Archive for “Jo Gabriel”

Fools and Orphans~Ninthspace album review

Posted in Fools & Orphans, Music Reviews with tags , , , , on March 1, 2009 by Sister Cleophas

Jo Gabriel: Fools and Orphans


There are moments in Bulldozer, the opening song from Jo Gabriel’s new album, when Stephanie Rearick’s trumpet heralds the words ‘why should I love you’. These brief but beautiful events mark the most striking difference between this album and its more elaborate (if not immediate) predecessor IslandFools and Orphansdraws away from traditional arrangements to let the songs breathe, and in doing so allows Jo to continue distinguishing herself from the current ’..and piano’ crowd (I like Emm Gryner’s term ‘contemporary nonsensery.’) Few artists have the ability or opportunity to be this daring (mostly down to record label pressures, no doubt) and this successful. Fools and Orphans shines from its own darkness.Kristin Hersh’s The Grotto was an album born out of loss and the resulting reflection on life and relationships. Fools and Orphans is different – its main theme is also loss, but barely offers sanctuary. The Grotto tears me apart and then rebuilds me; Fools and Orphans does the former then leaves a lingering sadness, although it’s more compelling as a result. The open arrangements, often rhythmically fluid and spontaneous are charmingly beautiful and ideal for such stories. It’s up to us to fill in the blanks, to empathise and to draw comparisons with our own lives. Continue reading


Vacant Little Stare~SepiaChord Playlist 5.04.08

Posted in Fools & Orphans, Radio play with tags , , , on May 4, 2008 by Sister Cleophas

Is Online 

May 4 2008 2:49 AM 

Playlist for the Week Ending 5/4

Huxley Vertical Cabaret Nouveau: Engine No 9
Juan Prophet Organization: Factory
Big Fish Ensemble: I am Woman
Nap Hayes & Matthew Prater: Prater Blues
Festival: Hold off the Earth
Andrew & Jim Baxter: The Moore Girl 
Demonika and the Darklings: Everyday is Halloween 
Make a Rising: Sneffels Yokul
ECPE: Sunrise
Princeton: Leonard Woolf
Painted Saints: Paladin Whine
Jo Gabriel: Vacant Little Stare
Taylor’s Kentucky Boys: Soldier Joy
Alabama Sheiks: Sittin’ on Top of the World
Fern Knight: Loch Na Fooey
Paul Mercer: L’Etoile de Mer
Walter Sickert & THe ARmy of BRoken TOys: Crowns make Pigs
Sterilize Stereo: Mary’s Doll
The Other Flesh: Waltzing Down the Road to Hell
Kim Vermillion: Organ Donor’s March
Bauhaus: Who Killed Mr Moonlight?
Grey DeLisle: Bohemian Rhapsody
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club: An Introduction to the Power of Braces: Faith
Ex Reverie: Clouds? or Smoke?
Susan Voelz: Ode to Billy Joe
Kansas City Strummers: Broken Bed Blues
Ditty Bops: Sister Kate
Isobell Campbell & Mark Lanegan: Deus Ibi Est
Voodoo Organist: Ain’t Dead Yet
Vic Chesnutt: The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia

Artists limited addition of Fools and Orphans will be released May 7, 2008

Posted in Fools & Orphans, News with tags , , , on May 3, 2008 by Sister Cleophas

Check back for more details!

Stay Tuned:”Hunting Down The Ceremony”,”Down The Rabbit Hole Part 1″, and “The Weeds Have Grown So Tall”

Posted in projects in progress with tags , , , on May 1, 2008 by Sister Cleophas

And I am currently in the studio working with musician/engineer/filmmaker Wendy Schneider, pulling together a collection of songs that will culminate into an album called “Hunting Down The Ceremony” that I’ll be releasing Summer 2008. 

Hunting is a gathering up of many never before heard tracks, a few new things and songs that have been scattered to the winds on either compilations or currently part of various film soundtracks.

