News comes that Harley Gaber has died, too early. By the time I was a musical adult, Gaber had cleared out of Newmusictown and his career was already something of a legend, the guy who worked all the mainstream new music institutions in New York for a while then wrote and recorded a very long, very slow, and at-the-time-very-controversial piece for strings (The Winds Rise in the North), his adé to new music, after which he was said to have given it all up to be a tennis pro in Southern California.
Of course the story is more complex than that, with a parallel visual arts career and a late shift from tennis to 9-ball pool playing, but his music remains an interesting road not-quite taken, a student of Kenneth Gaburo who worked through one form of serialism to its own radical end, which the composer insisted had a directionality not shared with drone-based minimal music. One historical footnote: it is entirely possible that Gaber's 1965 Omaggio a Feldman for two pianos was the first piece written by another composer in a Feldmaniste style; in any case, it's an interesting piece that ought to be played more. Fortunately for us, he has a substantial website, here.