We are very proud to be working with Tim Souster’s widow Penny, making available the works of this remarkable composer whose untimely death in 1994 foreshortened an incredibly creative life. Highly innovative and versatile, Souster left behind an eclectic body of work which in uniquely characterful and creative ways crossed stylistic boundaries as though being crossed was their raison d’etre. As the biography on timsouster.com shows Souster worked with a incredible array of artists from Stockhausen to the Nash Ensemble, Boulez to John Wallace, whether at work in Keele University Electronic Music Studios (which he created), composing for BBC orchestras or touring internationally with live-electronic group Intermodulation.
The wider public will be most familiar with his extensive work for film and television including his BAFTA winning score for The Green Man. Less broadly known, yet greatly admired by those who are familiar with them, are his orchestral and instrumental works. These include pieces commissioned (several for the BBC Proms) by leading groups and orchestras of the time from the large-scale Trumpet Concerto to smaller ensemble works, many of which employ live-electronics and/or tape. They reveal a composer who was at once rooted in his own time and place, a highly skilled cultural and technical pioneer, and a gifted diviner of personal yet universal expression through music. He left behind an astounding body of work and it gives us great pleasure to bring it to new generations of performers and hope this may lead to many new encounters for audiences.
We are pleased to announce today on what would have been Souster’s 75 Birthday the list of works now available via composersedition.com:
Songs of Three Seasons for soprano and viola (1965)
Spectral for viola, live electronics and tape delay system (1972)
The Music Room for trombone and tape (1976)
Heavy Reductions for tuba and tape (1977)
Sonata for cello, piano, seven wind instruments and percussion (1979)
The Transistor Radio of St Narcissus (1983)
La Marche for brass quintet (1993)
The following works will be made available shortly
Zorna for soprano saxophone, tape-delay system and three drummers (1974)
Equalisation for brass quintet and live electronics (1980)
Le souvenir de Maurice Ravel for flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano (1984)
Paws 3D for full orchestra (1984)
Rabbit Heaven for brass quintet and percussion (1986)
Mekong Music for flute and guitar (1988)
Echoes for brass band and live electronics (1990)
From Penny Souster:
I am delighted that Composers Edition is making Tim’s scores available and hope that through this wonderful on-line facility his music will now be more accessible not only to those who have enjoyed it in the past but also to a new generation of performers and listeners. It is a great way to mark what would have been his 75th birthday.
The works chosen to appear in this first group cover each decade of his creative life, from his op. 1 in 1965 to his final commission in 1993. Written for a variety of forces and including important electronic works, they display all the characteristics for which he became recognized: an ability to cross boundaries of style, a desire to engage with social issues, a love for the theatrical combined with a deep sense of irony, and above all a sheer love of sound, expanding traditional musical, aural and aesthetic parameters through the use of live electronics and pre-recorded sound. In this last area he was one of the early pioneers.
From Philip Rupprecht, Professor of Music, Duke University:
In all of Tim Souster’s music, one hears the vivacity and brilliance of a born eclectic. His ‘influences’ were unusually broad—from Stockhausen to the Beach Boys, by way of gamelan and jazz. He was fascinated by a ‘collision’ of avant-garde and pop. Souster’s celebrated live-electronic pieces of the 1970s explore a world of improvisatory fluency, bold performative theater, and sounds both raw and refined. I very much welcome the wider availability of his scores through Composers Edition.
From John Wallace:
I’m absolutely delighted that Tim’s 75th Birthday has been marked by all of these works being made much more widely available. Tim teased me as ‘the kilted loon who first tuned in to The Transistor Radio of St Narcissus’ and I’m so glad that so many more people will be able to tune in now.
Tags: Boulez, cello and piano, clarinet, Echoes for brass band and live electronics, Equalisation for brass quintet and live electronics, Heavy Reductions for tuba and tape, John Wallace, La Marche for brass quintet, Le souvenir de Maurice Ravel for flute, live-electronics and tape-delay system, Mekong Music for flute and guitar, Nash Ensemble, oboe, Paws 3D for full orchestra, Philip Rupprecht, piano, Rabbit Heaven for brass quintet and percussion, seven wind instruments and percussion, Sonata for cello, Songs of Three Seasons for soprano and viola, Spectral for viola, Stockhausen, tape-delay system and three drummers, The Green Man, The Music Room for trombone and tape, The Transistor Radio of St Narcissus, Tim Souster, viola, violin, West Berlin Artists’ Programme, Zorna for soprano saxophone