Touching Extremes

There’s no need of inordinate brain-straining to recognize what this CD is all about, especially when reading the name of Robin Hayward (on a microtonal instrument, versus Lo and Taxt’s C-tubas). The 32-minute total duration, given the type of medium and the manner of expression, is a sensible choice to elude stretches of pseudo-creative tautology; ultimately, the music flows rather persuasively despite the lack of surprises. The first part superimposes long tones engendering the kind of clash between upper partials we’re acquainted with after decades of listening to, and getting the nerves cuddled by compositions based on adjacent-pitch drones. Then things simmer down a bit, the instruments start finding their own ways and different spots to hum, but still in connection with a contrapuntal design that maintains a warm replenishing of the air as a consistent wholeness. Over the second half, slight nods to the work of Radu Malfatti might be caught; still, for our good luck, unwarranted silent extensions do not abound. On a close listen, you’ll perceive the bubbling-and-hissing activity that no zealot of reductionist EAI wants to miss; however the best effect is achieved, as always in similar cases, by letting the radiations diffuse at average volume in a sort of instantaneous therapy.


Massimo Ricci