Ed Williams

Composer, Improviser, Performer, Researcher

Ed Williams is a harpsichordist, guitarist and composer working within the interstices between early music practices, noise improvisation, experimental composition and eco-feminist aesthetics. Based between Marseille, France, and Basel, Switzerland, they are currently working with instrumental ensembles as well as specific instruments such as microtonal organ, harpsichord and electric guitar on open compositions that combine 16th-century experimentation into microtonality and improvisation with contemporary performance practice. These care- and risk-taking collaborative processes happen through deep, iterative exploration of tones and timbres, and are being developed alongside research into queer phenomenology and eco-feminist notions of dis/orientation, dis/identification, entanglement and social engagement.

The term “decomposition” has come to summarize the overall nature of these projects, as much in terms of concept as practice. They have released music on Editions Wandelweiser, Creative Sources, Insub. Records, Tombed Visions, and play with the Insub Meta Orchestra and Unorthodox Jukebox Orchestra. They have toured Europe and North America with improvised music projects such as TANDEM, Multiversal and solo projects. Their podcast Echo Chamber (2017-2020) dealt with the philosophical, social and emotional aspects of experimental music-making.

They hold ABRSM Grade 8 in Harpsichord and Classical Guitar and studied composition at the University of Edinburgh before going on to electroacoustic and chamber composition at the Marseille Conservatory. They translate texts for French new music publishers Maison ONA and Artchipel, as well as contributing to the translation of various other music and film projects.