Jason Thorpe Buchanan

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Jason Thorpe Buchanan is an American composer of operatic, orchestral, chamber, electroacoustic, and intermedia works which explore fragmentation, multiplicity, intelligibility, behavior, and the integration of live performance with technology. He is Artistic Director of the [Switch~ Ensemble] and Artistic Associate/Lecturer in New Media and Digital Technologies for Music at the Hochschule fur Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden, Germany in the Hybrid Music Lab. He served from 2018-2022 as Department Chair/Lecturer in Composition, Theory, and Electroacoustic Music at the College of Music, Mahidol University in Thailand, 2022 Interim Managing Director of the Mizzou New Music Initiative at the University of Missouri, and 2020 Visiting Lecturer in Composition/Interim Director of the Electronic Music Studios at the Butler School of Music, University of Texas at Austin. His works have been described as an "unearthly collage of sounds", "sharply-edged", and "free jazz gone wrong—in a good way".

Jason is the recipient of a 2010-11 Fulbright Fellowship at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater in Hamburg, Germany as a visiting scholar, commissions from the Mizzou International Composers Festival for Alarm Will Sound (2013), Iktus Percussion (2013), the International Horn Society for the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, soloists Jeff Nelsen, Michael Walker, and conductor Brad Lubman (2014), Ensemble Nikel/Tzlil Meudcan (Israel, 2014), the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra as winner of Iron Composer (2014), the NY Virtuoso Singers (2015), the Earle Brown Music Foundation for the Talea Ensemble and TIME SPANS Festival (NYC, 2017), the Thailand New Music and Arts Symposium for the TACETi Ensemble and augmented conductor (2019), and for TACETi and extended no-input mixer (2020), a fellowship and commissions from Royaumont for the Talea Ensemble+EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble (2016), and the Academie Voix Nouvelles Ensemble (2017), a German/American Fulbright Commission (2011), the Howard Hanson Orchestral Prize (2014), two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (2014 & 2015), an American-Scandinavian Foundation Grant (2015), 2017 Artist-in-Residence at the Brush Creek Foundation (Wyoming), and 2015 Artist-in-Residence at USF Verftet/City Council of Bergen, Norway.

As a nominee for the 2015 Gaudeamus Prize, three works were presented by Insomnio, the New European Ensemble, and Slagwerk Den Haag at Gaudeamus Muziekweek (NL). His works walkside, lost and gimme shelter (2015), commissioned by Gaudeamus for Slagwerk Den Haag and by Eklekto Percussion Geneva, both explore the structural intersection of precise physical gestures, fragile sounds, and speech alongside live audio and video processing. As 2018 Artist-In-Residence at the Embassy of Foreign Artists in Geneva, Switzerland, he developed a new, interactive processing environment for surface, tension (2018), responding directly to the discrete physical gestures of performers and governing the behavior of both signal processing and triggering through wearable technology, sensors, and gestural tracking.

Scenes from his multimedia opera Hunger have received performances at Darmstadt (2014) with Ensemble Interface, The Industry's FIRST TAKE in L.A. (2015) with wild Up, and the MATA Interval Series in New York City (2015) with the [Switch~ Ensemble]. "Hunger is a kind of training session in mental disintegration... An ungodly opera needs ugly music, singers who produce primal sounds, an electric guitar that sounds scraped raw, a wailing orchestra effects, cuts the ear like a knife. Buchanan delivers." — L.A. Times

Mentors have included Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Steven Takasugi, Pierluigi Billone, Chaya Czernowin, Raphael Cendo, David Liptak, Virko Baley, Peter Michael Hamel, Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann, Pablo Furman, and Georges Aperghis. Jason served for three years as Executive Director of the Valencia International Performance Academy & Festival (Spain), for two years as a Curator for the San Francisco Center for New Music, as founding Director of the TICF International Academy for Young Composers, and as a Faculty Artist at the International Composition Institute of Thailand. As a doctoral student, he served as course instructor in electronic music and composition, board member of OSSIA, and assistant conductor for the Musica Nova Ensemble with conductor Brad Lubman at the Eastman School of Music.

As a guest composer, conductor, and lecturer, he is widely sought internationally at institutions such as the University of Chicago, Stanford University, TRANSIT Festival (Belgium), TIME SPANS Festival (NYC), Chamber Music Campania (Italy), the Eastman School of Music, University of Miami Frost School of Music, Music Science Share Educators Conference (Shanghai), Queens New Music Festival, MATA, the Thailand New Music and Arts Symposium, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory (Singapore), the Bergen Center for Elektronisk Kunst (BEK, Norway), and dozens of Universities throughout the United States. He holds a Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music, and degrees in Composition and Music Technology from San Jose State University (BM & BA, 2008) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (MM, 2010), where he taught courses in composition and theory as a graduate student. Current projects include a large work on the subject of human memory for the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble commissioned by the MATA Festival in NYC, a quartet for Hypercube, trio for Line Upon Line, an immersive collaborative work for the [Switch~ Ensemble] at EMPAC, and development of new systems for gestural tracking and interactivity within the Hybrid Music Lab, Dresden.
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Tri par année. Les pièces les plus recentes apparaissent d'abord

Ensemble (Instruments ou voix) et électronique en temps réel


Oggetti II for bass flute, bass clarinet, violin, e-guitar, percussion, and electronics (2021)
All-forgetting-is-retrieval for septet, augmented conductor, and electronics (2019)
PANIC ARCHITECTURE for sinfonietta and electronics (2017)
Soliloquios del viento for sextet and electronics (small chamber version) (2017)
Walkside, lost for three percussionists, electronics, and live video processing (2015)

Grand Ensemble (20 - 35 instruments)


DOUBLE CONCERTO for two horns and chamber orchestra (2014)

Quintette à vent


Oggetti I (Omaggio a Sciarrino) for Wind Quintet (2014)
All-forgetting-is-retrieval for septet, augmented conductor, and electronics (2019)
DOUBLE CONCERTO for two horns and chamber orchestra (2014)
Oggetti I (Omaggio a Sciarrino) for Wind Quintet (2014)
Oggetti II for bass flute, bass clarinet, violin, e-guitar, percussion, and electronics (2021)
PANIC ARCHITECTURE for sinfonietta and electronics (2017)
Soliloquios del viento for sextet and electronics (small chamber version) (2017)
Walkside, lost for three percussionists, electronics, and live video processing (2015)