Photograph © H. Spenceley, Pirhuk – Greenland Mountain Guides (Greenland expedition 2016)

Bill writes music and words inspired by outdoor places. He collaborates with writers, climbers and scientists, and he supports the low-carbon shipping movement. He conducts regularly.

Bill is interested in the sonic and visual structures found in nature, and the interactions between humans and the natural world. He founded and directs the business support agency, Clarity & Hart, which works exclusively with low-carbon shipping. He is a keen mountaineer and climber. 

He holds degrees in English literature (Cambridge University) and orchestral conducting (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) and has been on two composing residencies at Banff Centre, Canada.

His current project is a commission from the Harry Woolhouse Charitable Trust for the 25th anniversary of Imperial College Sinfonietta. ‘Bog Music’ (provisional title) is inspired by raised bogs in Ireland and will involve wet work over the winter and spring. The premiere is on 17 June 2023. The next project is ‘The Sea of Trees’, inspired by the 6th century voyage of St Brendan. This will feature a journey by sail from Kerry to the Faroe Islands in 2024 to highlight the plight of phytoplankton (the ‘marine forest’) in the Atlantic and the North Sea.

In 2018/19 Bill won a Finzi Scholarship from the Finzi Trust to compose a piece inspired by Mountain Hares. The result, Disco Ball Mountain Hare, was premiered by Farnborough Symphony Orchestra in January 2022. His solo camping trips to research the hares in the Cairngorms inspired an extended travel essay, Disco Ball – Mountain Hare: composing in the Cairngorms. The project features in a Finzi Trust podcast.

For a 2016 commission from The Little Baroque Company he collaborated with the poet Helen Mort on an exploratory climbing expedition in East Greenland. This inspired The Singing Glacier for baroque orchestra and spoken poetry, with film by Richard Jones. Helen’s poetry and the project were celebrated in a publication by Hercules Press. For a 2014 commission from King’s School Worcester he wrote The Duel of the White-necked Ravens after watching white-necked ravens fighting mid-air above Mount Kilimanjaro.

In 2019 Bill collaborated with Nashashibi/Skaer and Olivia Ray on the sound-track for Lamb, which has shown at S.M.A.K. in Ghent and Cooper Gallery in Aberdeen.  He has also composed five short soundtracks for Sands Films Studios, London, featuring Tweedy the Clown.  

Bill was Music Director for The Royal Ballet’s productions of Elizabeth at the Linbury Theatre in 2016 and the Barbican Theatre in 2018. He is Music Director of Farnborough Symphony Orchestra and Imperial College Sinfonietta. Farnborough Symphony Orchestra champions works by contemporary composers including David Matthews, Charlotte Bray and Elizabeth Winters, and hosts the FSO Young Composers Competition.  

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