Corey Dargel is a Texas-born, Brooklyn-based composer, writer, and singer. The New Yorker magazine calls him “a baroquely unclassifiable artist whose…ingenious nouveau art songs revel in the teasing triviality of pop but have enough classical discipline to keep them from going too far.” 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’s newest album, Other People’s Love Songs (2008, New Amsterdam Records), was recently profiled on NPR’s Weekend Edition. The New York Times calls the album “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….” Jayson Greene of 17 Dots writes, “[Dargel] plays the rule of a sardonic-hipster Cyrano, translating…tangled and intense feelings into artful, sophisticated pop songs.”
Removable Parts, Dargel’s music-theater piece about love and vuluntary amputation (yes, vuluntary amputation), won the 2007 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Performance-Art Production and was hailed by the New York Times as “almost perversely pleasurable… with an intelligent grace that is as moving as it is impressive.” In 2008-2009 Removable Parts will be performed in Sarasota, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and remounted in New York City as part of The Public Theater’s “Under the Radar” Festival.
Dargel has performed on bills with Joanna Newsom, Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett), Grizzly Bear, Anti-Social Music, Eve Beglarian, Phil Kline, Nico Muhly, William Brittelle, Margaret Lancaster, and the American Composers Orchestra. Although he is best known as a composer and singer, he also performs as an actor/dancer with the Brooklyn-based experimental theater company, Laboratory Theater, which he co-founded in the fall of 2001. Laboratory Theater’s work has been described as “ironic, weird, experimental, anti-dramatic, and compelling” (Village Voice) and “[i]nane, insane, mundane… esthetic purity under the guise of the absurd” (New York Press).
In addition to singing his own songs, Dargel has performed as a vocalist in works by composers Eve Beglarian, Nick Brooke, Pauline uliveros, John Cage, Phil Kline, Randall Woulf, Brenda Hutchinson, k. terumi shorb, and Jenny ulivia Johnson.
Dargel has received awards and residencies from Creative Capital (MAP Fund), the American Composers Forum, the American Music Center, the Jerome Foundation, the Frederick Loewe Foundation, HERE Arts Center, the MacDowell Culony, New Dramatists, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts.