Paul Newland is a composer, musician, and a founding member of the ensemble [rout] and the electric guitar duo exquisite corpse (David Arrowsmith/Paul Newland).


He studied composition at the Royal Northern College of Music with Anthony Gilbert and visting tutor Harrison Birtwistle, at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Michael Finnissy and at Royal Holloway University of London with Simon Holt receiving his doctorate in 2006. In 1999 he was awarded a Japanese government Monbusho scholarship to study with Japanese composer Jo Kondo and lived in Japan from 1999 to 2002.


Recent commissions and performances include Difference is everywhere (2017) for the Elias String Quartet commissioned by the Wigmore Hall Trust, things that happen again (again)  (2017) for Music We'd Like to Hear, and Angus MacPhee commissioned by Ilan Volkov for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and premiered in Glasgow at Tectonics 2015.


He has made several works in collaboration with choreographer and dancer Marina Collard including what this is, is... (2016), going on - going on (2015) and shellsuit (2015).


Many of his works have been written for and premiered by [rout] including; readymade2 (1997), standing jump (2002), situation2 (2007), husk (2009), nicholas givotovsky (2012) and holywell (2015).


Other works include : surface for London Symphony Orchestra commissioned for their Soundscape Pioneers series, Repetition and difference and Come gather... (solo piano) for Tim Parkinson, 1-4 (solo harpsichord) for Jane Chapman, monotonous forest for ensemble Radius commissioned by the Britten Foundation premiered at the Wigmore Hall, patina and essays in idleness  (solo guitar) for David Arrowsmith and momiji gari for Japanese guitarists Norio Sato and Toshimitsu Kamigaichi.


The electric guitar duo exquisite corpse has performed at London’s Vibe Bar, Café Oto, and Cakey Muto. As part of an ongoing project graft exquisite corpse created a series of semi-improvised works with choreographer Mari Frogner giving performances at Crondell St. Underground Car Park Shoreditch, The Book Club Spitalfields and The Old Police Station Deptford. The duo performed common wealth a work created specifically for the derelict Commonwealth Institute building on Kensington High Street. This new piece was created in collaboration with choreographer Mari Frogner and commissioned by Fruits of the Apocalypse for their Common Sounds project at Kensington and Chelsea Festval.


He is currently writing a solo piano piece for Satoko Inoue.


In 1993 he received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composition.


He is a Professor of Composition at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the Barbican London and at TrinityLaban Greenwich.






’unnervingly static...’


 The Scotsman review of being-as-it-is





'"…butterfly dreaming", prefaced by three mysterious Chinese riddles on the nature of being and consciousness. The piece's sparse succession of delicate high chords, interrupted by single sfffz notes, finds enigma and fascination among its repetitions and absences.'


James Weeks, Tempo 58/229.





’brilliantly focused...a pulsing undulating topography that punctuates familiar chords and intervals with surprising gaps and silences...’


 The Glasgow Herald review of being-as-it-is.





“Paul Newland’s contribution (1-4) embraces restraint to gorgeous effect, slowly spilling a smattering of notes over the course of two central pieces.”


Ruth Allen, Muso April-May 2009.





a curiously stark but also luscious piece that concentrates almost entirely on a sensuous overlay of gently tumbling micro-gestures made of barely there efflorescence. The obvious forbears for this piece, Feldman and Sciarrino, were constantly called to mind by the insistent character of acrid dreaminess in the music, but Newland should be applauded for having the courage of his convictions and taking this sort of sensibility to the limit.”


Stephen Graham





“…everything else was quiet and played in single, overlapping tones, a slow, unsynchronised (but carefully arranged) arpeggiation of a musical space. The first section was the purest in tone; in subsequent sections ‘dirt’ was introduced through changes in percussion, then cello timbres, and finally the introduction of greater dynamic range and a more pointillist texture. The delicate lifting effect thus produced as the three lines de-connected was quite magical, like tissue papers rising over a flame.”


Tim Rutherford-Johnson





“…disconcerting music”  


Elinor Walpole, review of “common wealth”



short biography


Paul Newland - composer/performer

• listening and the listener, materiality and immersive listening through patterning, repetition, extended duration, amplification, and slowing

• exploring context and encounter, site-specificity, spatialisation, work for the open-air

• economy of means – silence - memory

• altered tuning, noise

• acoustic objects

• founding member of [rout] and duo exquisite corpse