William E. (Bill) Smith was born in Bristol, England in 1938 and immigrated to Canada in 1963. Since 1989 he has lived on Hornby Island and participated in many wonderful events with island musicians, actors and writers. Within this environment he was encouraged by the late poet Billy Little to expand his journalistic writing into creative fiction.
As a young man Bill became an avid jazz fan and played drums and trumpet casually. Over the ensuing years he became a musician, writer, editor, graphic designer, photographer, and record and film producer. Anything to be involved with the music he loved. From 1963 until 2001 he was the art director/editor of the Canadian jazz magazine Coda, and producer, from 1976 until 2001, of Sackville Recordings and its subsidiary label Onari Records. In the 1980s he initiated a series of projects with the title "Imagine the Sound", including a book (now out of print) of his writings and photography, a traveling photographic show, and the award winning documentary film of the same name, which he co-produced with film maker Ron Mann.
As a musician he has performed and recorded with numerous players of international repute. In 2001 a CD of duets with Hornby Island guitarist Tony Wilson was released. (Learning New Tricks - Shire Editions)
"Rant & Dawdle: The Fictional Memoir of Colston Willmott" comprises thirty-eight interwoven stories from the perspective of a grumpy old man living on a small island off the west coast of Canada and an expectant young boy born into the poverty of WW2 English working class. The old man dreaming in retrospect, the young boy living a developing history, both to eventually rendezvous in the eighties. Filled with the humour and history of a post war generation nurtured on comic books, the Goon Show and jazz, Rant & Dawdle was originally published in a limited edition of 200.
As a photographer, his original prints hang in several public & private collections including MOMA, and his work has been reproduced in countless publications.
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