Paul Chavez

Composer, instrumentalist and sound designer Paul Chavez’s music explores a variety of sonic terrains that draw on vernacular music, the spoken word, and environmental sounds. A native of Southern California, Chavez’s sound scores reflect his diverse background in music, audiovisual design, architecture, and sculpture. Chavez’s sonic constructs, recently hailed by the LA Times as “deliriously original”, are often formed on dissonant and atmospheric foundations punctuated with found objects and homemade instruments and overlaid with melodic themes ranging from the austere to the melancholy. The LA Times described his work as a "rich sound, a sustained drone studded with distant intimations of other events." Chavez received a Bachelor of Art in Music Composition from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied with composers John Carbon and Hagar Kadima as well as with installation artist Ann Hamilton. Chavez also studied architecture at UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning focusing on performance venues and energy efficient design techniques. In 2005 Paul founded the project ensemble FeltLike to facilitate collaboration in future work. Chavez and his ensemble use recording processes and immersive sound reproduction to achieve organic, coarse music settings for dance, theater and installation. His scores are often improvisational and created through a process he has developed of creating abundant material in advance and then selecting sounds and mixing the score live responding to the dancers. His music and sound designs have been heard at Los Angeles Music Center, the Guggenheim Museum, the Architecture and Design Museum, Regen Projects and Dublin’s Project Arts Centre, Barcelona’s Hiroshima Theater, and in the dances and installation work of Oguri, Roxanne Steinberg, Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin, Stephan Koplowitz, Carole Kim, Sarah Elgart, Morleigh Steinberg, and Melinda Ring and in 2010 he collaborated with U2’s The Edge on the score for Arcane Collective’s Cold Dream Colour. Through his background as an audio engineer and audiovisual consultant, he often creates unique sound system designs to highlight the spatial and environmental aspects of his work. Through his work as an audiovisual consultant Chavez has created sound and video system designs for numerous corporate, institutional and entertainment facilities, including California Plaza Amphitheaters in Los Angeles, UC Santa Cruz Recital Hall, Thousand Oaks Civic Plaza, the Getty Center, the Metreon “Where the Wild Things Are” exhibit in San Francisco, the American Pavilion at the Aichi World Expo in Japan, the Blue Man Group “Making Waves” Exhibit for the Boston Children’s Museum and the Regent Theater in Los Angeles. He currently serves as the Director of Systems Applications for the world’s largest professional audio equipment manufacturer, Harman Professional Solutions, a division of Harman International.