Paul Norman is a composer who places emphasis on ideas and concepts and whose performances include visual and performative elements. Norman sees composition as an approach to art making grounded in musical experience that carries a specific relationship to temporality and structure. For him composing becomes a way of trying to understand little bits of the world and a way to point at the situations he finds intriguing. In doing this he encourages the audience to share this process, to ask questions and to make decisions that resonate within the given compositional frame of the performance.
Norman has shown both solo projects and interdisciplinary collaborations together with dance, visual art and theatre, across Europe. This has included the exploration of audience comfort through the use of compositional strategies that produce relaxing music when a space in too quiet in the interdisciplinary collaboration with choreographer Sebastian Mathias and Nino Baumgartner maneuvers/groove space. With the work Pointing at Things: It started when you read this, produced in the context of the Frankfurt LAB residency programme, Norman used text scores to activate the audience’s decision making, asking them to consider choices about their actions as compositional.
Norman was awarded a PhD from Birmingham City University (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) in 2018. His full-time study was supported with a stipend from the Midlands3Cities DTP. Norman is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Birmingham City University and lectures in Composition and Experimental Performance at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.