Christopher A. Williams (1981, San Diego) makes and researches (mostly) experimental music. From 2021-2025 he will lead the research project (Musical) Improvisation and Ethics (Austrian Science Fund ZK 93) at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.
As a composer and contrabassist, his work runs the gamut from chamber music, improvisation, and radio art to collaborations with dancers, sound artists, and visual artists. Performances and collaborations with Derek Bailey, Compagnie Ouie/Dire, Charles Curtis, LaMonte Young’s Theatre of Eternal Music, Ferran Fages, Robin Hayward (as Reidemeister Move), Barbara Held, Christian Kesten, Christina Kubisch, Liminar, Maulwerker, Charlie Morrow, David Moss, Andrea Neumann, Mary Oliver and Rozemarie Heggen, Ben Patterson, Robyn Schulkowsky, Ensemble SuperMusique, Vocal Constructivists, dancers Jadi Carboni and Martin Sonderkamp, filmmaker Zachary Kerschberg, and painters Sebastian Dacey and Tanja Smit. This work has appeared in various North American and European experimental music circuits, as well as on VPRO Radio 6 (Holland), Deutschlandfunk Kultur, the Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona, Volksbühne Berlin, and the American Documentary Film Festival.
Williams’ artistic research takes the form of both conventional academic publications and practice-based multimedia projects. His writings appear in journals such as the Journal for Artistic Research, Critical Studies in Improvisation, TEMPO, Contemporary Music Review, Journal of Sonic Studies, Open Space Magazine, and diverse anthologies. Williams has received scholarships, grants, and prizes from the University of California, the Darmstadt Summer Courses, the Arts Council of Catalunya, Goethe Institut, Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin, Festival Acanthes, and the American Documentary Film Festival.
He co-curates the Berlin concert series KONTRAKLANG. From 2009-2015 he co-curated the salon series Certain Sundays.
Williams holds a B.A. from the University of California San Diego (Charles Curtis, Chaya Czernowin, and Bertram Turetzky); and a Ph.D. from the University of Leiden (Marcel Cobussen and Richard Barrett). His native digital dissertation is Tactile Paths: on and through Notation for Improvisers <www.tactilepaths.net>.