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Jason Thorpe Buchanan

San Francisco, CA         

Jason Thorpe Buchanan is an American composer, Artistic Director of the [Switch~ Ensemble] and Full-Time Lecturer in Composition, Music Theory, and Electronic Music Composition at Mahidol University’s College of Music in Thailand. Commissions and international performances include work with Alarm Will Sound, Talea Ensemble, Ensemble Interface (DE), Ensemble Nikel (Israel), Ensemble Linea (FR), EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble (UK), Eklekto Percussion (Switzerland), Gaudeamus (NL), Mivos Quartet, Iktus Percussion, the [Switch~ Ensemble], The Industry, Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles Ensemble (FR), wild Up, OSSIA, Blue Water Chamber Orchestra, Mizzou, International Horn Society, Tzlil Meudcan Festival (Tel Aviv), Chamber Music Campania (Italy), the German/American Fulbright-Kommission (DE), and the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, among others.

One of five composers under 30 nominated for the 2015 Gaudeamus Prize, three works were presented by Insomnio, New European Ensemble, and Slagwerk Den Haag at Gaudeamus Muziekweek. Scenes from his multimedia opera Hunger have received performances at Darmstadt with Ensemble Interface, The Industry’s FIRST TAKE in L.A. with wild Up, and the MATA Interval Series in New York City 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

Honors and awards include a Fulbright Fellowship in Hamburg, nomination for the Gaudeamus Prize, fellowships and commissions from Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles (2016 & 2017), Artist-in-Residence USF Verftet Bergen, Norway, an American-Scandinavian Foundation Grant, a commission from the International Horn Society & ASCAP Morton Gould Award for Double Concerto (2014) written for the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, an ASCAP Morton Gould Award & Howard Hanson Orchestral Prize for Asymptotic Flux: Second Study in Entropy (2013) commissioned by the Mizzou International Composers Festival, a commission from the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra as winner of Iron Composer, and winner of newEar Composer’s Competition.

Primary mentors have included Pierluigi Billone, Chaya Czernowin, Steven Takasugi, Raphaël Cendo, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, David Liptak, Virko Baley, Peter Michael Hamel, Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann, and Georges Aperghis, among others. He served for three years as Executive Director of the VIPA Festival (Spain), two years as a Curator for the San Francisco Center for New Music, and as course instructor in electronic music and composition, as well as assistant conductor for the Musica Nova Ensemble with Brad Lubman, as a Ph.D. candidate at the Eastman School of Music.  

As a guest composer and educator, he has taught and presented internationally at Chamber Music Campania (Italy), the University of Virginia, Stanford, San Jose State University, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Queens New Music Festival, MATA, Hamilton College, Portland State University, University of Richmond, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Michigan State University, the Bergen Center for Elektronisk Kunst in Norway, and at the University of Chicago. The first half of 2018 was spent as Artist-In-Residence at the Embassy of Foreign Artists in Geneva, Switzerland. Projects include the multimedia opera Hunger with libretto by award-winning poet Darcie Dennigan, and commissions from the Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles Ensemble (France, Sep. 2017), the Earle Brown Music Foundation for the Talea Ensemble & Time Spans Festival (NYC, Aug.2017), and a large work for the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble commissioned by MATA in NYC (2019).  www.jasonthorpebuchanan.com

PANIC ARCHITECTURE (2017) by Jason Thorpe Buchanan – Talea Ensemble

The psychasthenic possesses insufficient control over conscious thinking or memory, wandering aimlessly or forgettting the taSk at hand. Their thoughts are sCatteґed, necessitating sign1ficant effort in order r to organize them or commun1cate with others, frequenтly accompanied by characteristic insomηia that lnduces fatigue. Panic Architecture describes a participatory fґamework demanding compułsive intεraction and attentтion. The relentless influx of email, messagges, and notifications compel1l oυr constant engagement and response

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walkside, lost (2015) by Jason Thorpe Buchanan

for three percussionists, electronics, and video processing, text by Darcie Dennigan. Live performance of the premiere at Gaudeamus Muziekweek on September 13, 2015 by Slagwerk Den Haag. Commissioned by Gaudeamus Muziekweek. The piece revolves around the structural intersection of precisely notated gestures and hardware/software systems that influence behavior of multimedia, the obfuscation or recontextualization of semantic content in speech, and the way in which confusion and ambiguity distort a participant’s perception.

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surface, tension (2018) by Jason Thorpe Buchanan

Reservoirs of media files are created, re-organized, and composited, creating temporal, aural, and visual dissonances between past and present actions. The commingling of fluctuating chronologies creates temporal instability, challenges the mutability of memory, and proposes an alternative, speculative engagement with time. Cameras capture the performers, obscured by a large paper screen: an inverted mirror & transducer. Each wields a contact microphone; in the opposing hand, a gyroscopic sensor traces the coordinates of their arm’s gestures.

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