Musicians from The Knights and Composer Paula Matthusen

making the whole world a sky

A composer, musicians, and world renowned environmentalists unite for this world premiere event that celebrates birds as a timeless source of inspiration for humanity.

A kind of alchemy occurred when Composer Paula Matthusen, Musicians from the Knights, and Ornithologist Andy Farnsworth collaborated on making the whole world a sky. Amidst a repertory inspired by birdsongs, listeners will find themselves in the presence of birds resurrected on early vinyl recordings or in migratory flights revisited through radio signals. Bringing together birdsong and music, the concert rhapsodically joins these two worlds, opening up a past and present in harmony with birdsong.


National Sawdust
80 N 6th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249

MAXMachina Artist Profile

The Knights are a collective of adventurous musicians dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music. Driven by an open-minded spirit of camaraderie and exploration, they inspire listeners with vibrant programs rooted in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery. The Knights evolved from late-night chamber music reading parties with friends at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. The Jacobsen brothers together serve as the artistic directors of The Knights, with Eric Jacobsen as conductor.

Proud to be known as “one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products … known far beyond the borough for their relaxed virtuosity and expansive repertory” (The New Yorker), the orchestra has toured extensively across the United States and Europe since their founding in 2007. The Knights are celebrated globally, appearing across the world’s most prestigious stages, including those at Tanglewood Music Center, Ravinia Music Festival, the Kennedy Center, the Vienna Musikverein, and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. The orchestra has collaborated with many renowned soloists including Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Béla Fleck, and Gil Shaham.

Paula Matthusen is a composer who writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations. In addition to composing for a variety of different ensembles, she also collaborates with choreographers and theater companies. She has written for diverse instrumentations, such as “run-on sentence of the pavement” for piano, ping-pong balls, and electronics, which Alex Ross of The New Yorker noted as being “entrancing”. Her work often considers discrepancies in musical space- real, imagined, and remembered. Recent areas of creative inquiry include extensive field recording, which has led to compositions and sound projects in aqueducts, caves, and sites of historic infrastructure.


Composer   Paula Matthusen – making the whole world a sky

Musicians from The Knights   Colin Jacobsen, Artistic Director & violin
Yaira Matyakubova, violin
Mario Gotoh, viola
Caitlin Sullivan, cello
Lizzie Burns, bass
Alex Sopp, flute
Todd Palmer, clarinet
Ashley Jackson, harp
David Stevens, percussion

Scientific Advisors   Dr. Andrew Farnsworth, Dr. David G. Haskell
Special Thanks to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Selections    Antonio Vivaldi: Flute Concerto in G minor,
“La Notte”
Lili Boulanger: Nocturne
Heitor Villa-Lobos: Song of Black Swan
Jessie Montgomery: Rhapsody No. 2
Paula Matthusen: making the whole world a sky
Tommy Potts, arr. Colin Jacobsen: The Butterfly
American Trad arr. Colin Jacobsen: Little Birdie
Joao Gilberto arr. Colin Jacobsen: Undiu
Colin Jacobsen / Siamak Aghaei: Ascending Bird