Being particularly prolific these days, I am in the process of developing another album through my own Ephemera called “Down The Rabbit Hole“. This album will be a collection of my first never before heard songs, written between 1990-92. These are the original recorded demos exactly as I sat and played them from their inception in my boxer shorts, drinking coffee at my piano at 3am, cats walking about the house, often on or across the piano keys and me…finally tapping into the identity that was trembling below the surface. It was the time of my pomo epiphany, when I discovered my true artist within. Once I’ve dusted off these relics, I’ll be releasing them as a limited lo fi artist’s special issue.

And presently in the Mothlight laboratory on the slab, is a song starting to breathe called The Weeds Have Grown So Tall- which I am hoping with the confluence of vital forces will entice the brilliant Darius Greene to join in and add some stitches and sparks to!  until “It’s Alive!”

“Island” SepiaChord’s song of the day!

Posted in Island, Radio play, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 18, 2008 by Sister Cleophas

Feb 18, 2008 12:26 PM

“Island” by Jo Gabriel is the Sepiachord Song of the Day. 

Jo Gabriel 

Zillo Magazine Interview with Jo Gabriel October 2005

Posted in interviews, Island with tags , , , , on October 1, 2005 by Sister Cleophas



With which kind of music did you grow up? What did inspire you to make music on your own? Did you have classical training on the piano?

Although it is often assumed that I am classically trained, I resisted any formal instruction as a child and really just allowed a naturalness to my journey so that I could feel unconstrained and impulsive. I allowed my intuitions to breathe. 

I grew up in a very theatrical atmosphere. My mother had been a ballet dancer as a child. She is also an amazing painter. When I was very little, she had begun to immerse herself in the Theatre. I was fascinated by the ambience of the stage. My mother always encouraged my imagination to flourish and so it did run rampant throughout those early years.

I was allowed to stay up late and devour the wonderfully eerie horror flicks of my childhood, which instilled my awe and wonder of the mysterious and the unknown. And the smell of Turpentine often permeated the air in the house when my mom would decide to paint late at night. Usually, I felt really isolated by the outside world growing up, but the environment in my house was ripe for developing an artistic sensibility. And so I started playing the piano. It was like a revelation and a rescue from anything ordinary that threatened to get in. Continue reading

various review excerpts~Island, The Unreachable Sky!

Posted in Island with tags , , , , , on September 8, 2005 by Sister Cleophas

“New York native Jo Gabriel produces dark, moody and mystical songs pulsating with brilliant harmonies and full of rough edges. For fans of romantic wave-pop, paired with piano – “Island” reminds of 4AD’s This Mortal Coil with its innate sense of strength and warmth.” (Darklight Nocturnal Entertainment review of Island)

“It is first Jo’s voice that drives shivers through you.” “She’s like the musical miracle of Kate Bush, or Tori Amos”. “Her piano is dreamy and opulent and always in harmony.” ’A touch of Romantic Dark Wave that strokes the soul”. (Amboss Magazine review of Island)

“Jo’s piano playing is absolutely stunning, rich and passionate…the delicate quality of her supple, multi-octave voice glimmers with fragility and emotion throughout…”

“Gabriel’s a masterful pianist and her tunes are haunting.” Collective Sounds

Island-“This truly stunning album features the impassioned, distinctive voice of Jo Gabriel against a very moving backdrop of piano and cello. Jo Gabriel is an artist of great talents, making music that is individual, sophisticated, beautiful, and haunting!” Bliss Aquamarine (UK)

“…All the songs have a kind of explosive gentleness where you become pulled through has a strength that shines through and creates a melancholy dreamy sound…”(Blacklight Magazine)

