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“ An ever-escalating wave of falsetto vocal harmonies combined with chamber orchestration makes for a track so sublime that by the time we reach the climax, it's hard not to feel it in your chest."


Gabrielle Herbst (b. 1986) is a composer and vocalist residing in New Haven. She has premiered her compositions at Roulette, National Sawdust, The Stone, Art Hamptons, Cabinet Magazine’s Exhibition Space, Issue Project Room and HERE Arts Center. Recipient of the 2011 Artist Residency at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center in partnership with New York Theater Workshop, Herbst received commissions from Roulette and the Jerome Foundation, Sugar Vendil and the Nouveau Classical Project, Duo Noir, Experiments in Opera at Issue Project Room, Fresh Squeezed Opera and Prototype Festival. She was a 2012 Con Edison Composer-in-Residence through Exploring the Metropolis, Inc., a 2013 Composer-in-Residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts and a 2018 Composer-in-Residence at Roulette where she developed her second opera in progress, Ashes. As a featured vocalist she has performed with Valgeir Sigursson, Zeena Parkins, Missy Mazzoli, Elliott Sharp, Da Capo Chamber Players, Contemporaneous, Allie Avital Tsypin at The Kitchen, and Marina Rosenfeld’s Teenage Lontano in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. She has studied composition with Joan Tower, Marina Rosenfeld and Zeena Parkins, voice with Ilka LoMonaco, and clarinet with David Krakauer. Gabrielle Herbst’s formal training began at an early age, studying Balinese dance and gamelan in Indonesia while learning both the clarinet and piano. She continued her training at Bard College where she studied voice and composition. Her work has been showcased at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, as well as Roulette, who in 2014 commissioned and premiered her first opera, Bodiless. Herbst’s experience writing for chamber orchestra and mixed instrumentation inspired her to develop a repertoire of short-form, vocal-centric compositions under the name GABI. These were driven by solitary explorations in early 2013 with a dual-track loop pedal. The nine songs composed for her debut album, Sympathy (Software Recording Co), embrace the vast potential of the human voice as instrument, story, and landscape. In 2015 she toured Sympathy in Europe and North America including David Byrne’s Meltdown Festival in London and the Pop Kultur Festival in Berlin, the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, The Rest is Noise at the Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, The Great Escape, Brighton, UK, Start the Bus, Bristol, UK, Marfa Myths Festival, Marfa, TX, Official showcase at SXSW, Austin, TX, The Wick presented by Pitchfork and the Tinnitus Music Festival, Club Los Globos, Los Angeles, DNA Lounge, San Francisco, CA, and Le Poisson Rouge, NYC, to name a few. Recent touring has included Casa Del Popolo presented by Pop Montreal, Quebec, the Slingshot Festival in Athens, GA, the New Media Art and Sound Summit in Austin, TX, and a series at Roulette curated by Meredith Monk. She currently attends Yale School of Music for composition where she studies with Martin Bresnick and Aaron Jay Kernis, and released her sophomore album, Empty Me, on Double Double Whammy in the fall of 2018.

Gabrielle Herbst Music Compositions

  • -  “Orange Wings stuck; fluttering” (2007); string quartet and electronics, length: 10:30

  • -  “Arctic” (2007); voice and clarinet; length: 8:33

  • -  “Antarctic” (2009); two voices, two flutes, violin, cello; length: 9:43

  • -  “Stormy Goggles” (2010); voice, electric guitar, percussion, string quartet,

    clarinet, prepared piano, electronics; length: 8:05

  • -  “Heartbeats: “skin and bone is part of the hearing” (2010); two voices, two

    percussionists, string quartet, clarinet, bassoon, heartbeat samples; length: 12:06

  • -  “Mud” (2012); processed voice, percussion: glockenspiel, marimba, bass drum,

    harp, violin, viola; length: 15:00

  • -  “Hymn” (2011); voice, percussion: glockenspiel, drum set, processed harmonica,

    violin, viola; length: 15:00

  • -  “Love Song” (2012) solo voice and electronics; length: 5:00

  • -  “Bodiless” (Act 1) (2013) three sopranos, clarinet, alto flute, percussion, harp,

    piano, electric guitar, upright bass; length: 12:00

  • -  “The Void” (2013) voice, percussion, electric guitar, violin, viola; length: 9:00

  • -  “Fleece” (2013) voice, percussion, piano, violin, viola, trombone, electronics;

    length 7:00

  • -  “Koo Koo” (2014) voice, marimba, vibraphone, electronics.

  • -  “Bodiless” (Act 2 and 3) (2014) three sopranos, three flutes, three clarinets, harp,

    electric guitar, piano, and percussion; length: 45:00

  • -  Series of Songs for New GABI record (2016/2017) Voice, electronics, harp, bass

    clarinet, percussion.

  • -  “Glitter Whisper” (2017) two acoustic guitars, electronics. Length: 10:00

  • -  “Where Is My Voice” (2017) piano, clarinet, flute violin, cello, electronics.

    Length 10:00

  • -  “Ashes” (2018) two sopranos, piano, clarinet, flute, harp, violin, cello, electronics

    (Three movements, length 45:00)

  • -  “Farewell, first lady of the air” (2018) soprano, flute, bass clarinet, percussion,

    piano, electronics. Length: (12:00)

  • -  “Time Stops” (2019) soprano, string quartet, electronics. Length: (10:00)

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“It's so beautiful it's almost frightening, a sneakily sweet treatise on the sublime"


“Enveloping and enthralling"

-The New Yorker

“Blown-out bliss, wooly levitation and all gold everything, as far as the eye can see."