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Robin Hayward

Robin Hayward

Robin Hayward


Robin Hayward studied tuba and composition at the Royal Northern College of Music and at the University of Manchester, England. His involvement in contemporary music started when he attended a course in 1989 with Giancarlo Schiaffini and the late Luigi Nono, where he studied Nono’s Post-prae-ludium per Donau for tuba and live-electronics. In 1993 he attended a workshop lead by Barry Guy, which led to him joining the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, where he played alongside many key figures in English improvised music. Read more on Last.fm
Robin Hayward studied tuba and composition at the Royal Northern College of Music and at the University of Manchester, England. His involvement in contemporary music started when he attended a course in 1989 with Giancarlo Schiaffini and the late Luigi Nono, where he studied Nono’s Post-prae-ludium per Donau for tuba and live-electronics. In 1993 he attended a workshop lead by Barry Guy, which led to him joining the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, where he played alongside many key figures in English improvised music. In 1994 he toured England with Anthony Braxton and the Creative Jazz Orchestra, culminating in the recording of the CD Anthony Braxton with the Creative Jazz Orchestra (Leo Records). From 1994 to 1997 he was an active member of London’s improvised music scene, as part of a quartet with John Butcher, Marcio Mattos and Phil Durrant, and in duos with John Edwards and Steve Beresford.

In 1997 he toured England with the Butch Morris Conduction London Skyscraper. In the same year he also formed the trio rar with Axel Dörner and Radu Malfatti, and recorded a solo for the CD Pure Water Construction (Bruce's Fingers). Through composing the solo tuba piece Sink for the London Musicians’ Collective Fifth Annual Festival of Experimental Music in 1996, he discovered the technique of rotating the tuba's valves, altering their conventional role from one of altering pitch to one of producing noise. His first notated composition to utilize this technique was Vier Tuben Rauschen, written in 1997 for Melvyn Poore’s English Tuba Consort. It was also the first to specify the tubas be placed horizontally, with the bells facing towards the audience, that has since become his trademark playing position on the English Eb tuba. Robin Hayward moved to Berlin in 1998, where, in such groups as Das Kreisen, with Burkhard Beins and Annette Krebs, and roananax, with Andrea Neumann, Axel Dörner and Annette Krebs, he played a key role in the development of a style of improvisation characterized by long silences, reduced dynamics and restrained use of noise that has since been labeled Berlin Reductionism.

Following these initial projects came the septet Phosphor, with Burkhard Beins, Annette Krebs, Andrea Neumann, Ignaz Schick, Michael Renkel and Axel Dörner, to be joined a year later by Alessandro Bosetti. In April 2001 the group recorded its first CD Phosphor (Potlatch). The music for Hayward’s duo CD with Axel Dörner (Absinth) was also recorded in this year. In 2001 Hayward's solo violin piece Crank Start appeared on the Aleksander Kolkowski’s CD Portrait in Shellac (ASC). This is one of a series of compositions for other instruments to apply a similar medium-specific approach as taken towards the tuba.

Exploration of parallels between speech and brass instruments led to the composition in 2008 of Jan van Gorp and Grave Mountain Diagram for horn, trombone and tuba. In 2002 he joined the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin and was also active in Plainsound Orchestra, founded by Marc Sabat, which marked the beginning a further approach to the tuba, this time retuning the valves to create a network of intervals in just intonation. His continued research into tuning on brass instruments was documented in the 2006 article Towards a new definition of consonance: tuneable intervals on horn, trombone and tuba in collaboration with Marc Sabat. He has since developed a fully microtonal valve system for the tuba, which was built in 2009 by the firm B&S, with sponsoring from B&S and the Berliner Senat. Robin Hayward is currently doing a doctorate on the acoustics of this microtonal tuba at the Technische Universität in Berlin.

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