EcoClipper Ambassador

I am honoured to be an Ambassador for EcoClipper! This inspiring company has a vision for clean cargo shipping.

‘Ten years ago everybody thought it was crazy to transport goods in sailing ships. Now it is a rising trend for companies to watch their entire production chain for sustainability. Soon customers will demand clean transport…’ (EcoClipper website.)

If you are interested in joining the second round of investment contact Captain Jorne Langelaan and the EcoClipper office via the investment form. If you are interested in taking part in the sailing revolution here is a great article by Jess Clay of EcoClipper that includes a section on sail cargo.

Clarity & Hart Agency

We work exclusively with the low-carbon shipping sector

Since November 2020

I set up Clarity & Hart as part of the ecological concern of my total work. At C&H our amazing team provides words, design and analytics. We create websites from scratch and improve content on existing websites. We are proud to have collaborated with sail cargo companies in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Central America.

The Raz Club

Bill introduces incredible pieces played by the Razumovsky Quartet

This is such a blast. The playing by Ellie Fagg, Tom Norris, Dorothea Vogel and Orlando Jopling is world-class and there is advice on food and wine to go with the music! The Raz Club is for people who enjoy great music, food, wine and the company of others. It’s a way of coming together with like-minded people to enable musicians to keep on making music and sharing it with others. I’m honoured to be there with the wine writer Nina Caplan.

Clarity & Hart

A words, design and analytics agency working exclusively with the low-carbon shipping sector. Clear and compelling storytelling.

I set up Clarity & Hart in November 2020 as part of the ecological concern of my total work. The amazing team at C&H is proud to have worked with sail cargo companies in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Central America. Please contact us to enquire about collaborations for 2021/22. See fees.

Imperial College Performers

Bill introduces a live-streamed lunchtime concert featuring Daniel King-Smith, piano

27 November, available online

Bill gives the introductory talk for this live-streamed recital given by undergraduates at Imperial College, London. He shares the background to the pieces, including a little about Liszt’s relationship with the writer, Comtesse Marie d’Goult, pen-name Daniel Stern.

The Finzi Trust podcast

Series hosted by Jonathan James, trustee

Bill was delighted to chat to Jonathan James about mountain hares and the composition process for Timidus. Timidus was funded by a Finzi Scholarship. Very happy to share a listing with Alice Barron!

Article in Southwark News

Interview with Michael Holland, Arts Correspondent for Southwark News

Michael has been running a series about musicians in South London, and the effect of the pandemic on their working lives.

BBC Radio 3 ‘Unclassified’

Poetry and music, featuring ‘The Singing Glacier’

1 October 2020

As part of the BBC’s annual Contains Strong Language spoken word festival, Elizabeth Alker talked to writer Helen Mort about her musical collaborations, including The Singing Glacier. Composer Sophie Cooper revealed a new piece written in response to one of Helen’s poems. The programme included a clip from The Singing Glacier in the version for modern violin and piano, featuring Flora Curzon, violin.    

Heath Street Baptist Church

Heath Street Baptist Church ‘Home Companion’ radio show and newsletter

During the first lockdown these radio programmes included thoughtfully-curated poetry, readings and songs, featuring members of the congregation. As well as contributing to these, Bill was happy to feature in the September – November newsletter.

‘Grumpy Trio’ for MishMash

Part of the touring production, ‘Strange Creatures’

Bill was commissioned by MishMash Productions to write a trio using just vocal sounds and body percussion for this fantastic show. Bill chats with cellist Sophie Rivlin about the process. An excerpt from the ‘Grumpy Trio’ is included.

Lockdown Lyrics

Photograph © Bill Carslake

Nine poems written during the first nine days of ‘lockdown’ in the UK . Three lines in each poem, nine syllables in each line, creating ‘999’ for the state of emergency and constraint.  Set to music for two voices and cello. Songs for strange times. Recording to follow.


