Musicians from The Knights and Composer Paula Matthusen

making the whole world a sky

Experience the enchanting world of winged wonders through the magical harmony of music with a world premiere and selections from a variety of cultures and epochs.

Composer Paula Matthusen and musicians from The Knights unite for this world premiere event that celebrates birds as a timeless source of inspiration for humanity. Bringing together birdsong and music, making the whole world a sky rhapsodically joins these two worlds. Matthusen’s spellbinding new composition draws on recent and historical research from Cornell Ornithology, bringing recordings of birds’ songs and the technologies used to interact with them – including The Knights’ musical instruments – into a shared realm. What starts as a song may emerge as a space to be interrupted, negotiated, and savored.



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.