Matthew Joseph Payne

We commissioned the San Francisco Bay Area based composer and chiptune artist Matthew Joseph Payne to write a piece for us plus Gameboy. We will be premiering his piece in San Francisco on September 27, 2013.


Meerenai met Matt in 2011 when they were both working on Jonathan Mann's June a Day album.  (OK, Meerenai just played flute on one track while Matt was doing the heavy lifting: arranging string/wind parts for every song on the album AND playing multiple instruments on the album too!) After experiencing Matt's band (The Glowing Stars) live, Meerenai knew that she needed a piece from the mind of Matt Payne. After Chris heard the piece that Matt wrote for Meerenai, he insisted that the A/B Duo commission him too.


flight of the bleeper bird, ii. obviously i was abducted by paper aliens by Matthew Joseph Payne from Meerenai's album The Art of Noise. 

Photo credit: Riki Feldmann


Matthew Joseph Payne is an Oakland, CA based composer, songwriter, arranger, sound designer and multi-instrumentalist, blending chipmusic with handmade and traditional instrumentation to create dynamic and unique songs, compositions and performances. Matt fluidly combines his technical expertise with a heady artistic sensibility to create engaging pieces and performances, and to realize collaborations with a variety of artists. He has worked as a performer, arranger and/or composer with internet sensations Pomplamoose and Jonathan Mann, cult independent bands The Family Crest, Radiation City and Judgement Day, as well as a number of San Francisco Bay Area dance and theater companies. He is also an active part of the regional chipmusic scene as a performer, workshop organizer, and collaborator, as well as a member of the now defunct chiptune/rock group The Glowing Stars. See what he is up to at, and hear his music at


(We had a grand old time thinking up fun questions for our composers!) 

A/B: Any pre/during/post composition rituals?

Matt: Nope!

A/B: Favorite drink after finishing a composition?

Matt:  Before, during or after, I'm a lover of a good hard cider. I'm also a sucker for a good Caipirinha.

A/B: Stay-cation or vacation?

Matt:  Tour.

A/B: Rom-com or Action-Thriller?

Matt:  First person shooter.

A/B: Nsync or Backstreet?

Matt:  Justin Timberlake.

A/B: Cake or Pie?

Matt:  I'm gluten-free. Cake.

A/B: Favorite live musical moment?

Matt:  Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's "The Widening Eye" at their final show.

A/B: Apple or Microsoft?

Matt:  Apple.

A/B: Sibelius or Finale?

Matt:  Sibelius... as long as it lasts me.

A/B: Favorite Artist?

Matt:  Robert Rauchenberg? Carla Khilstedt? Anyone with an alliterative name.

A/B: Favorite Book?

Matt:  Right now I'm deeply and frequently engaged with "Llama Llama Hippity Hop" by Anna Dewdny.

A/B: Ideal vacation spot?

Matt:  Tour van.

A/B: Guilty pleasure?

Matt:  Tetris.

A/B: Favorite Sesame Street character?

Matt:  Bert & Ernie.

A/B: Favorite breakfast food?

Matt:  Bacon. And not in the hipster way. Prather Ranch makes the best uncured, sugar-free bacon.

A/B: Your proudest moment?

Matt:  The next one.

A/B: Vinyl, cassette tape, compact discs, or mp3?

Matt:  Minidisc!

A/B: Name one item on your bucket list.

Matt:  These Gamma Seal lids are a common item on my bucket lists.

A/B: Favorite movie?

Matt:  Wall-E maybe? I don't watch a lot of movies.

A/B: Your first LP, tape, CD, etc. purchase?

Matt:  Green Day's 1994 masterpiece, "Dookie".