More Chamber Music

Wind 1

The first in a new series of works about the wind. It designs the shapes of rocks and trees, and whirls the ice in turf digs.
Read More

London Life

A suite of five movements for clarinet, violin, guitar, double bass, harpsichord and timpani. Originally sound-tracks for short films produced by Sands Films. Now available as a comic concert suite.
Read More

Particles 1, 2 & 3

The ‘Particles’ series is about the viscosity of air. It sparkles and dances around us, pushing up against the objects that we see; swathing the night in light.
Read More

Wind 1

Photograph © Bill Carslake (Cairngorms 2018)
Wind 1 for bassoon and violin. Extract, sampled sounds.

The first in a new series of works about the wind. It designs the shapes of rocks and trees, and whirls the ice in turf digs. The prevailing wind in the UK is from the Southwest. Climate warming is changing this. When planting a tree you would spread the roots to the Southwest so that it might stand for centuries to come. Which way to spread the roots now?


More Chamber Music

London Life

A suite of five movements for clarinet, violin, guitar, double bass, harpsichord and timpani. Originally sound-tracks for short films produced by Sands Films. Now available as a comic concert suite.
Read More

Lockdown Lyrics

Nine poems written during the first nine days of ‘lockdown’ in the UK set to music for two voices and cello.
Read More

Particles 1, 2 & 3

The ‘Particles’ series is about the viscosity of air. It sparkles and dances around us, pushing up against the objects that we see; swathing the night in light.
Read More

Knoydart: Striations and Horizons

Knoydart Peninsula

August 2020

Knoydart is the uppermost of the peninsulas that make up the Rough Bounds in Northwest Scotland, an area intruded by deep sea lochs (including Scotland’s deepest, Loch Morar) and characterised by mountainous horizons. They overlay each other like lines of music, and the striations in the rock provide other melodies. Work in progress.

Photograph © Bill Carslake (Knoydart Peninsula 2020)

I Musicanti: Beethoven Violin Concerto

Introducing lunchtime concert series at Imperial College, London

5 November 2020,  12.45pm

Concert available on YouTube. Bill gives an introductory talk (starting at 00:48) about the collaboration between Beethoven and violinist Franz Joseph Clement that produced this radiant and intimate concerto. I Musicanti perform it in an arrangement by Carl Hinde for string quintet, with soloist Tamás András.

RAH! Podcast at Manchester Metropolitan University

Science and Art: Climate Change and The Singing Glacier

Manchester Metropolitan University

June 2020

Part of the Science and Art series. Poet Helen Mort and Physical Geographer Kathryn Adamson share their experiences of East Greenland and discuss how science and art can interlock to communicate the effects of climate change. Featuring an extended extract from The Singing Glacier.   

Farnborough Symphony Orchestra

Farnham Maltings, Farnham

14 March 2020, 7pm

Glinka, Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture; Prokofiev, Violin Concerto No. 1 with soloist, So-Ock Kim; Stravinsky, Firebird (1945).  An all-Russian programme featuring one of music’s sublime endings – Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto no. 1, with acclaimed violinist So-Ock Kim.

Cancelled due to Covid-19

‘Lamb’ at Future Sun: Nashashibi/Skaer

S.M.A.K. Gallery, Ghent, Belgium

30 November 2019 – 16 February 2020

‘Lamb’ is a new film by Nashashibi/Skaer with a soundtrack created by Bill, mezzo soprano Olivia Ray and Rosalind Nashashibi. The footage from a lambing shed was shot by Lucy Skaer on Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. 

Timidus

Photograph © Bill Carslake (Cairngorms 2018)
Extract from Timidus, movement ii, piano score, sampled sounds

A Finzi Scholarship project. Inspired by Bill’s solo camping trips looking for mountain hares in Scotland. Timidus is from the Latin binomial for mountain hare. The piece is for violin, cello, piano and clarinet, and is in progress. Bill also wrote a travel account about composing with mountain hares in the Cairngorms

Over the course of his trips in the Cairngorms Bill became attuned to these elusive animals. He also saw golden eagle and red deer. Timidus is inspired by the tensions between the communities that co-exist in the vast sub-arctic tundra landscape that is the Cairngorms. The second movement explores the power of the wind (listen to the extract above).

