Harley Gaber — I Saw My Mother Ascending Mount Fuji
(Innova , 2010, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01
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.
Related artist(s): Harley Gaber
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more