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Matthew McGaughey was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1978. He is formally trained as a composer and musician, and holds a BM from the Eastman School of Music and a PhD with an emphasis on extended performance practice and music technology from The University of York in the UK. He spent 14 years in LA pursuing a commercial career in the entertainment industry writing music for television, film, and advertising, primarily focusing on scoring reality TV. During this formative time in the industry, he developed a critical awareness of the cultural commodities he produced, his role in their creation and the larger, privileged social position that the work allowed him access to. This led the artist toward an interdisciplinary confrontation with commercial media, its production environment, and the tropes/codes embedded within them.