San Francisco Classical Voice‘s Lou Fancher spoke with Mark Abel about his latest Delos recording, Time and Distance:
“During a phone conversation with composer Mark Abel, geometry explains the variegated art songs on his new CD, Time and Distance.
Oscillating within a triangle whose end points are classical, rock, and jazz music, the San Simeon-based musician’s fourth release under the Delos label curves to navigate text. Stark, sorrowful, soothing, soaring, and always poetic words written by Abel and California poets Kate Gale and Joanne Regenhardt project an array of warm colors quickened by the pinpoint sharpness of in-your-face subjects. There are the skewed frames of sexual or environmental assault, the startling angularity of suicide or forgiveness, the downward slope of lost dreams and urban landscapes, among other topics.
The topography of Abel’s music is variable; informed by melody, harmony, metronomic or asymmetric rhythms, electro-acoustic or minimalist structures that mesh to carve grand and diminutive moments. Text and score merge or counter each other not to do battle but even so, the effect is haunting. The five works’ timeless sounds linger like “auditory images” of remembered people, planets, spiritual spaces, and histories.”