Dr Nick Williams has been appointed to develop the Foundation Degree (FdA) in Sound Design for Stage and Screen, which launches in September 2018.The sound foundation degree has been designed by Nick to allow students to develop the skills required for sound across digital media, film, TV and theatrical productions
Programme leader Nick, originally from Somerset and now living in Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear, has over 18 years in the sound design industry. Graduating in 2001 from University of Central Lancashire with a degree in Music and Creative Arts with Performance Technology, Nick then launched interdisciplinary performance company ‘theybreakinpieces’, creating multimedia installations, live performance, and experimental performance technologies nationally and internationally.
In 2013 Nick completed a PhD at Newcastle University in audio technology in interdisciplinary performance. His recent theatre credits include Alice in Wonderland, Dr Frankenstein and James and the Giant Peach for Northern Stage, Elton John’s Glasses at the Watford Palace Theatre, Let the Beat Go On for Unfolding Theatre and Sage Gateshead, and The Tempest at Improbable Theatre, Oxford Playhouse and Northern Stage.
Nick was also a musician and audio artist for inclusive dance company, Braena CIC, which specialises in composition, improvisation, dance and vocal practices, and the creation of audio instruments for use in multi-disciplinary workshops for children with special learning requirements.
The sound designer brings a wealth of experience to his role and is now preparing for the course launching in the autumn. He said: “The breadth of the course is amazing and I’m looking forward to the myriad of opportunities that students will have to explore sonic possibilities in a variety of professional production environments. Sharing my knowledge of sound design and seeing which direction the students take their learning is exciting, alongside taking an approach to sound design that values creativity on par with technical knowledge as a core skill.”
Nick’s comprehensive knowledge of audio technologies and techniques for stage and screen will allow the students to benefit from his experience across the breadth of performing arts, media and the sonic arts, working professionally as a sound practitioner including sound design for touring shows, large scale musicals, short films, installation and interactive installations.
Following on from building a successful sound design practice and knowing what it takes to achieve a sustainable career in sound, the creative practitioner is now recruiting the future generation of film and tv sound designers. He continued: “We are now seeking students for the Sound Design for Stage and Screen FdA who are passionate about sound and enthusiastic collaborators who have an interest in exploring the many ways to develop their sound practice.”
Nick also brings with him a wide network of industry contacts, adding: “With connections in many theatres, technical crews, artists and practitioners both in the region, nationally and internationally, I hope to draw on these networks to enhance the student experience as much as possible.”
Pat Chapman, Vice Principal (Employability and External Relations), said: “Our new foundation degree programme, , builds on our track record and respond to what industry figures have told us are the skills needed to sustain this growing and exciting industry in the northeast and the UK as a whole.
“Nick brings a combination of real world experience, and academic rigour which is vital to preparing our students as work ready professionals, and giving us the ability to offer great collaborative opportunities with theatres and production companies.