Matt Petty is an experimental trombonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and video artist based in Memphis, Tennessee. Matt is an alumnx of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, as well as The Watermill Center: a Laboratory for Performance on New York's Long Island, where he was influenced by a variety artists including theater director Robert Wilson, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, and the electronic freak-folk band CocoRosie. Most recently, Matt was one of 25 international artists selected for the Sally and Don Lucas Composers Fellowship at Montalvo Arts Center, in Saratoga, California.
Matt is known for creating music-based multimedia involving sound, video and live performance. He is trombonist and songwriter of the digital music collective You Can Call Me SIR with electronic musician Cristy Michel, making work informed by lived queer experiences coming of age in the haunted swamplands of the American South. He is also the founder of the electro-acoustic collective Kisatchie Sound; an ensemble based in rural northern Louisiana creating new music with a unique sense of place. Inspired by history, folklore, pop-culture, and the natural world, Matt’s music often embodies his travels as a social explorer of the American landscape and has been described as “Impressionistic” by pianist Motoko Honda, and as “...An emotional and arresting juxtaposition of beautiful things" by composer Eve Beglarian.
As a collaborative artist, Matt’s work has been featured at shows including OUTFEST LGBTQ+ Film Festival in Los Angeles, Biome Arts’ ALT/FUTURE Environmental Art Series in Taipei, Taiwan, the Bad Video Art Show in Moscow, Russia, and the Ecos Urbanos electroacoustic music festival in Mexico City. Additionally, Matt is the co-creator of the feature documentary, Sacred as Folk about the life of Louisiana artist, Brother Michael David Elvestrom; and LIGHTEN UP, a multimedia fantasia about rural visionary visual artists. Matt’s latest project Among These Ruins is a travel-based visual album written in collaboration with musicians in the United States, Honduras, and Mexico.