Photograph © H. Spenceley, Pirhuk – Greenland Mountain Guides (Greenland expedition 2016)
Bill writes music and words inspired by outdoor places. He collaborates with writers, climbers, artists and scientists.
He has a particular interest in the sonic and visual structures found in nature and in interactions between humans and the natural world. He also works as a music director, singer and coach. He directs the communications and design agency, Clarity & Hart, that works exclusively with low-carbon shipping. He is a keen mountaineer and climber.
Bill holds degrees in English literature (Cambridge University) and orchestral conducting (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama). He has had two composing residencies at Banff Centre, Canada.
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 2016, for a 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.
In 2018/19 Bill won a Finzi Scholarship from the Finzi Trust to compose a piece inspired by mountain hares. The resulting composition, Timidus (from the Latin binomial for mountain hare) is for violin, cello, piano and clarinet. The solo camping research trips in the Cairngorms inspired a book about the project. The project features in a Finzi Trust podcast.
He is currently developing his ‘image notation’ composition process (whereby he superimposes natural features onto the musical stave). It is inspired by rock striations and horizons in Knoydart, Scotland and two cliffs: Da Kame in Foula (Shetland Islands) and Cape Enniberg in the Faroe Islands.
In 2019 Bill collaborated with Nashashibi/Skaer and Olivia Ray on a sound-track for the film Lamb, part of Future Sun at S.M.A.K Gallery, Ghent. He has also composed five short soundtracks for Sands Films Studios, London.
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 performs works by contemporary composers including David Matthews and Charlotte Bray; and FSO recently launched the FSO Young Composers Competition. Imperial College Sinfonietta champions innovative programming and performing lay-outs.
Bill set up Clarity & Hart in 2020 as part of the environmental concert of his total work. The C&H team advises on websites for the sail cargo sector and has worked for companies in Costa Rica and the Netherlands. C&H recently created the website for Grayhound Shipping, Sweden.