American composer Mark Abel has been praised for both his musical ability and writing of lyrics. His provocative and original style blends elements of classical, rock and jazz in a unique musical fusion that combines the depth and sophistication of classical with the direct impact of rock.
Abel, a former journalist, shines a light in his texts on timeless issues and those of today, couched at times in biting social commentary. His attention to the gestural elements and pacing of classical
Abel’s new CD Time and Distance, the Delos label’s fourth release of his music, is a wide-ranging survey that features Grammy-winning soprano Hila Plitmann and Southern California mezzo Janelle DeStefano. It was preceded by the double CD package Home Is a Harbor – which includes his first opera (a three-act look at modern America through the experiences of twentysomething twin sisters) and the Gale-derived cycle “The Palm Trees Are Restless” – the art song showcase Terrain of the Heart and The Dream Gallery.
Abel’s life suggests a creative tapestry woven with two primary and powerful strands: Music and journalism. Son of the distinguished reporter and author Elie Abel, Mark Abel grew up in America, Europe
As a guitarist, bassist, songwriter and record producer in New York City in the 1970s and into the ’80s, Abel collaborated with such seminal rock figures as Tom Verlaine (Television), the Feelies, Danny Kalb (the Blues Project), Michael Brown (the Left Banke), and Harold Kelling, founder of the legendary Atlanta fusion group the Hampton Grease Band. In 1971 he participated as a choral singer in the recording of jazz composer Carla Bley’s groundbreaking masterpiece Escalator Over the Hill.
Abel exited rock in the
Influenced by a variety of artists from different genres, Abel’s principal heroes include classical composers such as Ives, Szymanowski, Brahms, Duparc, Strauss, Debussy, Berg, Janacek, Lutoslawski, Takemitsu
Abel’s music has been given at SongFest in Los Angeles and Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Or. He currently resides in Sonoma, Ca.