“During MARK ABEL’S varied career, he was a rock musician and songwriter, as well as a record producer, followed by years as a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Subsequently, Abel returned to music, as a composer, and his style now is an eclectic mix of rock and classical elements.
Time and Distance, the fourth release by Delos Records of his vocal music, consists of classical art songs—some of them standalone works, others complete song cycles. All are accompanied by piano, while some also include percussion or electric organ. The album feels unified; you could imagine
itsbeing performed in concert in its entirety.
There are also many beautiful moments throughout the disc. The opening and closing songs, “The Invocation” and “The Benediction,” have much to offer, as do Those Who Loved Medusa. Abel varies the overall moods of the different songs, so they’re never too predictable.
The majority of the songs feature texts by Abel; the longer song “Those Who Loved Medusa” sets a poem by contemporary poet Kate Gale, and the song cycle The Ocean of Forgiveness sets five poems by Joanne Regenhardt. The texts concern everything from discovery to suicide, broken love to our current political reality. ”—Opera News