Gabrielle Herbst's formal training began at an early age, studying Balinese dance and gamelan in Indonesia while learning both the clarinet and piano. Herbst continued her training at Bard College where she studied voice and composition under the tutelage of Joan Tower, Zeena Parkins and Marina Rosenfeld. Her work has already 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 Sympathy embrace the vast potential of the human voice as instrument, story, and landscape.
Sympathy was recorded in the studio where she was joined by her band Matthew O'Koren (percussion), Rick Quantz (viola), Josh Henderson (violin), and Aaron Roche (electric guitar / trombone). With production by Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) and Paul Corley (Oneohtrix Point Never, Tim Hecker, Ben Frost), these open-ended sessions yielded a suite of compositions that capture that Gabrielle's metamorphosis into GABI via an intimate exploration along the edges of song-form.
With Sympathy, GABI renders past influences and new collaborations into a personal statement on the desire for human connectivity and emotional catharsis.