Gabriel KahaneOn Our Show: February 18, 2012
Birth Year: 1981
Origin: Venice Beach, CA
About Gabriel Kahane:
Composer and singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane writes string quartets, musicals and pop songs. What unites all of his musical efforts is the desire to communicate honestly and without pretense.
Equally at home as a performer as in the composing studio, the two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow was hailed by the Los Angeles Times for “an all around dazzling performance” in his debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (in the premiere of his song cycle Orinoco Sketches, conducted by John Adams).
Launched by his 2006 song cycle Craigslistlieder, Kahane’s rapid ascent as a composer of concert works continues to bloom, with the premiere of an orchestral song cycle slated for performance in March with Kahane as soloist alongside the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. Additional performances of the work will be heard with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, as well as at the Savannah Music Festival.
On his rich and focused sophomore LP,Where are the Arms, Gabriel has brought together an all-star band including Rob Moose (Bon Iver, Antony and the Johnsons, The National), Casey Foubert (Sufjan Stevens, Richard Swift, Pedro The Lion), and Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright), in support of eleven intricate and literate, yet clear and accessible songs. This is a record to play on repeat, soaking up the details.
Raised on both coasts, Gabriel now lives in Brooklyn. His relationship to geography and a rare emotional directness come through in his songs. On Where are the Arms, anthemic pop choruses are followed by intricate brass cadenzas in odd time signatures, and folky refrains are interlaced with tightly wound flute filigrees— yet it’s always in the service of the song.
The coming season also brings to life a full-length musical, February House, for which Kahane wrote music and lyrics at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven and New York’s Public Theater, which commissioned the work. Gabriel has also been commissioned by the Signature Theater in Arlington, VA, as well as by the Williamstown Theater Festival, which produced Caravan Man, his alt-country (yet totally reverent) musical about the Prophet Muhammad. Little Sleep’s Head Sprouting Hair in the Moonlight, a cello sonata-cum-song cycle written for Alisa Weilerstein, will be heard in a concert for Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society with the composer as pianist and singer. A string quartet, The Red Book, written for the Kronos Quartet, will premiere in the fall.
Performance highlights of last season included concerts with Chris Thile, Brad Mehldau, Alisa Weilerstein, and appearances at the Vail, Caramoor, and Aspen summer festivals. This fall, Kahane and his band will head out on tour in support of Where are the Arms, as well as a Carnegie Hall debut.
(All materials adapted from artist website.)