Paul Fowler

Paul Fowler

"The piece [Tapu’at] began with whirling woodwind figures, pulsing percussion and flickering strings. A second section had a slow, gentle flow, with liquid solo lines played beautifully by Laura Lutzke, the concertmaster. A stately passage for brass and rumbling percussion was followed by sections that were radiant, ghostly and shimmering by turns. The conclusion returned to the sounds of the introduction, restated more boldly. The colorful, attractive music was an ideal showcase for these accomplished players." - NEW YORK TIMES

Sourcing materials parsed from the world’s spiritual traditions and natural beauty, Paul Fowler’s music occupies a unique space that invokes our shared human experience. The New York Times has described his music as “radiant, ghostly, and shimmering.” Drawing on his fascination with esoteric systems of harmony and pitch and his regular work as an improvising pianist, vocalist, and electronic musician, Fowler’s music straddles old and new in a highly personal and integrative way. 

His works have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, the Park Avenue Armory, the National Concert Hall of Taiwan, and Japan’s Suntory Hall among others, and have been featured at Music from Angel Fire, Norway’s Borealis Festival, the MATA Festival, and Belgium’s International Marimba Festival. Selected performers and commissioners of Fowler’s work include the New York Youth Symphony, SymphoNYC, the Ju Percussion Group, The Crossing (choir), Hope Mohr Dance, and Young Concert Artist Naoko Takada. His music has been awarded the First Music Award, the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the Louis Smadbeck Composition Award and the Swan Composer Award (Honorable Mention). Recent projects for the composer include a choral work on Shakespeare, premiered in its entirety by the Ars Nova Singers in June of 2012, and a large-scale collaborative composition between Fowler, Paul Haas, and Bora Yoon, commissioned by and premiered at the Park Avenue Armory, for their Tune-In New Music Festival of 2011. 

With a keen interest in the computer as a creative instrument, Fowler has composed electronic works for dance, remixed Chaplin videos for his percussion ensemble piece, “Benzi: Chaplin,” and currently, is developing a live laptop improvisational setup that incorporates a visual interface (Percussa’s AudioCubes). Fowler has been exploring these ideas with the cutting edge orchestral ensemble, Sympho, conducted by Paul Haas. He’s performed ambient transitional material made from sounds of the audience and orchestra with Sympho and the Des Moines Symphony, and has composed works that integrate live sampling directly into the orchestra. 

His initial love for music was borne of the voice, being the child of 2 opera singers. During his formal vocal training he was awarded by NATS, Milwaukee’s MacAllister Awards and the NFAA Arts Recognition; he sang Nero in Monteverdi’s “L’Incoronazione di Poppea” and the Vicar in “Albert Herring” at Ithaca College, and was a soloist with the Syracuse Symphony. Over the past decade, Fowler has explored the voice outside of classical technique, most recently performing overtone (harmonic) singing in the premiere of his chamber orchestra work, “Beyond Completely Gone.” This technique allows Fowler to sing two-voice counterpoint by manipulating the upper harmonics of the voice in conjunction with the fundamental. Within the next year Fowler will release an album of his choral works performing all voice parts himself, also, a live solo project incorporating the voice and laptop manipulation thereof. 

As a break from his initial theater and voice studies, Fowler learned to improvise at the piano. Ultimately, this hobby lead to his work as a keyboardist, arranger, and band leader in jazz, world, and other popular musics. In 2003 he released his first album, Photograph, produced by Robbie Parrish at Sugar Hill Studios in Houston. He’s performed at New Orleans JazzFest, the AguaZero Festival in Ecuador, Taos Solar Fest, and on Japanese television. He’s played with jazz luminaries Bruce Dunlap, Donald Walden, Rob Schepps, and Andre Wright. After touring for several years with Native American artist and Grammy winner, Robert Mirabal, Fowler was associate producer for his award winning album, “In the Blood,” in 2007. He has produced several local artists of New Mexico and Colorado and performs regularly throughout the region. 

Fowler makes his home in Boulder, CO, where he conducts the chorus, and teaches theory and world music appreciation at Naropa University – a Buddhist inspired contemplative university. In addition he maintains a private studio for students of voice, composition, piano, and computer production. He has degrees in voice, composition and theater from Ithaca College and a Masters of Music in Composition from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.

Commission Information

Tapu'at
Commissioned for: 

Related Concert

February 25, 2007