Fri 20 Sep 2019 13:00
Studio Resident Charlie Williams joins us to discuss his latest project, 'The Sea Was Never Blue,' an hour of melodic, dynamic new piano music with bespoke algorithmically-generated live visuals.
New media artist Charlie Williams made his first creative mark partially disassembling his parents’ piano to capture the sound of ‘a rocket launch in a thunderstorm’. He eventually added in just enough concert technique to win the Northwestern University concerto competition, the Kenosha Symphony concerto competition, and a prize for 20th/21st-century music at the Shostakovich International Piano Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia.
He collaborated with multiple Grammy-award-winning new-music ensemble eighth blackbird at Cincinnati Conservatory’s Music09 in Cincinnati, and MusicX in Blonay (CH), with members of the group later commissioning an evolving sound-design work to support a performance at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
Selected for the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme with Tod Machover (MIT Media Lab) and Milton Mermikides (Royal College of Music) he created e to one million places, a solo work for piano, live electronics, and live and prerecorded video, which he performed at King’s Place Hall One (London) and TEDxAldeburgh.
Continuing to work in increasingly technical media, he was awarded the Ritari Hyvämielksi, a Finnish ‘cultural knighthood’, for his reactive software installations shown at the Arteles Centre (FI). His cultural-commentary tech-intervention Cuddlr saw over a quarter-million downloads, global press coverage, and was named in WIRED magazine's top 100 apps. His algorithmic video work has screened at the Shanghai Expo and Museum of Rome. His contributions to music-recognition app Shazam were used by hundreds of millions of people and featured as Apple's App of the Day.
He holds an MPhil from University of Cambridge’s Centre for Music and Science and was named a “Rising Star” by the school’s Festival of Ideas. Since, he has published and presented work on musical aspects of human-computer interaction around the world. He has taught music technology for screen composition at Columbia College Chicago, and coding to teens, university students and professionals.
Williams lives with his partner and family in the bucolic Georgian city of Bath, where he doesn’t get his piano tuned as often as he should.