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Jason Thorpe Buchanan

San Francisco, CA         

Jason Thorpe Buchanan is an American composer of operatic, orchestral, chamber, electroacoustic, and multimedia works. Artistic Director of the [Switch~ Ensemble], Executive Director of the Valencia International Performance Academy & Festival (Spain), and Curator for the San Francisco Center for New Music, his works have been described as “an unearthly collage of sounds”, “sharply-edged”, and “free jazz gone wrong”.

Commissioned and performed internationally by conductors, ensembles, and organizations such as Brad Lubman, James Baker, Alan Pierson, Jean-Philippe Wurtz, Marc Lowenstein, Ulrich Pöhl, Alarm Will Sound (USA), Talea Ensemble (USA), Ensemble Interface (DE), Ensemble Nikel (Israel), Ensemble Linea (FR), Insomnio Ensemble (NL), EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble (UK), Slagwerk Den Haag (Netherlands), Eklekto Percussion (Switzerland), Gaudeamus (NL), Mivos Quartet (USA), Iktus Percussion (USA), the [Switch~ Ensemble] (USA), The Industry, Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles Ensemble (FR), wild Up (USA), OSSIA (USA), Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble (USA), and Blue Water Chamber Orchestra (USA), 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 (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

          Additional Honors and awards include a Fulbright Fellowship (2010-11) at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg (DE) as a visiting scholar, a fellowship and commissions from Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles (2016 & 2017), Artist-in-Residence USF Verftet/City Council of Bergen, Norway (2015), American-Scandinavian Foundation Grant (2015), a commission from the International Horn Society (2014) & ASCAP Morton Gould Award (2015) for Double Concerto (2014) written for the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble with conductor Brad Lubman, an ASCAP Morton Gould Award (2014) & Howard Hanson Orchestral Prize (2014) for Asymptotic Flux: Second Study in Entropy (2013) commissioned by the Mizzou International Composers Festival for Alarm Will Sound, a commission from the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra as winner of Iron Composer (2014), and winner of newEar Composer’s Competition.

      Primary mentors have included Pierluigi Billone, Raphaël Cendo, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Virko Baley, Peter Michael Hamel, Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann, and Georges Aperghis, among others. Jason has served as a course instructor in electronic music and composition, board member of OSSIA, and 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, curator, technical mentor, and teacher, he has additionally worked with Chamber Music Campania (Italy), VIPA Festival (Spain) San Jose State University, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Queens New Music Festival, MATA, Portland State University, University of Richmond, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Michigan State University, the Bergen Center for Elektronisk Kunst (BEK) in Norway, and at the University of Chicago in a residency with the [Switch~] Ensemble (2017). He holds degrees in Composition and Music Technology from San José State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he taught courses in composition and theory (2008-2010).

Current projects include the multimedia opera Hunger with libretto by award-winning poet Darcie Dennigan, a series of miniatures for percussion and electronics commissioned by Peter Ferry (Chicago, 2017), the Riot Ensemble (UK, 2017), and consortium, 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 quintet for the FÜNF+FÜNF Contrabass Clarinet & Percussion Festival in Berlin (Germany, Oct.2017).  www.jasonthorpebuchanan.com

Double Concerto (2014) for Two Horns and Chamber Orchestra

Double Concerto (2014) for Two Horns and Chamber Orchestra was written between November 2013 and March 2014, premiered by Jeff Nelsen, Michael Walker, and the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble with conductor Brad Lubman on March 21, 2014.

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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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HUNGER: Part III, Scene 1 (Short Cut) – Preliminary Acoustic Version, Darmstadt Contemporary Opera Workshop

Knut Hamsun’s novel Sult is a point of departure for a libretto by award-winning poet Darcie Dennigan, exploring themes of psychological decay, irrationality, and self-destruction. Oumenos is a starving and delusional young writer who is unwilling to compromise his work even as his intellect and body gradually deteriorate. He is split in two; the baritone and soprano form a composite, each depicting aspects of his inner/outer selves and suppressed madness… www.hungeropera.com

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