Donald Erb, R.I.P.

Just learned from the disquiet blog that composer Donald Erb died. First heard of him during a radio interview with Frank Zappa, in response to a "what are you listening to?" question. Have had the Nonesuch recording of "Reconnaisance" and "In No Strange Land," chamber pieces using live electronics, for many years.

I saw a live Erb performance in Dallas, sometime in the late '80s. I recall a long raucous bellowing trombone solo, which climaxed the piece, and then during the applause a young woman started screaming, like a teenager at a rock concert. Erb looked bemused. I wondered if it was his daughter or a student who knew him well. That kind of emotional response to 20th Century music was...rare.

Update: Just re-listened to my Erb record. The electronics soloing in the first movement of "Strange Land" rivals Cecil Taylor or Sun Ra at their most frenetic and wacked-out. Really intense stuff. Ah, the '60s.