Microtub

Sonic Drift
Sofa Music 586

Akin to suggesting the palimpsest tinctures extant beneath what at first appears to be a mono-colored canvas, the Microtub tuba trio subtly advance tone extensions during these two drone-laden tracks. Consisting of the UK’s Robin Hayward and Peder Simonsen and Martin Taxt from Norway, the three use microtonal tubas with varied tunings and pitches to reach distinct harmonics and sub-harmonics.

The title track expands from breaths creating basso tugboat-like whistles into layered affiliated drones that later move fragmented blows from one horn to another. Division is maintained as one tuba moves upwards to heraldic tones as the others combine for a darkened continuum. Contrapuntal challenges throughout descend to becalmed trills at the finale. The subsequent “Pederson Concerto” adds modular synthesizer oscillations from the designated trio member. Sometimes unexpectedly oscillated as Simonsen’s keyboard instrument triggers and reprocesses the tuba’s emphasis additional low brass motifs are also heard. While the new sound layers are coordinated, they also hang in near suspended animation until repeated buzzes turn into capillary puffs and finally blow away,

Low-key but not low-energy sounds, Sonic Drift is best appreciated by letting the solid interface drift over you without seeking obvious timbral contrasts or narratives.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. Sonic Drift 2. The Pederson Concerto*

Personnel: Robin Hayward (microtonal F tuba); Martin Taxt (microtonal C tuba) and Peder Simonsen (microtonal C tuba and synthesizer*)