While in the Cairngorms area Bill was lucky to meet with Scott Newey – a population ecologist from the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen; Andy Howard, photographer and author of The Secret Life of the Mountain Hare; and the writer, Anna Fleming.  

The mountain hare, Lepus timidus, is a survivor from the last ice age. It is related to Arctic and Greenland hares. It thrives in the northern belt stretching from Scandinavia to Siberia. There are isolated communities in the Alps, Ireland and Scotland. In the case of Ireland and Scotland, when the ice sheet retreated the mountain hares evolved into two unique species: Lepus timidus hibernicus and Lepus timidus scoticus. All mountain hares are different from the brown hare, Lepus europaeus, which arrived in Ireland and the UK thousands of years later.


More Pieces from Places

The Singing Glacier

A collaborative response to glaciers. In 2016 Bill went to East Greenland with poet Helen Mort for a climbing expedition. They were joined by film-maker Richard Jones.
Read More

Icicle

Written to raise the profile of the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for ‘The Singing Glacier’. For violin, viola and glockenspiel.
Read More

The Singing Glacier

Photograph © H. Spenceley, Pirhuk – Greenland Mountain Guides (Greenland expedition 2016)
Violin, Flora Curzon; voice, Helen Mort; piano, Bill Carslake

A collaborative response to glaciers in East Greenland.

Commissioned by The Little Baroque Company to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

In 2016  Bill went to Kulusuk, East Greenland with the poet Helen Mort for an exploratory climbing expedition. They were joined later by the film-maker Richard Jones.

The piece combines instrumental music by Bill, new poetry written and spoken by Helen and film taken by Richard and others in the team.

It has been performed live at Poetry in Aldeburgh and Totally Thames festivals, the Daniel Corkery Summer School, the Manchester Metropolitan University Place Writing Festival and featured on the RAH! Podcast at Manchester Metropolitan University.  There are versions for 12 piece baroque orchestra, 4 piece baroque orchestra, and – as featured here – modern violin with piano.

This recording features Flora Curzon on modern violin and Bill on piano. It reprises their performance with Helen at the Daniel Corkery Summer School in 2017.

In 2019 Hercules Editions published Helen’s poems as The Singing Glacier, including a conversation between Helen and Bill, some of the musical score, paintings by  Emma Stibbon RA, and an essay by the literary geographer, David Cooper.

The Singing Glacier also exists as a schools education project including: word and poetry challenges devised by Helen, two Greenlandic bone games purchased in Kulusuk, musical composition games devised by Bill, and the short film below, created by Richard to inspire children (and adults!) featuring Matt and Helen Spenceley, our amazing guides from Pirhuk – Greenland Mountain Guides.

Short film about the context of The Singing Glacier, featuring Helen and Matt Spenceley of Pirhuk – Greenland Mountain Guides.


More Pieces from Places

Icicle

Written to raise the profile of the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for ‘The Singing Glacier’. For violin, viola and glockenspiel.
Read More

Timidus

Finzi Scholarship project inspired by mountain hares. ‘Timidus’ is from the binomial for mountain hare. For violin, cello, piano, clarinet. Bill also wrote a travel account.
Read More

Icicle

Photograph © H. Spenceley, Pirhuk – Greenland Mountain Guides (Greenland expedition 2016)
Violin, Helen Kruger; viola, Virginia Slater; keyed glockenspiel, Bill Carslake

Written to raise the profile of the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for The Singing Glacier. For violin, viola and glockenspiel (keyed or normal). There is an additional performance option for this piece. After the second time through it can be repeated many times. Each time, more notes are omitted, at the players’ discretion. This can be partnered by a small ice block (or ice sculpture) placed above a cymbal on a stand, so that the drips fall onto the cymbal surface.


