Nick Williams - Another Loud Song

Workshop performance video

‘The rules here ban not just paints but pens other than blue (supposedly we could use them to make tattoos – as though we couldn’t make a tattoo with a blue pen)…’ Maria Alyokhina, letter from detention, March 29th 2012 In 2006 I wrote a piece for ensemble, Frak. The title, a corruption of ‘frock coat’, refers to a full set of tattoos sported by prisoners in the Russian penal system; particular designs are associated with particular crimes, so a prisoner’s body is made to tell their criminal history. In 2012 a group of women calling themselves Pussy Riot staged a protest action in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, wearing neon-coloured tights, dresses and balaclavas. In the western media, their protest and the subsequent imprisonment of two of the participants was framed in terms of free speech; but this ignored the fact that Pussy Riot was part of a wider antiauthoritarian, punk/feminist/anarchist performance art collective with a history of confrontational manifestations. In 2019 I wrote an orchestral piece, ORC, which reworked some of the basic material of Frak. Orc is a character in William Blake’s mythology, representing the spirit of youthful energy and rebellion against tyrannical and patriarchal systems, both political and religious. These three things (Frak, Orc, Pussy Riot) were connected in my mind and resulted first in Loud Song, and now Another Loud Song which takes the material of the former in a different direction. ‘Punk’s not dead’ – Nadya Tolokonnikova, letter from detention, April 11th 2012.

Composer: Nick Williams

Composer photo
Photo of Nick Williams

Nick Williams: composer, improviser, conductor, lecturer, teacher. Studied at York and Huddersfield universities. Self-taught as a composer, but has had valuable advice and guidance from, among others, Dominic Muldowney, Christopher Fox, Bryn Harrison and Louis Andriessen. His music has been described as 'post-punk classical' and 'hyperactive postminimalism'. He has written for a number of ensembles and soloists and his music has been performed throughout Europe, the USA and Canada.