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

22 Mar 2017
Museum of Human Achievement

Performing with collaborator Abinadi Meza as surface/re-surface at the Museum of Human Achievement in Austin Texas. Show starts at 7pm!

20 Mar 2017
They, Who Sound

Performing with Abinadi Meza as part of They, Who Sound at AvantGarden in Houston! Show starts at 7pm.

16 Mar 2017
Vaudeville Mews

Performing a set of live-electronics at Vaudeville Mews (Des Moines, IA). Show starts at 9:30 p.m.!

15 Mar 2017
Old Fires at Arts at Noon Series

Loadbang Ensemble performs old fires catch old buildings at GVSU for the Arts at Noon series! Documentation of the performance is available here.

14 Mar 2017
Vocal Constructivists at Cafe Oto

The Vocal Constructivists premiere a new work, within the fricative light of intention at Cafe Oto (London) as part of a concert commemorating the life and work of Pauline Oliveros.

9 Mar 2017
lathyrus in Reykjavik

Students from the Iceland Arts Academy (IAA) together with Berglind Tómasdóttir, Lilja Ásmundsdóttir, Erik DeLuca and Brian Griffeath-Loeb perform lathyrus along with works by Christian Wolff, John Cage, Brian Griffeath-Leob, and students of the IAA! More details here.

4 Mar 2017
CompPlayComp Marathon

A new piece water meets glass, dead horse bay is featured as part of the CompPlayComp Marathon at Spectrum, coordinated through the Composers Concordance! Show starts at 7pm and features a fabulous line up of composers performing their own work.

23 Feb 2017
duo :: duo

Performing Two Related Parts with Abigail Levine as part of a series of overlapping duets at Wesleyan University. This version of the performance/installation begins at 9:00 p.m. in Beckham Hall.

11 Feb 2017
Smack Mellon

Performing Two Related Parts with Abigail Levine at Smack Mellon within Jarrod Beck’s sculptural installation The Moon. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m.!

6 Feb 2017
Remembering Pauline Oliveros

Honored to be performing in the Apple Box Orchestra as part of the commemoration of Pauline Oliveros at the Park Avenue Armory.

4 Feb 2017
FETA 10 Fest!

Very happy to be joining Nestor Prieto at the Betsey Hotel on MIami Beach for the 12 Nights Festival. The entire weekend has a stellar line up including performances by Alex Lough, Jason Charney, On Structure and Bryan Jacobs, Jen Beattie and Adam Marks, and Philip White and Chris Pitsiokos.

28 Jan 2017
Dana Jessen: Carve CD Release Party!

Performing alongside Dana Jessen as part of the celebration of the release of her new CD Carve, which features of an implacable subtraction on it, as well as pieces by Sam Pluta, Peter V. Swendsen, and Kyle Bruckmann. The celebration begins at 8:00 p.m. at Soup & Sound (NYC)!

27 Jan 2017
Hidden Volumes @ Wesleyan

Performing Hidden Volumes with Terri Hron at within the stacks of Olin Library (3.5th Floor) at Wesleyan University. Show starts at 9:00 p.m. The piece combines recent improvisations conducted in stretches of the Aqua Traiana that lies under the American Academy in Rome.

22 Jan 2017
Michi Wiancko performs “lullaby for dead horse bay”

The amazing Michi Wiancko gives the NYC premiere of lullaby for dead horse bay as part of a series of new and old works performed with Michael Mizrahi. The show starts at 7:00 p.m. at Rockwood Music Hall.

Hidden Volumes

Performing Hidden Volumes with Terri Hron at Spectrum at 3:00 p.m.! The piece combines recent improvisations conducted in stretches of the Aqua Traiana that lies under the American Academy in Rome.