A prolific and versatile composer, Paul has written music for radio, film and television, chamber and symphony orchestras, as well as for jazz and theater art groups. He has collaborated with poets, dancers, photographers, painters and film makers, and he has created music for the literary works of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Tennessee Williams, Pablo Neruda, Goethe, Rumi, Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Lord Byron and Voltaire, among others. His works have been performed by the Houston Symphony, Galveston Symphony, Houston Civic Symphony and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. His catalog also includes a large number of jazz and popular songs, scores for three musicals, and complete libraries for his performing groups, PICO (Paul’s Improvising Chamber Orchestra), PIVO (Paul’s Improvising Vocal Orchestra), and The Paul English Jazz Quartet.
His sacred music includes scores for several jazz masses, hymn arrangements and original settings of sacred text.
“Music of the Sphere: On the Poems of Jalalu’ddin Rumi” (2014), settings of six poems by Rumi, for soprano, flute and piano. Commissioned by The Texas Music Teachers Association.
"I Am a Memorial” (2013), dedicated to Naomi Warren and all survivors of the Holocaust, for mixed and chamber orchestra. Text by Erin Balfour. Commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera.
"Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” (2013), for mixed choir, piano and cello. Commissioned by First Presbyterian Church, Kingwood, Texas.
“Yo Soy el Remo en la Barca de Mis Hijos” (2012), for mezzo soprano, cello and piano. Text by Hugo Diaz. Commissioned by Houston Artists Respond, an outreach program of the Houston Grand Opera.
“I’ll Come Back as a Horse” (2009), for soprano, flute and piano. Commissioned by Trio Angelico and DIVAS World Productions.
“Musaic: Nine Miniatures for the Ancient Muses” (2007), chamber music for mezzo soprano, flute and piano. Texts by Shakespeare, Rumi, Emily Dickinson, Voltaire, Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Byron, Goethe, Charlie Chaplin and Martha Graham. Commissioned by Trio Angelico and Villa Maria of Houston.
“The Meditations” (2002), for soprano, clarinet/bass clarinet, string quartet, percussion and sequenced synthesizers. Text from The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Commissioned by Richard Nunemaker.
Wrestling With My God (1997), sacred suite for SATB soloists, chorus, organ and chamber orchestra. Text by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Commissioned by The Palmer Society for the Appreciation of Liturgy and Music (PSALM).
"Ad Mortem" (1990), for mezzo soprano, bass clarinet, computer-assisted synthesizers, speaker, dancer and film. Film and text by Johannes Birringer.
"Hopkins Lives" (1989), for soprano, baritone and chamber ensemble with synthesizers. Text by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Commissioned by Carl and Elizabeth Sutton and the International Hopkins Association.
"Songs of Flight" (1987) for soprano and chamber ensemble. Text by C. E. Cooper.
“Discovering Sønderho”, (2013) for wind quintet. Commissioned by WindSync Wind Quintet.
“Good-bye” (2008) arrangement of the Benny Goodman favorite for clarinet and string quartet Commissioned by Richard Nunemaker.
“Able to Bark” (2006), suite for clarinet, violin and piano. Commissioned by Richard Nunemaker.
“Paradise Lost" (2003), sonata for violin and piano.
“Unconditional Surrender” (1997). For various instrumentations.
“Her Name Shall Remain Unspoken” (1997), for French horn and piano. Commissioned by William VerMeulen
"English Suite” (1994), for French horn and piano. Commissioned by William VerMeulen
“…and a thousand years is like a day” (1993), for oboe, cello, guitar, piano and percussion
“The Saxophone” (1991), for alto saxophone and narrator. Text by William Bolitho Ryall. Commissioned by Richard Nunemaker
"Images de Sons et Luminaire" (1989), improvisational piece for chamber ensemble and painter. Visual art by Frank Larkey
“Canon in D Minor: Homage to the Master” (1986), canon for instruments or voices
“Deliberation of the Innocent Man” (1976), duet for various instruments.
Lumière Lunaire (refletée): Fantasy for Orchestra (2012). Commissioned by the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in celebration of the centennial of the epic work by Arnold Schoenberg, Pierrot Lunaire. Text by JoAnn Falletta. World premiere, February 18, 2012, by the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Church of St. John the Divine, Houston. Lumière Lunaire
Approaching Iapetus (1987), concerto for tenor saxophone and symphony orchestra. Commissioned by the Houston Symphony Orchestra and the Houston Composers Alliance.
For Film or Mixed Media
The Man With The Perfect Swing (1994), score for a feature film. Commissioned by Hovis Films.
NEOTEXANAISSANCE (1986), concerto for chamber orchestra, improvising quartet with solo fiddle, and computer-controlled synthesizers. Commissioned by Irving Phillips, Phillips and Brown Architects, Houston.
“Electrescuela" (1986), music for a computer-generated film. For synthesizers, solo cello and mixed voices. Commissioned by Ken Branam for the Houston Independent School District
“First, A Beginning” (1983), a multi-media presentation. Commissioned by First Marketing Group, Houston.
Cameron Iron Works (1980, 81), two industrial films. Commissioned by First Marketing Group, Houston.
"Weather-or-Not" (1974), three-episode pilot for an ABC television series.
Treasure of the Deep (1973), feature film.
“Old Stories” (2008) music and orchestrations for an original musical by former Major League baseball’s Larry Dierker. Commissioned by Larry Dierker.
"Three Scenes from 'Streetcar'" (1991), for cello, piano, male and female speakers. Text by Tennessee Williams. Commissioned by Herschel Wilkenfeld and Johanna Hoffman.
Mark Lit's "Refuseniks" (1991), original score with Keith Lancaster. ATAC Globe Award for best original score.
"Ned Bosnick’s ‘Texas Sand’: The World's First Photofilm" (1990), musical soundtrack for a photographic exhibit. For mezzo soprano, bass clarinet, solo cello, string quartet, percussion and synthesizers. Commissioned by Ned Bosnick.
Sacred Music (for SATB and various orchestrations)
Come to the Fountain
Come Ye Disconsolate
Create In Me a Clean Heart, O God
Give Peace to Every Heart
Hear Our Prayer
Joy to the World audio
Memorial Acclamation (Advent)
O Lamb of God (Agnus Dei)
Peace – Shalom
Peace Be Unto You
Jazz & Pop Songs (with lyrics)
Andrew’s Awake: It’s a Beautiful Day
The Day After Cyndi’s Birthday
Girl In Green
The Last Time Good-bye Song
Song for Annie
Song of Hope
Waitin’g By the Phone
The Wimberley Waltz
Jazz & Pop Songs (without lyrics)
Finnegan’s Wake Houston KPFT Song of the Day 6/7/17 at marker 21:50
Los Grandes Bandidos de Pollos de Cartagena
The Many Faces of Cheryl
More Morning Mourning
One Final Word
Waiting Hopeful (Esperando con Esperanza)