Paula Matthusen is a composer who writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations. In addition to writing for a variety of different ensembles, she also collaborates with choreographers and theater companies. She has written for diverse instrumentations, such as “run-on sentence of the pavement” for piano, ping-pong balls, and electronics, which Alex Ross of The New Yorker noted as being “entrancing”. Her work often considers discrepancies in musical space—real, imagined, and remembered.

Her music has been performed by Dither, Mantra Percussion, the Bang On A Can All-Stars, Alarm Will Sound, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), orchest de ereprijs, The Glass Farm Ensemble, the Estonian National Ballet, James Moore, Kathryn Woodard, Todd Reynolds, Kathleen Supové, Margaret Lancaster and Jody Redhage. Her work has been performed at numerous venues and festivals in America and Europe, including the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the MusicNOW Series of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Ecstatic Music Festival, Other Minds, the MATA Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, the Aspen Music Festival, Bang on a Can Summer Institute of Music at MassMoCA, the Gaudeamus New Music Week, SEAMUS, International Computer Music Conference and Dither’s Invisible Dog Extravaganza. She performs frequently with Object Collection, and through the theater company Kinderdeutsch Projekts.

Awards include the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fulbright Grant, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers’ Awards, First Prize in the Young Composers’ Meeting Composition Competition, the MacCracken and Langley Ryan Fellowship, the “New Genre Prize” from the IAWM Search for New Music, and recently the 2014 Elliott Carter Rome Prize. Matthusen has also held residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, create@iEar at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, STEIM, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Matthusen completed her Ph.D. at New York University – GSAS. She was Director of Music Technology at Florida International University for four years, where she founded the FLEA Laptop Ensemble. Matthusen is currently Associate Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, where she teaches experimental music, composition, and music technology.

News archive

16 Dec 2013
Live-Electronics at Silent Barn

Performing a set of live-electronics using reel-to-reel tape deck plus feedback as part of a series of excellent performances curated by Philip White as part of “Internal Resonance” on December 16th. Show starts around 8:00 p.m.

16 Nov 2013
Performance at Mills College for Music Now!

“portable” and “eden’s arch of promise bending” to be performed Mills College as part of Music Now! Excited to be working with students at Mills as well as Nick Woodbury for “portable”. Show starts at 8:00 p.m.

7 Nov 2013
Sounds of Stockholm

Premiere of a new piece written for Nina de Heney (bass) and multi-channel live electronics to be featured at Audiorama in Stockholm!

26 Oct 2013
so much of any year is flammable

Mantra Percussion comes to Wesleyan University to repeat the concert originally produced as part of 3 Nights. Show begins at 8:00 p.m. in Memorial Chapel!

21 Oct 2013
Guest Lecture – Wellesley College

Presenting some recent compositions with composers and students at Wellesley College as part of a composers’ led by Jenny Johnson.

5 Oct 2013
sway at SoundWalk

Sound installation sway, developed collaboratively with Jacek Kolasinski, and Tung-Hui Hu, receives its American premiere at the 10th SoundWalk in Long Beach (CA). The wide range of performances and installations runs from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.!

28 Sep 2013
Guest Lecture – NYU

Excited to be presenting some recent work at NYU Steinhardt as part of the Composers Forum, organized by Julia Wolfe. Lecture starts at 6:45 p.m.

7 Sep 2013
Object Collection – NO HOTEL (Sept 7 – 22)

Performing live-electronics in Object Collection‘s latest opera NO HOTEL. Shows start at 8:00 p.m. at Incubator Arts Project. View the fabulous trailer here.

14 Aug 2013
Live Electronics at Silent Barn

Performing a set of live-electronics at the Silent Barn, and excite to share the evening with Tavish Miller, Alessandra Novaga, Travis Just, and John Hastings. Show starts at 8:00 p.m.

25 Jul 2013
Subtropics festival

Performing live-electronics as part of the 2013 Subtropics Festival (Miami)! Show starts at 8:00 p.m. at Audiotheque (Miami Beach) and features a set by Ronald Kuivila.

1 Jul 2013
premiere – “of whole movements and migrations”

The Glass Farm Ensemble premieres “of whole movements and migrations” Ð a new work for flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, and live-electronics! Show starts at 7:30 p.m. at Symphony Space.

30 Jun 2013
AEG at Napa Valley Opera House

The Estonian National Ballet continues their tour of AEG, with a performance at the Napa Valley Opera House! Show starts at 4:00 p.m.

28 Jun 2013
AEG comes to San Francisco!

The Estonian National Ballet performs AEG, with original choreography by Tiit Helimets and text by Abi Basch at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco! The original score features performances by Kathleen Supové, Yvonne Troxler, Tiit Helimets, and Molly Shaiken.

25 Jun 2013
Other Minds Festival

A series of works will be featured as part of the Other Minds Festival, including an improvisation with Pamela Z! Show starts at 8:00 p.m.!

24 May 2013
“in absentia” at Tangents Guitar Series

James Moore and Andie Springer perform “in absentia” at the Tangents Guitar Series in San Francisco. Composers featured include John Zorn, Lainie Fefferman, Larry Polansky, and Ken Thomson. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.