“…This unusually intense and impressive artist, connects the innocently dreamed voice and piano of Tori Amos with the atmospheric best of 4AD… This exceptional artist tells stories, fascinating and ever so fragile; full of emotion…This album is, like the label it describes, indeed heart warming and has unusual songs of full emotion…”( Oblivion Magazine )2005
“Jo Gabriel creates music, dark, tendencyful and mystische tones, which all listeners who love Kate Bush and Loreena McKennitt will be brought into its spell.”(Melting Close Magazine)2005
“Although there is a feeling of seperateness and reverie, this contemplative voice works like a lost dream. But the underlying melancholy of Island is never really sad.Rather it is amazing that this fragile music can cause so many emotions. The pervasive piano is for daydreaming where one’s thoughts can run free.” (Der Medien Konverter,2005)
“Jo Gabriel lies somewhere between Tori Amos and Kate Bush. A little more harmoniously than Mrs. Amos and more dreamy like Mrs. Bush. Musical also a certain proximity would be to be discovered to Loreena McKennitt. Something special at this plate is natural on the one hand this unbelievable great voice, but not only this voice.”( Astan Magazine, 2005)
“Beautiful, fluid melodies conspire with clean production, and the result is music that sneaks into the recesses of the mind–ethereal, yet catchy as hell. But at its core this is mournful music, full of questions and muted unease. And the delicate quality of Ms. Gabriel’s supple, multi-octave voice glimmers with fragility and emotion throughout.” Hannah Fury 2005
 Review of The Unreachable Sky 2003

“… Jo Gabriel’s new album is mostly piano instrumentals, but has some vocal tracks as well. There’s enough tension to ensure the instrumental tracks are brilliant. Gabriel’s a masterful pianist and her tunes are haunting …”(Anna Maria Stjärnell, Collected Sounds-2003)







Der Horspiegel Magazine Interview~ Jo Gabriel 2005

Posted in interviews, Island with tags , , on September 6, 2005 by Sister Cleophas


“Translations into Magic”Ein Hörspiegel-Interview / © 2005 Der Hörspiegel 
( Cover, Fotos und Einleitung © Kalinkaland Records)


Wisconsin, mitten im Herzen von Amerika; am Starkweather Creek lebt Jo Gabriel. In dieser Abgeschiedenheit schreibt sie Ihre Lieder, lässt sich inspirieren und sinnt über ihr Leben. Und es sind stets die dunklen Seiten der Stimmungen, die mystisch taumelnden Momente, die Jo Gabriels Rückzug in die Abgescheidenheit beeinflussen. Mit Island kreierte sie nahezu im Alleingang ein beschwörend reizendes, piano-orientiertes Album, bei dem jeder Klavierton einem Regentropfen gleicht, jede Textzeile einem Erinnerungsalbum zu entspringen scheint und feminine Eigenheiten in Musik verwandelt werden. Text: © Kalinkaland RecordsHerzlich Willkommen zu einem Interview des Hörspiegels mit Jo Gabriel. 

Nico (Der Hörspiegel): Dear Jo, I hope you’re doing fine.

Jo Gabriel: I am wonderful thank you so much Nico and Hoerspiegel for talking with me. 

With your latest album you bring a magical mood, a very special  enchantment to Europe. What is „Island“ all about?

What a wonderful thing to say about my work. I do feel often with my creative process that for me it is very much like conjuring. And I appreciate Europeans very much for their openess to embrace such things as this. 

“Island“will probably be many different things to different people. Like water into vapor, people might experience different elements or aspects of the same song. I definitely imbued the music with a sense of  alienation and longing at times, But also there is hope and compulsion for love and connectedness.

My work has always had themes that are very ubiquitous and sublime.They are threaded with multiple meanings simultaneously. So their are often contrasting emotions in one song. As with much of my work, Island uses the many archetypal influences rather than literal story telling.I think we are all walking archetypes or living out some mythologies in our waking life. I use symbolism and poetry to reflect a mood or feeling.

And as long as it creates a versceral reaction in the listener, i would prefer the theme of the album be explored from the individual’s “outside in“  rather than me telling them what to think or feel about the words or music. It is very personal for me and i hope will become very personal for my audience. 
With Island there are obvious sentiments that are bitter honest, mysterious, rebellious self –revelatory and transformative. Maybe that’s what translates into the magic you so graciously bestowed on my music.

