Both the project name Reidemeister Move and the composition title Borromean Rings are borrowed from the mathematical field of knot theory. The graphical score — composed by microtonal tuba inventor and maestro Robin Hayward and imprinted directly on the vinyl LP– echoes its Euclidean origins, being circular in nature and essentially offering the players a “field of possible moves for navigating in harmonic space.” For this recording, Hayward and his tuba are joined by contrabassist Christopher Williams. Throughout the proceedings, the duo are constantly weaving about each other while maintaining their footing within the framework of the score. The deep, foghorn-like pulsations of the tuba are echoed in the buzzsaw timbre of bowed contrabass as the piece slowly unfolds. As unhurriedly as the music is delivered (there are sometimes even short periods of near-silence as Hayward and Williams rest between extended passages of low-end resonance), it is striking in its subtlety and depth. One never gets the feeling that either of the players is falling behind the other; the tuba is exposed and enhanced by the deep vibrations of the bass. Borromean Rings is a challenging yet deeply meditative listen, and is certain to reward those with deep ears and open minds.
The LP — which itself is a fine work to behold visually — can be had by venturing over to the Corvo Records shop, but is limited to 300 copies so act quickly.