Tom Williams

Tom Williams


    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    composition (acoustic, electroacoustic, interactive, sonic art, multimedia), practice-based PhD or MA by Research, contemporary music analysis (acoustic/electroacoustic)


    Research activity per year

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    Personal profile



    Tom Williams studied composition at Huddersfield and Keele Universities and completed the Doctor of Musical Arts (Mus AD) in Composition in 1995 at Boston University.

    His music has received numerous international performances and broadcasts; these include BBC Radio 3, SEAMUS (Miami and Iowa), Sonorities (Belfast), EMMF (Kansas and Chicago), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Expo (Manchester and Scarborough), ACMC (Wellington and Brisbane), Futura (France), Sonus and TES (Canada), NYCEMF (New York in 2011/13) and at ICMC conferences (NYC, Barcelona, New Orleans, Ljubljana, Belfast); and he has written for dance, theatre and education. The 2008 CD featuring his acousmatic work, Taking Shelter, was described as having "detailed acousmatic works in the great UK tradition of restraint and passion" (Kevin Austin). His 5.1 composition Can was premiered in Noisefloor 2010, with performances in Cardiff at SAW, NYC-EMF, ICMC Stony Brook, Weimar New Music Festival, and at the Festival of New Music, Udine, Italy - where it won the Special Mention and medal of the Senato della Repubblica Italiana for the “electro-acoustic music” section of the VIII International Contemporary Music Contest "Città di Udine". Tom Williams was a prizewinner of the ALEA III 1993 composition competition for his piano and tape piece Ironwork; his acousmatic work Break was a finalist of 2004 Music Viva, and Shelter received an honourable mention in Bourge, IMEB 2006. Recent compositions include the dance video work, Voice (a retracing); Leaf for hulusi, and electronics, Rip Tide (solo piano, Philip Mead) and Dart premiered by the ‘cello innovator’ Madeleine Shapiro in New York in 2012, and is currently under production for a 2013 Madeleine Shapiro CD; the piece was nominated for the British Composer Awards 2013, Sonic Art Category, and it is available on Shapiro’s Sounds Nature CD, Albany Records label, New York.  Dart has had subsequent performances at ICMC2013 Perth, Australia; Seamus 2014, USA, and in the UK, including INTIME 2014, Coventry.

    His recent acousmatic work Home (Breath Replaced) was performed at MUSLAB2015 (Mexico City). Other performances == included ICMC2016  (Utrecht), Sonorities2016  (Belfast), NYCEMF 2017 (New York) CMMR 2016 (Sao Paulo); and the composition Can at  the Diffrazioni Festival 2016, Florence, and at MUSLAB2016. 

    More recent composition includes the song cycle with live electronics for the acclaimed soprano, Juliana Janes Yaffé, Meditations on a Landscape (from the poetry of PennyAnne Windsor).  This work has been performed at THIS 2017 in Leeds, and at NYCEMF 2017 June, New York, and at Sound+Environment 2017, University of Hull.

    2017 creative projects include the collaboration with the 360 film maker, Sarah Jones,  for the 360 short film 'The Town that Blew Away'. The film was presented at the BAFTA recognised festival ASFF and at Tacoma in the USA.  In 2017/18 he did the first contrabass clarient collaboration with the acclaimed bass clarinetist Sarah Watts.  The new substantial work is a concerto in design for contrabass and electroacoustic fixed media (utilising the Kyma 7 system). The composition is titled 'Weighed Down By Light' and was premiered at the Sounds Agenda Composers' Conference (April 29th, 2018), Sheffield University at DINA.  Recent performance includes SEAMUS2019, Berklee, Boston; SABRE Day, Zurich, Boston University and Noisefloor Festival 2019. A studio  performance recorded at Coventry University with Sarah Watts playing is now released on You Tube:

    In 2019 he was invited composer, speaker and concert curator at the Mapping Spaces, Sounding Places: Geographies of Sound in Audiovisual Media in Cremona, Italy where his new acousmatic work Pakefield on the Edge was premiered.  

    Research Interests


    • Electroacoustic Music composition
    • Music Composition (e.g. instrumental, vocal and experitmental electronic)
    • Acousmatic Music
    • Sonic Art and Sound Installation
    • Sound Spatialisation
    • Aesthetics and analysis of contemporary music 


    Vision Statement

    When composing I enjoy the exploration of new sounds, new material; exploring and exploiting the tension between the visceral resonance and the compositional imperative.

    Education/Academic qualification

    Music Composition, Doctorate, Boston University

    16 Sep 199212 May 1995

    Award Date: 26 May 1995

    Music, MA, Keele University

    15 Sep 198111 Sep 1983

    Award Date: 25 Nov 1983

    Music, Degree, University of Huddersfield

    21 Sep 19781 Jul 1981

    Award Date: 1 Jul 1982

    External positions

    MA Contemporary Arts (Sonic Arts), Oxford Brookes University

    1 Sep 20161 Sep 2019

    External Examiner MA Music Technology, University of Kent

    1 Sep 20151 Sep 2019

    External Examiner Music Network, Manchester Metropolitan University

    1 Sep 20141 Sep 2019


    • M Music
    • Composition
    • electroacoustic music
    • acousmatic
    • voice
    • instrumental
    • interactive
    • sonic arts
    • visual music
    • immersive sound


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