More Pieces from Places

The Singing Glacier

A collaborative response to glaciers. In 2016 Bill went to East Greenland with poet Helen Mort for a climbing expedition. They were joined by film-maker Richard Jones.
Read More

Timidus

Finzi Scholarship project inspired by mountain hares. ‘Timidus’ is from the binomial for mountain hare. For violin, cello, piano, clarinet. Bill also wrote a travel account.
Read More

The Duel of the White-necked Ravens

Photograph © Paddy Ryan (white-necked raven above Mt Kilimanjaro)
Extracts from The Duel of the White-necked Ravens. Piano, Sarah Latto; soprano solo, Catherine Shaw

In 2014 Bill walked up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. While sitting beside his tent below the summit he watched three pairs of white-necked ravens duelling mid-flight. This included them flying in mirror formation – one upside down under the other – parting, then soaring directly towards each other before clasping talons mid-air. This aerial display in the oxygen-poor air at c. 5800 m left a lasting impression and inspired the poem, Thin Air Living. He set this for SATB choir, solo soprano and solo piano for a commission from King’s School, Worcester.


More Pieces from Places

Timidus

Finzi Scholarship project inspired by mountain hares. ‘Timidus’ is from the binomial for mountain hare. For violin, cello, piano, clarinet. Bill also wrote a travel account.
Read More

The Singing Glacier

A collaborative response to glaciers. In 2016 Bill went to East Greenland with poet Helen Mort for a climbing expedition. They were joined by film-maker Richard Jones.
Read More

Icicle

Written to raise the profile of the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for ‘The Singing Glacier’. For violin, viola and glockenspiel.
Read More

Particles 1, 2 & 3

The Particles series is about the viscosity of air. It sparkles and dances around us, pushing up against everything we see. Particles 1, 2 & 3 exist in two different versions. The first version is for solo violin with different orchestral sections (Particle 1 – double basses; Particle 2 – violas; Particle 3 – second violins). The second version is for violin, cello, piano and clarinet, arranged for Alisios Camerata of Zagreb. There is also an arrangement of Particle 2 for youth orchestra, written for London Music Masters, in which professional tutors play the demanding passages.

Particle 1, sampled sounds
Particle 2, performed by Alisios Camerata of Zagreb at Banff Centre, Canada, 2017
Particle 3, sampled sounds

More Chamber Music

London Life

A suite of five movements for clarinet, violin, guitar, double bass, harpsichord and timpani. Originally sound-tracks for short films produced by Sands Films. Now available as a comic concert suite.
Read More

Lockdown Lyrics

Nine poems written during the first nine days of ‘lockdown’ in the UK set to music for two voices and cello.
Read More

Wind 1

The first in a new series of works about the wind. It designs the shapes of rocks and trees, and whirls the ice in turf digs.
Read More

London Life

Photograph by Ichigo121212 

A suite of five movements for clarinet, violin, guitar, double bass, harpsichord and timpani. Originally sound-tracks for short films produced by Sands Films. Now available as a comic concert suite. The harpsichord part can be played on piano (preferably upright) and the timpani part on a smaller drum. Parts available on request.

London Life mvnt 4. Clarinet, Ewan Bleach; violin, Max Bailey; double bass, Dave O’Brien; production (including sampled guitar, harpsichord and timpani) Anthony Weeden.

More Chamber Music

Wind 1

The first in a new series of works about the wind. It designs the shapes of rocks and trees, and whirls the ice in turf digs.
Read More

Lockdown Lyrics

Nine poems written during the first nine days of ‘lockdown’ in the UK set to music for two voices and cello.
Read More

Particles 1, 2 & 3

The ‘Particles’ series is about the viscosity of air. It sparkles and dances around us, pushing up against the objects that we see; swathing the night in light.
Read More

Lamb (Nashashibi/Skaer)

Still from Lamb © Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer

Short film by Nashashibi/Skaer with sound-track by Bill, mezzo-soprano Olivia Ray and Rosalind Nashashibi. Footage of a lambing shed from the Island of Lewis and Harris shot by Lucy Skaer.

Lamb featured in the Nashashibi/Skaer exhibition, Future Sun at S.M.A.K Gallery, Ghent, Belgium, November 2019 to February 2020. It is reproduced here by kind permission of Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer. It can be hired from Lux.


More Music for Screen & Stage

Sands Films feat. Tweedy The Clown

Sound-tracks for five short films produced by Sands Films, featuring Tweedy the Clown. These whimsical commentaries on London life inspired Bill to write five light-hearted scores.
Read More

Sands Films feat. Tweedy The Clown

Still from Tweedy is struck by WW1 memorial © Sands Films

Sound-tracks for five short films produced by Sands Films, featuring Tweedy The Clown. These whimsical commentaries on London life inspired Bill to write five light-hearted scores. Tweedy The Clown is famed for performing with Giffords Circus and Cirque Beserk in the UK, and with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey in the US. He continues the tradition of the great Swiss clown, Grock.


More Music for Screen & Stage

Lamb (Nashashibi/Skaer)

Short film by Nashashibi/Skaer with sound-track by Bill, mezzo-soprano Olivia Ray and Rosalind Nashashibi. Footage of a lambing shed from the Island of Lewis and Harris shot by Lucy Skaer.
Read More

A book about composing with mountain hares in the Cairngorms

Photograph © Bill Carslake (Cairngorms, 2018)
Place writing

In 2018/19 Bill took two solo camping trips in the Cairngorms and one in the Peak District to research mountain hares for a composition, supported by the Finzi Trust. The composition is called Timidus, after the Latin name for the mountain hare, and is for violin, cello, piano and clarinet. The book is an account of the travels, meetings and composition process, and a personal response to the largest arctic landscape in the UK.

1) When it stops, it is your nonchalant drummer beating with its paws on the ground – we still don’t fully understand why. Feel and hear the footpad tap on a slightly caking peat surface… Now imagine having the hearing of those great, swivelling ears. Consider that the hill is endless drums. Peat skin taut above sloshy, resonant mass; or thin peat clinging to echoing rock. How deep does the mountain hare hear and tell? Take the dome of St Paul’s. Upend it, submerge it, and whisper in the gallery with your feet. Now smell in colour, and see in detail a mountain and heather-filled orb of a couple of kilometres. With your big amber eyes on your elegant head you can almost see the full round. What a recording session!

2) In winter the plateau can be one of the most exposed and seething skins in the mountain body of the UK. You walk, but the wind will throw you to the ground. Sometimes you will crawl. Imagine for a moment that you are sitting with a mountain hare on the aperture edge of a Bunsen burner on maximum power. In your terror, as you try to maintain your hold, you can feel the assault on your always-open ears. Your nose’s inability to close doesn’t help. In winds as powerful and constant as this it is a wonder that the mountain hare sits calmly beside you, flattening into the iron. In its ‘form’ on the Cairngorm plateau – by the subtlest body alignment – it experiences such quietness that it becomes the eye of the storm. Some years ago, in a strong wind on a mountain in Glen Cannich I laid my head in a hare form and was astonished to find pin-drop silence.

3) For a virtuoso of concealment like the hare, the open ‘tundra’ landscape of the plateau is home and hiding. I could see plenty of pellets. Away from the tourist trail and un-trampled by humans, these remote tops provide less food, but for the variety of vegetation they are hard to match. There are miniature willow and birch trees which, at a height of one inch, hold out tiny red and gold autumn leaves to catch the light and breeze. Yellow grasses whistle above squat banks of red sorghum moss glowing like coral, offset by bleached lichen on scattered rocks that glint with embedded flecks of quartz. It’s a bedazzling beauty when the sun is at play. A heavenly field. What a place for a first sight! But after walking two miles further eastwards I was still – to my eyes at least – alone on the hill.

4) Paris was numb. Gradually Latry released low, husky, indeterminate waves into the quiet. He graded these until recognisable pitch and volume held us. Now music and urgency increased, and over 6,000 people within Notre Dame were pushed to feel. The playing grew in speed and richness and, alarmingly, the sound took on a dangerous edge. The colours turned to ferocity, until it was the loudest, angriest and most cutting music I have ever heard. I felt furious inside it, and I wasn’t alone in fury. Just when you were wishing the anger and pain would end, imperceptibly the sounds softened, curved, became solemn and warm. A beautiful melody emerged from the texture, becoming less clothed, less weighed-down and simpler as it soared. Now it was song-like and, after a brief, missed heartbeat, it was joined by the choir who, we realised, were processing down the side aisle. Thousands of us had been guided and allowed to grieve. This is what music, a skein of geese, or poetry can do. 

