Corey Dargel

Friday, January 21st, 2011 - 1:30 pm

[audio:SomeoneElsesPainSample.mp3|titles=excerpt from Someone Else’s Pain (from Thirteen Near-Death Experiences)|artists=International Contemporary Ensemble and David T. Little]

Corey Dargel (b. 1977) is a Texas-born, Brooklyn-based composer, writer, and singer 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 opposing each other as songs stumble to their ends. The New Yorker magazine calls him “a baroquely unclassifiable” composer of “ingenious nouveau art songs.” Salon praises his songs’ “rococo ingenuity” and “sustained bursts of lyrical brilliance,” and according to Gramophone magazine, he has “a compositional sense guaranteed to keep close listeners on their toes. Words and music are truly equal partners….”

Dargel studied composition at Oberlin Conservatory with John Luther Adams, Pauline Oliveros, Brenda Hutchinson, and Lewis Neilson.  His music has been profiled by Kurt Andersen (Studio 360), Alison Stewart (Weekend Edition), and David Garland (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 has released two solo albums, Less Famous Than You (2006, Use Your Teeth) and Other People’s Love Songs (2008, New Amsterdam Records).  The New York Times calls Other People’s Love Songs “at once wistful and wry, tender and irreverent…. [G]iving voice to the lives and relationships of his subjects, [Dargel] invests melodies with playful melismatic turns, evoking Kurt Weill cabaret….”  His third album, Someone Will Take Care of Me (May 25, 2010, New Amsterdam Records & Naxos of America) is a double-CD album, featuring performances by the classical chamber group International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), David T. Little (drums), and Kathleen Supové (piano), comprised of song cycles adapted from Dargel’s critically acclaimed music-theater pieces, Thirteen Near-Death Experiences and Removable Parts