Go Embrace Release, with choreographer Lindsey Lollie. Every single sound in the music is sourced from the choreographer reciting the three title words.

ASTEROZOA, my graduation recital piece, performed Tuesday, March 19, 2013 in the Roy O. Disney Concert Hall at CalArts. A work for multiple ensembles drawing inspiration from various abstractions of the number 5.

Writing For Strings, a series of compositional studies of string ensembles and the instruments therein, under the tutelage of cellist Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick.

Above It All, with choreographer Cesilie Kverneland. Features snowy ambience, a dubstep-influenced breakdown, and bass so heavy it vibrates the camera lens at 10:05.

Bell Curve by Paul Matthis

Most sounds come from recordings of water dripping onto the bell of a trumpet. Note: It is really hard to get clean recordings of water dripping onto the bell of a trumpet. This piece was featured as the climax of Katie Gardner’s acrobatic opera “Flight”.

The Next Step is to Go Back, with choreographer/dancer Lindsey Lollie.

Selected for performance at ACDFA!
And at Pasadena Dance Festival (Nice review)
Praise for The Next Step is to Go Back from Simi Valley-based choreographer Beth Megill: “Soloist Lindsey Lollie performed a captivating piece set to spoken word by Paul Matthis. The Next Step is To Go Back was an experiment in the physics of the body that was engaging and at times confounding to watch. Lollie performed her work with remarkable ease and control. Utilizing the most contemporary release techniques with a fluency I really admire. Her opening inversion and subtle head movements set up her physical strength and agility that did not wane throughout the piece.

The film version of this dance has been selected to screen at the Lincoln Center in New York City this February. Click the below image to view the trailer!

dance on camera

Yes is Not Passive, by Stephanie Nugent. Performed at REDCAT and Santa Cruz Fringe Festival!

Click above image for gallery
Nice review 1
Nice review 2

I Am Amandla, with choreographer/dancer Mersiha Mesihouvic of CircuitDebris.

The Lamp Piece, with choreographer/dancer Michelle Sagarminaga.

Subtopia, a dance film by Victoria Sendra, choreography by Lindsey Lollie.

There in the Old City by Paul Matthis

My first composition written for and recorded by full chamber orchestra.

I am currently the only person in history to perform John Cage’s Song Books in their entirety in a single performance. The realization occurred on February 5, 2012 as part of the Long Books, performed at various locations around CalArts for the John Cage Centenary Festival. The event was featured in L.A. Weekly, as well as a short compilation video which features a small part of my performance.

The Long Books: John Cage’s Complete ‘Song Books’ at CalArts 2-5-2012 from on Vimeo.

Swarm of the Raxion Gruntle Bugs, for prepared, amplified and also not amplified piano, performed by Christoffer Schunk.

$4.33, live electroacoustic improvisation with Kameron Christopher and Jon He.

Everything above this line is from after grad school started.

Inspired by modern dance music and a variety of genre influences, including world music and the blues.

Freneticism by Paul Matthis

Hello! I am Paul Matthis. I’m an MFA-1 Composer/Performer for voice at California Institute of the Arts. I also do a bunch of live electronics and stuff. Everything from the top of the page is recent, everything around here and below is old.

Feel free to contact me at! I also update my blog about things I like or have done, so subscribing to that would be cool too :)

Pop demo:

Paul Matthis – Demo 2011 by Paul Matthis

Film & Dance

Three collaborations with NY choreographer Nicole Durfee:

Artifacts of Lost Moments from Paul Matthis

Rooms & Reasons: House from Paul Matthis

Rooms & Reasons: Train Station from Paul Matthis

I scored nine student films in the two years I went to Florida State. They are seven or eight years old, but I’m linking one here anyway. It has no dialogue and was scored in a very insane three days, part of why I still like it:

Playback from Paul Matthis


Live looping through my Boss DD-20 Giga Delay pedal. What you don’t see is my foot dexterously manipulating through presets as I try really hard not to rush the tempo.

Next come these cartoony concept storyboards to a track from the bottommost playlist. I think it’s really funny how the drawings get progressively crappier as my hand gets more tired. I don’t know how the character animation kids do it, seriously.

Moar playlists:

Paul & Romann – Backpack Studio (2010) by jawshack

A collaboration with cognitive scientist and genius jazz pianist Romann Weber. He was in town for the summer and discovered he’d gained access to a rehearsal studio at CalTech with two grands, so I brought my ninja recording setup and we did some collaborative improv over the course of several Saturdays.

And finally:

The Jawshack Promo (2009) by jawshack

In 2009 I moved into a rehearsal studio with the intention of figuring out how pop music works. I listened to a ton of blues and folk music and started a new song every day. This is about one tenth of what I made in the course of three months, which I then released as an album because why the hell not, that’s why.

So yeah, that’s a pretty good spread of stuff I’ve done in the past that I hate now, but you know how that goes. I’d totally love to get swamped by emails from other CalArts students from any of the schools, or professional queries, or broke people who just want to say hey. So hit me up at, and thanks for dropping by!

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