Yes, I know, God’s silence never breaks, but is that really a problem?
There are thousands of voices, after all. 

(Mary Oliver, Whistling Swans, extract.)

Stravinsky and why a composer composes

Photograph © @ruralexplorer

Parallel Worlds – notes on the historical context and music of The Firebird by Igor Stravinsky

Article

As part of the ‘lockdown’ provision for the Farnborough Symphony Orchestra community, Bill wrote an in-depth exploration of the piece that would have been performed in their March concert, cancelled due to COVID-19. In Parallel Worlds he explores the motivation and meaning behind the piece that made Stravinsky an international star overnight: his ballet score for the Ballets Russes’ The Firebird, performed in April 1910. 

Read full article

Thin Air Living

Photograph © Paddy Ryan (view of glacier on top of Mt Kilimanjaro)
Poetry

In 2014 Bill walked up Mount Kilimanjaro. Sitting at base camp after descending from the summit, he watched three pairs of white-necked ravens fighting mid-air. The poem is set to music in The Duel of the White-necked Ravens.

Elizabeth

Music Director for the Royal Ballet productions in 2016 at the Linbury Theatre and in 2018 at the Barbican Theatre. 

Farnborough Symphony Orchestra

Musical Director of Farnborough Symphony Orchestra since 2018. Recent programmes have featured works by Charlotte Bray and David Matthews. The inaugural Farnborough Symphony Orchestra Young Composers Competition in 2019 was won by Sam Gooderham with his piece, Candlewright 

Imperial College Sinfonietta

Musical Director of Sinfonietta since 2013. The orchestra champions innovative programming and staging dispositions and tours annually. A very welcoming orchestra, it is open to players from outside Imperial College, so contact if you are interested. 

Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra

Guest conductor for various programmes from 2009 to 2012. This also afforded the opportunity to explore the Al Hajar mountains.

Wolsey Orchestra

Bill has a long and fruitful relationship with Wolsey Orchestra, performing with world-class soloists in the grand old Corn Exchange in Ipswich, and the stunning acoustic of The Apex in Bury St Edmunds.

St Albans Symphony Orchestra

Bill has collaborated with SASO on large-scale programmes including Mahler, Symphony no. 5 and Elgar, Symphony no. 1.

Junior Royal Academy of Music and Junior Guildhall School of Music

Bill taught and coached for seven years at JRAM and now teaches conducting occasionally at JGSMD. 

Benslow Music

Adult education course

Bill has run this wonderful baroque music course with Theresa Caudle since 2010.  Open to all amateur baroque enthusiasts – with bursaries available for young professionals – it is a chance to work intensively on a different repertoire area each year. The next course is 21-24 September 2020. 

Jackdaws Music Education Trust

Music projects in Somerset

Co-leading the annual ‘Song Story’ and ‘Summer School’, composing and arranging music inspired by a different composer each year, working with Special Educational Needs schools across Somerset (Song Story) and chidren in the Frome area (Summer School). 

SEN projects with Patrick Stockbridge

Creating stories with music since 2011

In this unique professional partnership Bill and Patrick create immersive musical performances with students in Special Educational Needs schools across the UK. Their work has been the subject of a BBC Radio 4 documentary, When Words Fail, Music Speaks.

Private coaching

Coaching in conducting, composition, singing, theory and writing.

More about private coaching

Lockdown Lyrics

Photography ©Bill Carslake

A response to ‘lockdown’ in the UK during the COVID-19 emergency

Poetry

For nine consecutive days from 24 March 2020 Bill wrote a new poem or ‘lyric’. Each has three lines of nine syllables, creating ‘999’ for the state of emergency. These lyrics are set to music for two voices and cello.  He also wrote a three-part Rainbow Round and a three-part Bell Canon.