P is also for Paula

First of all, I should inform you now that I’m cheating. The next letter should be Q however, when it came down to it I just didn’t know any composers who’s first or last name starts with Q. I could try an get to know someone’s works really quickly or feature a composer I don’t really know but that didn’t seem like the correct choice (especially since I couldn’t find any living or contemporary composers). It seems more important to share composers who’s work I truly love and believe in. My main goal has in doing this challenge has been to share music of composers I enjoy and often personally know so hopefully reader and listener you too can discover new and interesting music.

So with that explanation out of the way, I present my composer for Q: Paula Matthusen. I met Paula late last summer where I was lucky enough to have a lesson with her as a perspective student applying to Wesleyan. Paula was my main reason for applying to Wesleyan she’s simply inspiring. I was fortunate to see her again in November when she came to present on her work at Hartt for composition seminar. She’s a really unique and wonderful composer who likes to blend old school and new school both in terms of technique and technology.

I find Paula’s music to be very endearing. There is an unexplainable concept in her music that sounds nostalgic. Perhaps it has to do with her use of old technology such as cassette recorders or maybe it’s her references to other composer’s works (such as her installation in Central Park which closely relates to/references Ive’s Central Park in the Dark). These both seem like they could be plausible reasons for Paula’s music to sound so nostalgic but, I think its something else. I think it’s something more engrained in the music and sound itself. I haven’t discovered what it is but, I hope as I continue to listen I one day will be able to discover what it is that makes her music feel so personal.

Recommended Listening/Viewing:


The Days are Nouns

In Words of One Syllable 

Of Architecture and Accumulation