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

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

['ramp] - Doombient.One - Verbrannte Erde – Deep space music has a lot going for it in the modern music world. There are many viable variations to explore and expand on as well. Stephen Parsick and Frank Makowski are composers whom make small...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues