composer, singer, songwriter

NMASS: Corey Dargel w/Steve Parker, June 25th, 2016, in Austin, TX

parker5:00pm Saturday 6/25/2016

Rainbows End
Corey Dargel, voice
Steve Parker, trombone + electronics

Corey and Steve will perform new works written for amplified voice, layered and processed trombone loops.

They will also perform “Everyone But Jones” — a work for trombone and found audio: In 1978, after the Jonestown mass suicide, investigators discovered a cassette tape that the cult members recorded as they were preparing to die. Much of this tape consists of Jim Jones’s preaching, but there are also other people’s testimonies, instructions, microphone noises, strange jump-cut edits, pleas on behalf of loved ones, and music that appears to have been recorded at the wrong speed setting on the tape recorder. Dargel’s playback track includes a version of the cassette recording minus all of Jim Jones’s preaching (hence the title) as well as some synthetic instruments. The solo (live) instrumental part is conceived as a reflection on—and sometimes a representation of—the wide range of feelings that a person in the cult might have experienced during the cassette recording.

Corey Dargel (b. 1977) is an Austin-based composer and singer-songwriter whose gentle assault on pop and classical idioms creates a tension that pervades his music. Deadpan and detached vocals reveal heartbreaking intimacies, awkward and obtrusive drum patterns struggle against fragile harmonies, vocals and music uneasily oppose each other as songs stumble to their ends. The New Yorker calls Dargel “a baroquely unclassifiable” composer “of ingenious nouveau art songs.” Minnesota Public Radio singles him out as “a wonderfully difficult artist to define.” According to the New York Times, “Dargel [is] one of the more original and consistently provocative artists pushing at the margins of modern classical music and adventurous pop.” New Yorkmagazine says, “His ghostly baritone, precise delivery, and transfixing stage presence transform his performances into intimate plumbings of the audience’s psyche.”

Dargel studied music composition at Oberlin Conservatory with John Luther Adams, Pauline Oliveros, and Brenda Hutchinson. In the summer of 2001, he moved to Brooklyn, NY, where he performed as a singer-songwriter with self-produced electronic accompaniments. He eventually earned the attention of classical music critics Alex Ross, Anthony Tommasini, Amanda MacBlane, and Steve Smith, who recognized an appealing level of intricacy and quirkiness beneath the surface of his songs.

Dargel has been the subject of in-studio interviews broadcast on PRI’s Studio 360, NPR’s Weekend Edition, KALW San Francisco’s Then and Now, WFMT Chicago’s Critical Thinking with Andrew Patner, and WNYC’s Spinning On Air. He even earned a tweet from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for his art-song settings of the remarks of Condoleezza Rice.  Dargel moved from Brookly, NY, to Austin, TX, in May of 2015.

Steve Parker is a musician living in Austin, TX. He is the curator of SoundSpace at the Blanton Museum of Art, Artistic Director of COLLIDE, an artist of Ensemble Signal, and teaches at UTSA. Previously, he has worked as a Fulbright and Harrington Scholar.

As a soloist, he has performed throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and South America at many notable festivals and venues, including Spoleto, Lucerne, Tanglewood, the Stone, Roulette, Miller Theatre, Bowerbird, and BACKFABRIK. He has commissioned or premiered over 100 new works, working closely with many leading figures of contemporary music, including David Lang, Pierre Boulez, and Helmut Lachenmann.

Steve is particularly interested in art projects that serve as community building tools. To this end, he has organized performances for 80 carhorns, honeybees, 100 marching tubas, pedicab drivers, 80 trombones, 99 percussionists, and installed large interactive instrument sculptures in parking garages and alleyways. His compositions have been featured at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Ballet Austin, the Fusebox Festival, thirdbird, the Asian Arts Initiative, and in numerous public elevators in Chinatown Philadelphia.

Steve can be heard on NPR’s Performance Today, seen on PBS’s Newshour and Arts in Context, at the SXSW music conference, and in numerous print publications. He holds degrees in Math and Music from Oberlin, Rice, and UT Austin.

Saturday, 6/25/2016 NMASS PASS