William Appleton is a contemporary art music composer who loves working with traditional acoustic instruments. His music revels in exposing the analytical construction of a piece to foreground what is usually left in the background in favor of emotion. Working with the ideas of many 20th century composers he establishes arbitrary rules to guide the composition process and distance the piece from the ego of the creator, making the subject of the piece the compositional process itself and not primarily the composer. Favorite guidelines include simple counting patterns, employed in a futile(?) search for universal transcendental meaning and intelligibility. Additionally the use of guidelines and ubiquitous patterns plays into a larger concern to shift the locus of interest away from the individual towards the communal in the artistic field, and in parallel, the political field.
William graduated from Pomona College in May of 2014, where he majored in Music with a concentration in composition, and minored in Sociology. He received numerous awards from Pomona College for his work in music, including ‘Distinction in the Senior Exercise’ for his senior composition recital, 4,3,2,1 and Back. In the summer of 2013 he received a grant from the Mellon Foundation to compose a work for orchestra, Expanding Grounds, which was played by the Pomona College Orchestra under the direction of Eric Lindholm. In the fall of 2014, he was commissioned by Tom Flaherty and Cindy Fogg to compose a viola and cello duet for their annual ‘Celliola’ concert.
He has participated in the Walden School’s Creative Musicians Retreat (2016) and the Atlantic Music Festival (2017) as a composer.
In addition to composing, he is also an avid performer of 20th century and contemporary piano and chamber music:
Aaron Copland: Piano Variations (1930)
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