Bethan Morgan-Williams (1992-) is a composer who writes quirky, rhythmically-intricate music. Described as “marvellously oblique and obscure” [5against4] while being “rooted in something ancient and folky” [The Telegraph], Bethan’s music finds motivation in the apogee of musical performance. With composer-performer collaborations a key part of Bethan’s practice, each piece is written according to the characters of those involved.
Bethan is currently based in mid-Wales, having studied predominantly with Gary Carpenter at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and Diderik Wagenaar at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag.
Current projects include the making of a solo guitar piece, which was commissioned by the International Guitar Foundation & Festivals and will receive its premiere at the London Guitar Festival in October; and a new piece for PSAPPHA Ensemble, which was commissioned as part of their 30th birthday celebrations. Current preoccupations include the use of text as a means of generating rhythmic content; and the effects of revisiting material interactions on the substructure of ‘finished’ pieces.
Upcoming events include three world premieres and a performance of In Sleep Braces – for solo organ – by Huw Morgan in Bristol. The first premiere is that of Dog in the Moon by Antoine Tamestit (viola) & Colin Currie (percussion) at LSO St. Luke’s in October; the second is Cusan Aderyn – a piece for soprano & piano trio – that will feature in the Wales International Piano Festival in Caernarfon, also in October; and the third will be a virtual premiere of Parodi i Dri – for clarinet, violin & piano – by National Youth Orchestra of Wales players, also(!) in October. Please visit the events page for more information.
24 February 2021
Gêmdis (2020), for solo E-flat clarinet and ensemble, has been released by Carl Rosman & Ensemble Musikfabrik (cond. Christian Eggen). The title ‘Gêmdis’ combines the Welsh words for ‘game’ and ‘dice’, and like a desperate gambler, the music keeps returning for another roll of the dice.
11 January 2021
Gêmdis, for solo E-flat clarinet and ensemble was recorded by Martin Pilger & Ensemble Musikfabrik in November, and is expected to be released shortly. Meanwhile, a solo version of the same piece and a violin and piano piece from last year – Datod – have been recorded live to video tape and are due to be released as part of the ensemble's Lockdown Tapes series soon.
14 July 2020
Datod, for violin and piano, received its premiere in Cologne yesterday. Performers Hannah Weirich and Ulrich Löffler absolutely blew me away with two(!) fabulous performances. A recording of the second performance, which was especially moving, can be accessed via this post.
To view previous articles please visit Bethan’s blog