Bill works with shapes and patterns, correlating musical materials to kinetic sculpture. His music is defined by interlocking, hypnotic patterns interspersed with passages of intense rhythmic energy, while placing melodic content in the foreground.
“Ad emergere, distintiva, è una vena narrativa che si esplica nella studiata interpolazione di incisivi episodi melodici e ritmici, insieme a momenti di sospeso e incantato lirismo.”
(A distinctive narrative that emerges is the interpolation of incisive melodic and rhythmic episodes, together with moments of suspended and enchanted lyricism.)
-Filippo Focosi, Kothodik eZine, October 2017
"… exceptional command of melody and compositional form. The music…stands head and shoulders above others of its ilk…”
"Whitley composes music of integrity and sophistication that’s also disarmingly accessible—not an easy combination to achieve, even if he makes it sound easy…”
Whitley’s music has been performed primarily in Italy, Russia, and in the U.S., by ensembles ranging from Symphony Orchestra to Solo Electric Guitar. Commissions consist of chamber, choral, vocal, and orchestral works. Recent commissions include Matilde alle Fontane (2022), with Big Mouth Society in Portland, Oregon and Meditazioni sulla Dharmachakra (2017) by KUBIN in Milan. The title track for his most recent release Then Elephant Speaks, was written for Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado's "Crossover Ensemble", Milan.
His recordings have been reviewed in Fanfare Magazine, American Record Guide, Take Effect Reviews, Aural Awakenings, Review Graveyard, Cinemusical, Infodad, and Midwest Record--and have been broadcast live on Radio Horizon 93.9 (Johannesburg, South Africa), CKUW (Winnepeg), WPRB (Princeton, NJ), WTUL (New Orleans), HRT (Croatia), KALX (Berkeley), WRUV (Burlington), and WMBR (Cambridge).
Bill taught music theory and composition at Western Oregon University from 2004 to 2015, and served as Visiting Professorship at Lionel Hampton School of Music from 2015 to 2016. After a hiatus from teaching, he is now happy to be teaching again, as the instructor of music theory at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon since 2019.