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Harley GABER

This piece is about gutting myself emotionally,” wrote Harley Gaber in his notes to his only issued recording, a painstakingly-composed and -recorded two-hour string quintet (Malcolm Goldstein, incidentally, is one of the fiddlers), released ca. 1976 in Cambridge, Mass. Over four sides, dense clusters of tones permutate with an anxious, wrenching relentlessness which has driven me to both grief and euphoria. Previous to composing this piece at the MacDowell artists’ colony, Gaber had spent ten years composing. Since then, he has mainly dedicated himself, it seems, to visual collage. So, what the hell happened with this piece? Did he stop composing completely?
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