GERBER: Symphony 6; Variations. Electronic realizations by the composer. Ottava 07-009. 51 minutes.
Jerry Gerber’s music is written for “virtual orchestra” and is “realized” rather than performed. Gerber spends a lot of space in the program notes for this disc on the value of the technology that allows composers to hear even works for full orchestra in almost real time, as they are composed. At the end, then, this:
Nevertheless, the age-old artistic problem for composers remains: What do I want to say and what kind of music must I write? This compact disc is a consequence of trying to answer those questions one more time.
Gerber’s answer (from the evidence of this disc) is to write splashy mid-century style music of gestures and themes that remain for the most part undeveloped. The combination of his style and the technology would seem to be ideal for a certain kind of film composition.
Fortunately, for the sake of working musicians, the virtual orchestra doesn’t sound enough like a real orchestra to replace it. On the other hand, film producers looking to cut costs will be all over it.