In Memoriam 2010

In Memoriam 2010

A loving swan-song to life
Harley Gaber
Harley Gaber
Catalog Number: 
in memoriam

Chicago, IL

Release Date: 
May 31, 2011
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

Harley Gaber (1943-June, 2011) does “harrowing yet peaceful” 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 last 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 sections’ titles point towards an end (“Cataclysm and Threnody,” “Threnody and Prayer”) others point towards a re-creation of order after death (“In-Formation,” “Coalescing”).

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.


"The final three portions of the work—'In-Formation,' 'Coalescing,' and '…With Completion'—develop cohesively in a much more subtle, unhurried way. The sense of anxiety and confusion that has tinted the work up to this point seems to leak away and a patient reflection and resolve moves in behind it. Though the whistling rushes of air, the metallic shimmers, and the non-verbal human elements of the sonic palette carry through, the density decreases and the music spreads out more broadly around the listener. In the end, it drifts away like a satellite fading out of range, sending back only ever-weakening pulses until is disappears completely. [FULL ARTICLE]
—Molly Sheridan

"'In-formation' … will leave drone-craving listeners with mouths agape. Sonic incidents keep occurring under the depths of these nebulous stratifications, the original concept being that of a devastating event for humanity … followed by a rebirth of life." [FULL ARTICLE]
Massimo Ricci 

#22 Best New Classical Albums of 2011: "Long threads of sound float shimmering in the air while other threads or clusters revolve around them, weaving a tensile sonic fabric that implies a narrative without insisting on it. A profoundly affecting achievement." [FULL ARTICLE
Steve Holtje