How come you found your label in the German Kalinkaland?

I think we found each other. 
I stumbled upon the incredible band Chandeen while doing an interview with Musical Discoveries. I  had decided to reach out to Harald Lowy just to let him know how moved I was by Chandeen’s beautifully haunting music. 
We started to correspond with each other, and he  asked me to send him some of my work. 
The next thing I know, i am being asked if i would like to join the great label of Kalinkaland. 
Well of course i didn’t have to even think about what an honor it was to be considered one of the  artists on this label. I am in unbelievable company there. I am so proud to be a part of Kalinkaland. And you know it’s so amazing that all the years I walked obscurities path here in the US struggling to be recognized by an industry that doesn’t often embrace the artistic unless it potentially brings them huge financial gain. Labels like Kalinkaland in Europe and a good deal of Indie labels here in the US such as Projekt Records are more concerned about the quality of the music and their artist’s vision, so that they can populate The Welt,  our world with authentic imagination and individual vision that is allowed to flourish and thrive. 
This was an incredible opportunity for me to reach out to a wider audience and for that i am eternally grateful.

Who is – in your eyes – the best composer or songwirter ever?

You know, i can never just have one idea of what is the absolute greatest, because there is so much magic and genius out in the ether to experience. But i will make this simple and draw from my initial reaction, because she is primarily the one  person who can spellbound me and alter my consciousness every time i listen to her. Of course i speak of the otherworldly Kate Bush. Every aspect of Kates unique vision and theatrical presence is like nothing else in this world.

What was the best live concert you have ever visited yourself as a guest?

Hmm. I don’t go to concerts very often, and so it is hard for me to say that one in particular left an impression. Although i absolutely love to go to the Opera.

In your own words: What is the best song on „Island“ and why?

Well, I think that Little Birds has some of my favorite lyrics in terms of the descriptive nature of the words. Little Birds is also one of my favorite songs to perform live. It has a lot of intensity to it.

And also I feel very close to Wash Away. To me it has a very sacred emotional fluttering to it. I couldn’t say if either were the best. Yet  that they resonate with me on a deeply personal level. You know, all the songs do. I really can’t say which i think is best. But i will say that I think Wash Away has the most universally collective call for reaching out, and so i think that on the album, this is a song that everyone can feel invested in. That sense of rescue and recognition from desolation, devistation and the madness, sense of helplessness and fever that is especially plaguing the world today, because of the socio/political climate. Particularly here in the US for many of us that feel betrayed and horrified by this current government’s policies and fanatical beliefs which are not any where near representitive of the whole entire country. The deconstructing of true freedom and human dignity is profoundly lost to us right now.And it effects me and all americans and the rest of the world. And this frightens me and compels me to feel that perhaps Wash Away is particularly relevant.

„Island“ is dominated by the sound of the piano. What instrument would you prefere to compose music with, if nobody had invented the piano or anything like that by now?

I would love to play the cello. This instrument is so passionate and soul stirring to me. This would be what i would choose to conjure with next.

How about your musical future? Do you have any plans yet?

I plan on going out to do some live shows to promote Island and re connect with my audience here in the states. 
And very important to me  ,I want to come to Germany and perform. I am working on finding the means to do that right now. I hope that the magic lingers there long enough for me to come and mesmerize you still, once i arrive.

And i have a few projects that i would like to release down the road. Primarily instrumental neo-classical oriented albums that i am so in love with and desperately want to share with the world.

Also i really want to score some film. Perhaps this wider recognition will generate some opportunities to do that. It would be another incredible blessing for me, to work in that medium.

Thank you very much for taking the time, and keep on making beautiful music. Wanna send one last message to our readers?

I would like to say that i truly appreciate you for giving me the chance to reach out. That i am grateful to all of you who are moved by my music. I hope it effects you in all the right places. And that more people will come and listen in the future. I wish you all such peace , joy and emergence. Thank you so much…

Blessed be 
– Jo Gabriel

 (Nico Steckelberg, © 2005 Der Hörspiegel )