nov. 5, 2010
Cherry Blossom Musical Arts, Central Lutheran Church, Eugene, Oregon


Three Diameters (IX, XI, X) (fl., vln., trpt., perc.)

Performed by Celine Thackston, flute; Tatiana Kolchanova, violin; Brian McWhorter, trumpet; Florian Conzetti, percussion
     Oct. 30, 2010
Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, Portland, Oregon
     Oct. 29, 2010
Walters Cultural Arts Center, Hillsboro, Oregon


Farewell to Wang Wei for a cappella choir

Performed by Portland Vocal Consort
     Mar 9, 2010
First Congregational Church, Portland, Oregon
     Mar 10, 2010
Nazarene Church, Longview, Washington

Spring Quartet for sting quartet

KUHF Chamber Ensemble
     Nov. 2, 2009
Menil Collection, Houston, TXexas

Music of Jack Gabel on NPM releases

Jack Gabel

Turtle Island Dreams

Turtle Island Dances

Jack Gabel

Dog Star

20-years of

Jack Gabel

Spring Quartet
and selected works for strings
performed by fEARnoMUSIC

Truhisa Fukuda

Shakuhachi Banquet

Tessa Brinckman

Glass Sky

East West Continuo

Seventh Species

Playerless Pianos
music for pianos
playerless and otherwise

Music of Jack Gabel on other labels

Viola Concertos

Karen Dreyfus
Silesian Philharmonic
Jerzy Swoboda (Cond.)
Viola Concertos, Vol. 2


    Concert Live 1990

Bunkyo University
Wind Orchestra
Concert Live 1990

(Victor Japan)

    Water Colors

Elizabeth Falconer
solo koto
Water Colors

(Sparkling Beatnick)

    Third Angle Percussion Quartet - The Junkyard Concert [Live]

Third Angle Percussion Quartet
The Junkyard Concert [Live] (Gagliano)

CATALOG OF MUSICAL WORKS - info: 503.233.0512

Sample works - audio

Island Phantasy (1988)
string quartet
from 2005 North Pacific Music CD release
"Spring Quartet and selected works..." by fEARnoMUSIC

complete - 13:16


Farewell to Wang Wei (2009)
acapella choir
Portland Vocal Consort
Ryan Heller(conducting)

complete - 10:19


Remember Me (1994)
acapella choir
Dale Warland Singers
Dale Warland(conducting)

complete - 02:32


POOL (1980)
paino (prepared) + percussion & electroacoustic playback
Seattle Composers Forum (1987)
Nippomn Kan Theatre

complete - 16:43


Whale Hunt Dream MMC2079 (2000)
solo viola & orchestra
Selisian Philharmonic
Karen Dreyfus (solo viola)
Jerzy Svoboda (conducting)

complete - 11:57

Akademische Fantasie Variationen (1994)
solo piano - Chris Schindler

complete - 11:13


Auto-Mobile (1981)
sax, bass-w/electronics, perc.;
Baker, Moyer, Walters

complete - 09:38


3 DIAMETERS (IX, XI, X) (1980-90)
     DIAMETER IX (flute and tom toms)
Cleine Thackson, fl; Florian Conzati, toms
     DIAMETER XI (violin and marimba)
Tatiana Kolchanova, vl; Florian Conzati, marimba
     DIAMETER X (trumpte and cymbals)
Brian McWorter, tpt; Florian Conzati, suspended and antique cymbals

complete - 14:46


Etude de la Saison (2000)
solo koto, Falconer
from Water Colors - SBR0018

excerpt - 00:59

Equinox from Passiones (2001)
for Nomadas del sol, dance company

complete - 04:38

Hopi Flute Song (1992)
orchestra (midi version)

excerpt - 4:25

In The Land of Wu (1989)
SATB choir & string quartet
Oregon Rep. Singers & Virtuosi della Rosa

excerpt - 3:40

Lion Hunt Dream (1988)
saxophone quartet
Joseph Wytko Saxophone Quartet

excerpt - 5:07

Sounding the Furies (1990)
solo alto saxophone & electroacoustics
Tom Bergeron, solo alto saxophone

excerpt - 7:35

Sample works - video

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THE FALL '01 from Jack Gabel on Vimeo.

DIAMETER IX from Jack Gabel on Vimeo.

Hellenic Triptych - choreography: Agnieszka Laska
from Agnieszka Laska on Vimeo.

AUTO-TOMY from Jack Gabel on Vimeo.

Comet Crash 9 from Agnieszka Laska on Vimeo.

Music: Elegy, by Jack Gabel, Phil Hansen, solo cello
from Agnieszka Laska on Vimeo.

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 History of Electronic Music for the All Music Guide can be found at

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

CATALOG OF MUSICAL WORKS - info: 503.233.0512

sample score

Jack Gabel In Review

" Whale Hunt Dream... evocative, mysterious tone poem of considerable beauty."
-- David W. Moore, The American Record Guide

" In the Land of Wu...a remarkably quieting piece, it has an affecting sense of great emotional space."
-- John Duffy, Choral Magazine

"...the most forward-looking work of the evening, Jack Gabel's gorgeous Farewell to Wang Wei, which invigorated this program..." -- Brett Campbell, Willamette Week

"...Through a Gentle Rain places the Japanese stringed koto in delicate conversation with the alternating timbres of flute, piccolo and alto flute," -- Donald Rosenberg, The Gramophone

"I am especially taken by the Gabel, an exploration of different colors created by the flute and Japanese Koto." -- Christopher Chafee, American Record Guide

"Gabel's voice is a broad lyricism, nuanced electronics, New Age moodiness, modernist roots and humor."
-- David Stabler, The Oregonian

"...the aural ecstasy of Turtle Island...One of the most original and challenging CDs I've heard all year...a dreamtime journey that is as contemplative as it is hallucinatory."
-- Matthew Moon, Crossroads

"...intriguingly brainy yet intensely heartfelt Portland composer..." -- Grant Menzies, Willamette Week

"...Gabel's appealing work sounded like no one else's... a unique and valuable Northwest voice."
-- Brett Campbell, Eugene Weekly

"Through a Gentle Rain is a piece by American composer, Jack Gabel, influenced by his experience of Japanese life and culture and writing for flute and koto mellifluously and evocatively." -- Peter Mechen, Music Matters New Zealand

" Hellenic Triptych... hails from another musical world... epitomizes imagination and courage..."
-- Eleonora M. Beck, Sforzando

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