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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kampec Dolores - Earth Mother Sky Father – For listeners not religiously tied to one genre, Kampec Dolores are proof that seemingly incongruous elements can indeed be mixed to good result. There are some flavors of folk music (from Hungary and...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues