Aquamonica – Kathryn Williams + Andy Ingamells

Aquamonica is for an ensemble of swimmers playing harmonica. It developed during a playful morning of musical experimentation at a local swimming pool in Manchester (UK) in 2018, which also yielded Aquafifer, which was recorded and released as part of Kathryn's CD Coming Up For Air on Huddersfield Contemporary Records in 2019. 

Aquamonica has further developed through email exchanges between Kathryn and I during the COVID-19 lockdown, focussing on our memories of the day at the pool in 2018 and using footage of the day to create text-score recreations of our playing. The piece highlights breath while swimming, and will be altered by different water temperatures and contexts. We are fascinated to see how the sounds will change when performed in colder water.

( Watch video here )

Andy Ingamells is an experimental musician who develops unusual methods of composition that blur the line between composer and performer. He has filled taxis with recorder players reading traffic lights as notation, played gold-painted pianos overflowing with buckets of red wallpaper paste, invented the game of violin cricket, and been tickled by improvisers playing his ticklish body as a musical instrument. His work is rooted in traditional elements of music making and Western classical concert conventions, but implemented in a different way.  His work has been performed in the National Portrait Gallery, the Handel & Hendrix House Museum and Café Oto in London, the Orgelpark and Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, the Lapidarium of Kings in Copenhagen, Walled City Festival in Derry, Birmingham International Dance Festival, and Cheltenham Music Festival. 

Kathryn Williams is a "strangely fascinating" (BBC Music Magazine) flautist and composer whose work focuses upon transgressing real or imagined limits of physical and musical abilities through a series of collaborative performance projects. Currently, Kathryn’s work is centred around breathing and finding ways of overcoming asthma to more powerfully connect with her respiratory system. Her project Coming Up for Air commissions pieces limited to a single breath (one inhale and exhale) and contains over 100 works. A collection of 40 single-breath pieces is now available on Huddersfield Contemporary Records, in association with NMC. Kathryn served as a soloist on the Live Music Now! scheme for six years, regularly delivering vibrant and engaging workshops and performances in a variety of settings including hospital wards, care homes, schools, and prisons. A specialist in Early Years musical, theatrical, and therapeutic settings, Kathryn has worked for Peoplescape Theatre, Manchester Museum, Z-Arts, Martenscroft Nursery School, Music in Hospitals and Care, and has undertaken a two-year music residency at Alder Hey Children's Hospital. She recently worked with musicians from Drake Music Scotland to create a SEN film resource for BBC Ten Pieces Trailblazers


Kathryn Williams and Andy Ingamells operate together as performance and composition duo Private Hire. Their work teeters on a balance of rigorous enquiry and playfulness, including the practice of pentimento (a technique used in oil painting where sketches underneath the paint are slowly revealed over time) and applying this to sound, performance, and their bodies. Their work has been made in bathtubs, reed beds, and leisure centres between Manchester and The Republic of Ireland.