Robin Hayward

(Copyright © 2014 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

Nouveau Saxhorn Nouveau Basse (2014) , 7.5/10

British-born but Berlin-based tuba player Robin Hayward (1969), founder of the brass ensemble Zinc & Copper Works, and a member of Phosphor that released Phosphor (Potlatch, 2002) and Phosphor II (Potlatch, 2009), experimented a number of extended techniques on Valve Division (Fringes, 2005), Robin Hayward & Axel Dorner (Absinth, 2005) States Of Rushing (Choose, 2010) and Nella Basilica (Another Timbre, 2010).

Nouveau Saxhorn Nouveau Basse (Pogus, 2014) collects three microtonal compositions for a home-made tuba-like instrument and for interference among several loudspeakers. The 22-minute Plateau Square is devoted to the grandiose, majestic reverbs of the instrument, not only resonating but also bouncing back and forth, like a storm that refuses to fade away and keeps rumbling and threatening, never quite coalescing. The tones are thick, almost massive, and the spaces between each seemed to be chosen in order to mimic a slowly-unfolding melody and even polyphonic counterpoint when in fact what is at work is a visionary geometry of time. The 32-minute Nouveau Saxhorn Nouveau Basse is another formidable attempt at sculpting a music of symphonic gravity around discrete volleys of agonizing nuclear clusters that progressively increase in frequency and intensity until they start unleashing earth-shaking bass vibrations that evoke alien starships. It then abandons its aggressive stance for a phase of gloomy rumbling that hatches a hissing, glassy feedback similar in timbre to the human voice, which remains the only surviving sound of the enigmatic finale. The album also includes Travel Stain, technically a duet of tuba and guitar. The two longer pieces indirectly stand as spectacular revisitations of the dogmas of droning minimalism.

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(Copyright © 2014 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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