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

18 Jan 2017
Freedom of Art

Performing nacht nach nacht nach nacht nach nacht alongside friends and fans of Avant Media and Wild Project for Freedom of Art, a benefit for the NYCLU. The event starts at 8:00 p.m.!

12 Jan 2017

Performing a series of recent works at the Ultrasons Festival at the University of Montreal. Very excited to be included in the exciting line up of pieces, as well as to be working with Terri Hron to perform sparrows in supermarkets and to show recent work with Tom Snelgrove.

8 Jan 2017
Tribute to Pauline Oliveros

Participating in a wonderful tribute to Pauline Oliveros at the Fridman Gallery, in a group and telematic performance of the fabulous piece Apple Box.

2 Dec 2016
EQ Ensemble

The EQ Ensemble includes nacht nach nacht nach nacht nach nacht as part of a series featuring works by Caroline Park, Jason Huffman, Yoon-ji Lee, and Laura Cetilia. The show is at Lilypad (Cambridge, MA) and starts at 8:00 p.m.

13 Nov 2016
Glass Farm Ensemble @ Gare du Nord

The Glass Farm Ensemble performs ins frische Segenspruch at Gare du Nord (Basel, Switzerland) alongside works by Enjott Schnider, Juraj Kojs, Yvonne Troxler and Denis Schuler! Show starts at 5:00 p.m.

5 Nov 2016
comparative lightness @ 3P16

Performing on the comparative lightness of water as part of the 2016 Third Practice Festival at University of Richmond.

4 Nov 2016
Third Practice 2016

The performative sound installation between systems and grounds, developed with Olivia Valentine, is to be featured throughout the Third Practice Festival at the University of Richmond.

28 Oct 2016
Iktus Percussion performs “so much of any year is flammable”

Iktus Percussion performs a set of exciting works at Spectrum (NYC), including so much of any year is flammable. Show starts at 7:00 p.m.!

13 Oct 2016
Glass Farm Ensemble premieres “Ins Frische Segenspruch”

The fabulous Glass Farm Ensemble premieres Ins Frische Segenspruch for piano, baritone, and miniature electronics at Symphony Space! The show includes a number of premieres, with works by Yvonne Troxler, Luigi Laveglia, Roland Moser, Enjott Schneider, Kaija Saariaho, and Franz Schubert. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.!

27 Sep 2016
Celebrate: Metropolis Ensemble Turns Ten

Delighted to be involved in a series of overlapping and distributed performances as part of the celebration of the Metropolis Ensemble’s 10th year! “between moonlight and the smell of dust” will included as part of the event.

21 Sep 2016

Performing a set of live-electronics alongside Abinadi Meza at Spectrum (121 Ludlow St #2). Set begins at 9:00 p.m.!

17 Sep 2016
9 Evenings + 50

Performing a new work developed with choreographer Abigail Levine as part of the amazing lineup of events for 9 Evenings + 50 at the Fridman Gallery, curated by Julie Martin, Regine Basha and Daniel Neumann.

10 Sep 2016
Wet Ink: The Nature of Sound

Dana Jessen performs of an implacable subtraction as part of an amazing line up of electroacoustic works presented by Wet Ink at St. Peter’s Church, Chelsea ([NYC] 346 W 20th St). Show starts at 8:00 p.m.!

GVSU New Music Ensemble performs “on the analogical understandings of space” at Strange Beautiful Music 9

“on the analogical understandings of space” will be performed at the Strange Beautiful Music Series by the GVSU New Music Ensemble following their tour of the national parks in celebration of the National Park Centennial!

5 Aug 2016
“in words of one syllable” at The Walden School

The Walden School’s Choral Concert concludes a series of exciting concerts and premieres as part of their Young Musicians Program!