Heavy Reductions

Heavy Reductions (1977)

For tuba, voice and tape

Heavy Reductions takes a stage further the Victorian piano reductions of Wagner’s Ring on which I was weaned. They combine turgid, unpianistic textures with highly flowery English translations of the German. This piece is an even more radical paring down of the opening of Das Rheingold for a single melody instrument. By means of tape techniques I have re-created a whole Wagnerian orchestra of tubas, discovering in the process that whole passages from the Rheingold Prelude could be reconstructed by electronic multiple echo techniques. The period quality of the work is further emphasised by the recitation by the soloist of Wagner’s stage directions which are so often ignored in modern metaphysical productions of The Ring.

© 1977 Tim Souster

Heavy Reductions was commissioned by Melvyn Poore with funds provided by West Midlands Arts.