Leading a double life, Paul converted his dorm room into a production studio and began arranging and recording strings for local underground punk artists, eventually leading to collaborations with bands like Pennywise, Veruca Salt, and Yellowcard. Paul's productions, which range from experimental orchestral works to gospel funk tunes, can be heard on numerous albums and film scores. Ever the versatile musician and improviser, Paul has toured and performed extensively with Jóhann Jóhannsson, Chick Corea, and others, while working closely with them on arrangements. He appears on two of Corea's albums, including Hot House, which won a Grammy in 2013. He has also had the honor of performing with the late Etta James at the Hollywood Bowl, and with Stanley Clarke at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Paul spent many summers nurturing his love for chamber music at the Aspen, Perlman, Olympic, and Marlboro Music Festivals, where he performed with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, and Ysaye Quartets. He has also had the pleasure of performing with Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Wiley and Richard Goode, among many others. After moving to New York in 2009, Paul joined the award-winning Harlem String Quartet, with whom he spent 3 years performing and teaching extensively throughout the US, Europe, South America, and Africa. Paul currently writes and performs as a member of the dynamic viola/cello duo Ayane & Paul, as well as the folk-inspired Bird's-Eye Trio, and tours regularly with the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME).
Winner of the 2018 S&R Foundation Washington Award for Composition, one of Paul's first large-scale works was a highly virtuosic concerto for cello, orchestra, and electronics. Entitled "Tales From Bent City," the piece blends Paul's passion for hip-hop and improvisation with his love of the great 19th century late-romantic composers, and its New York premiere was hailed by Sequenza21 as "surprising, fun, fresh, and innovative." Paul has since composed works for the Grammy-winning Parker Quartet, Met Opera soprano Susanna Phillips, cellist Judith Serkin, violist Ayane Kozasa, yMusic, Boston Cello Quartet, Bargemusic, and many others, and has been the composer-in-residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Twickenham, Newburyport, and Methow Valley Chamber Music Festivals. Paul recently completed composing the score for the new prison-drama feature film Heartlock, as well as a Mars-exploration-based work for solo piano commissioned by NASA scientist Dr. Peter Smith.
Paul performs on a 2010 Mario Miralles violoncello and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Though cello was his first love, Paul also enjoys playing guitar, bass, violin, viola, harmonica, berimbau, shamisen and theremin. He is passionate about woodworking and hiking, and never travels without a Tenkara rod.