Matthew Chamberlain’s music lov­ing­ly explores a crit­i­cal rela­tion­ship with the expres­sive tropes of late Roman­tic music. Cre­at­ed through a com­bi­na­tion of intu­itive and algo­rith­mic work, his music imper­fect­ly traces tri­adic pro­gres­sions through micro­ton­al­ly expand­ed har­mon­ic space, inscrib­ing the famil­iar with­in the con­tin­gent. In per­for­mance, Chamberlain’s pieces cre­ate dra­mas of affect and expec­ta­tion: As the musi­cians strive to project a roman­tic ide­al of expres­sion through bar­ri­ers of tech­ni­cal and tim­bral insta­bil­i­ty, the audi­ence is asked to empathize dou­bly with the per­form­ers and the affec­tive jour­ney of the music itself, to love and for­give its many fail­ures to pro­duce some­thing nor­ma­tive­ly beautiful. 

Matthew Chamberlain at Royaumont Abbey, August 2017

Photo by Shiuan Chang

Finished Pieces

Score sam­ples and media are avail­able on each piece’s page. Full scores and parts can be pur­chased direct­ly from the composer.

Science Fiction Music

For Sinfonietta
Beethoven bob­ble­heads, sneaky dances, and oth­er, def­i­nite­ly mean­ing­ful, disasters.

Com­mis­sioned by Tim Weiss for the Ober­lin Sin­foni­et­ta.
Ded­i­cat­ed to Jade Conlee.


  • solo flute
Stub­born­ly remain­ing some­where between fight and flight. Always mov­ing towards exhaustion.

For Michael Mat­suno.
Pre­miered Sep­tem­ber 2017 at Arts @ 29 Gar­den.

In Ignorance

For ensemble and noise machine
A strug­gle to inflate a few chords; a pianist fail­ing to dance; an absence that isn’t a vacuum.

For Jean-Philippe Wurtz and Ensem­ble Lin­ea, with sup­port from the Robert and Car­ol Mor­ris Cen­ter for 21st Cen­tu­ry Music. Pre­miered April 2016 by Ensem­ble LIN­EA with Jean-Philippe Wurtz, con­duc­tor.

Little Monument

  • oboe
  • and cello
A very real­is­tic piece, inas­much as it often, but not always, fails.

Com­mis­sioned by Duo Parvenue.

Works in Progress

Cur­rent projects and pieces in revi­sion. Details about many of the pieces may be found on their indi­vid­ual pages or in the research section.

Board Games

  • Piano
  • and Soprano
Songs pre­dom­i­nant­ly about gnomes