Exposé Online banner

Harley Gaber — I Saw My Mother Ascending Mount Fuji
(Innova , 2010, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

I Saw My Mother Ascending Mount Fuji Cover art

Gaber’s 65-minute piece for “multi-track violin, processed alto flute and tape” is, to get metaphorical (which is about the only way to really describe music), an abstract impressionist journey compiled of memories of earlier journeys. In a process described in fascinating detail in the liner notes, Gaber assembled various recordings of pieces he composed as far back as 1968, and after he found that the source recordings were too noisy for use as is, hit upon the strategy of manipulating them into a new work, both mitigating the effects of the shortcomings and using those flaws as another ingredient in the mixture. Setting aside the metaphorical, much of the piece consists of long tones and tremolos from the violin, shifting slowly higher and lower. There are occasional stabs of noise of uncertain origin. And there’s a high sheen of indistinct sound providing the aural equivalent of mountain wind — or, if it were given a different title, it could pass for the imaginary sound of deep space. Gaber was thinking of family members (including his mother) who had passed away, and this recording certainly has an other-worldly quality, as if it is music that has gone beyond such earthly concerns as melody and rhythm. It is at times serenely calm, though other portions take on a creepy, quietly wailing tone, like souls longing for what is lost forever.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Harley Gaber

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hanggai - He Who Travels Far – Since their 2008 debut CD, this band from Inner Mongolia (currently resident in Beijing) has become a world music festival favorite, playing WOMAD, among others. That release blended the earthy sounds...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues