Tim Williams

Tim photo

The idea for Composition Lab came from Tim Williams, Psappha's Artistic Director. Psappha has worked with many schools over the past 19 years and the most difficult area for both teachers and students is the composition element of the various courses on offer.

Tim came up with the idea of Composition Lab as a way in which both students and their teachers could use a film based resource to find out more about composition. By allowing the students to interact with elements of the site, a perceived 'difficult subject' is brought to life.

Tim has plans for stages 2 and 3 of the website which will be released as time goes on and funding becomes available. All of the films on the site have been directed and edited by Tim who has developed his interest and skills in film-making over the past 4 years.


Tim Williams trained at the RNCM in Manchester and has performed with most of the UK's symphony orchestras, opera and ballet companies as a freelance percussionist and timpanist. His particular interest in new music led him to form the ensemble Psappha in 1991. Since its inception he has been its Artistic Director and also its percussionist. With the ensemble he has performed throughout the UK, in Europe (France, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Ireland & Belgium), North America (New York and San Francisco), South America (Caracas and Buenos Aires) and Australia (Barossa Festival).

He has been featured prominently in such works as Stockhausen's Kontakte (also broadcast on BBC Radio 3), Birtwistle's The Axe Manual, Peter Maxwell Davies's Stedman Doubles (original 1955 version) (also recorded for CD and BBC Radio 3), Steven Mackey's Micro-Concerto (UK tour and CD recording), Martin Butler's Going with the Grain, Gordon McPherson Little Moses (also recorded for CD and BBC Radio 3), Alvarez's Temazcal, Boulez's Le Marteau sans Maitre (also recorded for BBC Radio 3) and Anthony Gilbert's Moonfaring (UK tour and recorded for CD).

In 1999 Tim Williams went to Budapest, bought a cimbalom (Hungary's national instrument) and taught himself to play it, going on to perform many works on the cimbalom including Stravinsky's Renard and Ragtime (BBC Proms), Boulez's Eclat/Multiples (London Sinfonietta), Mackey's Five Animated Shorts (Network for New Music, Philadelphia and Princeton and with Psappha, Cheltenham Festival, Lancaster, webcast and CD recording), Peter Maxwell Davies's Image, Reflection, Shadow (UK tour), Peter Maxwell Davies's Sonatina and Farewell to Stromness. In 2001 he worked on Scenes from a Novel with its composer György Kurtág at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. He has had works written for him by Gordon McPherson (Memory Crash and Lorelei), Anthony Gilbert (Vers de Lune), John Casken (Fractured Lines). He has also taken part in Kodály's singspiel Háry János on a number of occasions, Howard Shaw's Lord of the Rings Symphony and Kurtág's Stele.