Composer Dominique Pauwels studied at the Conservatory of Ghent, the Sweelinck Conservatory of Amsterdam and the IRCAM in Paris. In 1991 he obtained his final diploma in composition and film composition at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. From then on he concentrated more and more on computer technologies and software for compositions.

Since 1991, Pauwels has been composing music for television programmes such Het Eiland, De Parelvissers, De slimste mens, De Ronde and De Mol. He also recorded various albums and CDs (including for Chris Whitley, New York) and regularly received composition commissions for (music) theatre, film and publicity. Not all Moroccans are thieves (2001, Arne Sierens), No Comment (2003, Needcompany, Jan Lauwers) and DeadDogsDon'tDance/DjamesDjoyceDeaDeaD (2003, Jan Lauwers & Frankfurter Ballet).

He wrote his first string quartet (2004) for Quatuor Diotima and in 2006 he created the film music of Looking for Alfred, a short film by Johan Grimonprez, who won the European Media Award.

Dominique Pauwels has been associated with LOD music theatre as a resident composer since 2004. There he works closely with choreographer and dancer Karine Ponties, resulting among others in Boreas (2007). Together with Toneelhuis director Guy Cassiers he made Onegin (2006), Wolfskers (2007), Blood and Roses (2011) and the opera MCBTH (2013). Together with theatre maker Inne Goris, he created the outdoor performance MUUR, (2010), a musical installation in a container Dreamtime - LOD & Manchester International Festival (2011), the family performance Father, Mother, I and We (2011) and the theatrical video installation Hoog Gras (2012).

Together with director Fabrice Murgia, Pauwels is working on the triptych Ghost Road. The first movement, Ghost Road (2012), and the second movement, Children of Nowhere (2015), both formed a combination of video, music and theatre. In 2015 Pauwels performed the opera L'Autre Hiver with Denis Marleau and Stéphanie Jasmin, and in 2016 he collaborated again with Inne Goris for the performance Without Blood, after Alessandro Baricco's new album. Pauwels created the composition of the music for De Helden (Heroes) (2017) by Josse De Pauw.