PAUL WILLIAMS enjoyed a happy childhood free of music lessons. However, he taught himself saxophone at the age of 17 believing it to be a clarinet. After working in small group jazz and rock bands, he joined the Army Band upon call-up, and at 23 took up flute and bassoon, on which instrument he played with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Opera House Orchestra (he played in the first Opera, Ballet and Symphony concerts in the Opera House) and was with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Bassoonist from 1976-99.
He is also vastly experienced as a chamber musician and teacher. His 5 Licentiates (flute, recorder, bassoon, saxophone and clarinet)and Music Degree were achieved after the age of 50 – he currently plays with the Australian Philharmonic Orchestra where he may often be heard playing the saxophone solos.
Paul is also a popular after-dinner speaker with a different outlook on many aspects of life. Being of a reflective nature, he has given great thought to the supernatural phenomena which he has experienced, and encouraged by those of his friends who always interrupted him in the middle of the story he has committed these thoughts to paper in OUIJA NIGHTS.
Another experience which seems to stand out with the passing of time, is his experience of monastic life in a boarding school. So many people were incredulous at this experience that again he felt moved to set the record straight in MY TWO YEARS WITH GOD, or How I Lost My Vocation.
At this stage, his sister Anne rang him to tell him that the surname he had borne all his life was a mistake. Great Grandfather, whom we had known as Frank Williams, Welshman, Indian Scout, prisoner of the Confederates, Erie Canal worker, cooper and traveller, was actually Ira Coan, Great Grandson of Johannes Jerich Kuhn from the Rhineland. There was nought to do but write a book based on his cousin Michael Williams’ and wife Nita’s extensive research and his own further research. At 110,000 words, it’s a fine novel called COAN THE COOPER.
He followed that up with an historical romance called ANTONIA'S JOURNEY, set in the Sydney of 1830-1833, and soon after, a Sci Fi novel, MY IMMORTAL SOUL (www.coanwilliams.com).