Harley Gaber does â€śharrowing yet peacefulâ€ť like no one else. His richly sonorous spectral drones sweep the soul along on its darkest night towards a dawn forever just beyond reach. His latest voyage, In Memoriam 2010, is a postscript or coda to the end of the world. Beginning with an apocalyptic tempest and (re)building from there, the album reveals shards of culture and humanity and finds a healing balm in enduring memory. It is an altogether fitting commemoration to the end of the world.
For Gaber, 2010 was a tumultuous year, and this album in memory of it traces his attempts to come to terms with it. The record feels at once like a grand exhalation and an indefatigable inhalation. As much as certain sectionsâ€™ titles point towards an end (â€śCataclysm and Threnody,â€ť â€śThrenody and Prayerâ€ť) others point towards a re-creation of order after death (â€śIn-Formation,â€ť â€śCoalescingâ€ť). Commissioned by Dan Epstein of the Dan J. Epstein Family Foundation in memory of his mother, Nancy Epstein, In Memoriam 2010 explores the flux between knowing and not-knowing that resolves itself into peace and tranquility.
Drawing on his 20 years of work as a visual artist in diverse mediums, Gaber constructs In Memoriam 2010 using collage techniques, drawing on fragments from composers including himself, Philip Blackburn, Kenneth Gaburo, Verdi, Beethoven, Werner Durand, Paul Paccione, and Morton Feldman. His ability to fuse these musical elements without diluting them speaks to his organic outlook on sound and musical discourse. Like his previous Innova release, I Saw My Mother Ascending Mount Fuji, In Memoriam 2010 is both harrowing and peaceful. A sense of loss may permeate these works, but it never obscures the overall sense of redemption and love.
in memoriam 2010 (63:53):
1. cataclysm and threnody (16:01)
2. threnody and prayer (10:29)
3. ground of the great sympathy: aftermath (6:30)
4. in-formation (12:58)
5. coalescing (9:01)
6. …with completion (8:41)
About Harley Gaberâ€™s previous innova release, â€śI Saw My Mother Ascending Mt. Fujiâ€ť â€”
â€ś[A] tour de force of spectral music.â€ť â€” The Wire
â€śUnfathomable solitude and irrepressible need in symbiosis.â€ť (Top 10 Classical & Opera Albums of 2010) â€” Time Out, Chicago