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Paul Pinto

Jersey City, NJ         

Composer Paul Pinto creates, performs and produces experimental music and theatrical works, primarily focused innovative and engaging new form of opera-theater that fuse the musicality of American speech, poetry, classical music, extended vocal techniques and electronic sound art. He is a founding member of the acclaimed collectives Varispeed and thingNY, and his music has been performed across the U.S. and internationally with and by ensembles, performers and presenters around the world, including Joan La Barbara, Pauline Oliveros, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ne(x)tworks, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, loadbang, wildUP!, The Industry in LA, The Royal Scottish Academy Chamber Chorus, the Carnegie Mellon Concert Chorus, New Thread Saxophone Quartet, Iktus Percussion, BRIC Arts, The Whitney Biennial, The Kitchen, Roulette, Experiments in Opera, the Panoply Performance Laboratory and Performa.

His recent work as a composer, collaborator, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist has been praised in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, NewMusicBox and on Time Out New York. With his performance collective, Varispeed, Paul created a new site-specific arrangement of Robert Ashley’s seminal opera for television, Perfect Lives, which made TONY’s “Best of 2011” List and was praised by the Times’ as one of the “standout operas of recent decades”.

For years, Paul has been an advocate of underrepresented experimentalists in the classical music concert halls, particularly Julius Eastman and Robert Ashley, and has worked to diversify modern opera both in casting, and in form and style. Paul has chosen to work equally with traditional instruments and vocalists, lo-fi electronics, unconventional sound-makers and amateur musicians, creating one-minute opera, concert length chamber music, and durational performance art. At the helm of thingNY, Paul has premiered hundreds of works from emerging and established composers including Pauline Oliveros, Vinko Globokar, Art Jarvinen, John King, Kyle Gann and Gerard Grisey. With thingNY, he co-created and performed the operas ADDDDDDDDD (2008), TIME: A Complete Explanation in Three Parts (2011), and Jeff Young and Paul Pinto, Patriots, Run for Public Office on a Platform of Swift and Righteous Immigration Reform, Lots of Jobs, and a Healthy Environment (2013) and This Takes Place Close By (2015). Of their latest work, the new music journal I Care If You Listen writesrarely, if ever, [have I] seen an encyclopedic array of experimental effects so intimately linked with their expressive potential.”

As a vocalist, Paul has performed in the U.S. and Asia in untraditional chamber music works and experimental and improvisatory creations, including the 5-octave lead role in Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King, in John Sanborn and Dorian Wallace’s video opera, Temptation of St. Anthony, and originating the Broadway role of Balaga in Dave Malloy and Rachel Chavkin’s hit musical, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.

Scenes from his ballet, Miseke are available on DVD and CD through the educational UK label, Learning and Teaching Scotland. In addition to thingNY’s comic book opera release ADDDDDDDDD, Paul has self-released four albums: The Gentlemen (2009), a suite for vocals and electronics, Every Note on the Piano (2010), NUDES: live at the Mary Benson Gallery (2010), and For Stefanos Tsigrimanis (2011) an elegy for turntables, voice, guitar and electronics. His compositions also appear His scores have been published by Deep Listening Publications.

Paul is a recipient of several awards and grants from the New York Department of Cultural Affairs, New Music USA, Chamber Music America, The Puffin Foundation, and is currently in residence at the HERE Arts Center, where he is developing a new electronic opera for 2017, Thomas Paine in Violence.

“A composer and performer of astounding talent. He is one of those musicians who apparently can do anything”
-Robert Ashley, composer

“singing with cult-leader-magnetism”
Operavore, WQXR

thingNY: “…as avant-garde as anything I’ve seen recently – by which term I inexactly mean that it was more focused on how we live at this exact moment than on the traditional conventions of concert-giving.”
-Kyle Gann, PostClassical

VARISPEED: “Staged by performance-art cabal Varispeed in public and private spaces throughout the Village and Soho, this live version of Robert Ashley’s seminal multimedia opera was punky and profound, showing that innovation has less to do with bottomless budgets than with vision and spirit.”
-Steve Smith, Time Out New York [“Best of 2011”]

Thomas Paine in Violence (excerpt: “A chorus of brown men”)

An opera for ten performers and electronics
Composed by Paul Pinto
Performed by Joan La Barbara, Paul Pinto, Eddie Rodriguez, Christian Luu, Andrew Meyer and thingNY
HERE Arts Center, Nov. 2017
Directed by Rick Burkhardt
Four highly physical actors (The Manchorus) interrogate and agitate the Spirit of Thomas Paine (Joan La Barbara)
Lighting: Jeanette Suk-Yew
Choreography: Chloe Treat
Scenic: Carolyn Mraz
Sound: Philip White
Stage Manager: Alex B. West
Sound technician: William “Gus” Callahan

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For quartet of speaking/singing percussionists. Performed live at Roulette, Nov. 6, 2015 by Iktus Percussion (Josh Perry, Sean Statser, Piero Guimaraes, Chris Graham).

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Finale from Jeff Young and Paul Pinto, Patriots…

Text by Paul Pinto.
Performed by thingNY:
Paul Pinto, vocals, electronics;
Jeffrey Young, violin.
Recorded and edited by Matthew Bernard at JACK, Brooklyn (2013).

This final aria is part of a mobile spoken-word opera examining the political rhetoric of and personal stories of immigration and national identify in America.

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