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the [Switch~ Ensemble]

Brooklyn, NY            

A new music ensemble for the 21st Century, the [Switch~ Ensemble] is dedicated to the creation and performance of new works for chamber ensemble and electronics, often featuring multimedia and other forms of technology. Our 2016-2017 season includes residencies at Kent State University, the San Francisco Center for New Music, and Vernon Salon Series in Oakland, as well as a Spring residency at the University of Chicago to develop and premiere seven new works by doctoral student composers for ensemble and technology.

In the summer of 2016, the [Switch~ Ensemble] served as ensemble-in-residence at the Valencia International Performance Academy in Spain. There, [Switch~] worked alongside both faculty and participant composers, led workshops and masterclasses, and performed the premieres of over a dozen works, including the world premiere of newly commissioned works by Timothy McCormack and James Bean. We believe in the pedagogical possibilities of such residencies, and are particularly passionate about helping to build a diverse canon of 21st century works that leaves space for all voices—especially those that, historically, have been excluded from our fields.

Other recent highlights include an artist residency at Avaloch Farms Music Institute, the CD release of our recording of Christopher Chandler’s Smoke and Mirrors on the SEAMUS label, and featured concerts on the MATA Interval Series, the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival, the Queens New Music Festival (QNMF), and the Vanguard New Music Series.

We believe that working directly with composers throughout their creative process — in a medium where the score is a departure point rather than a finish line — allows for new and thrilling musical possibilities, optimizing our performance and collaborative practice for needs that differ radically from the creation and rehearsal of acoustic music while allowing for perpetual experimentation and refinement. [Switch~] contributes to the future of the genre by strongly advocating for and commissioning the music of a new generation of emerging young composers. We have additionally enjoyed fruitful collaborations with composers Rand Steiger, Philippe Leroux, Stefan Prins, Wojtek Blecharz, Anna-Louise Walton, Bryan Jacobs, Stefano Gervasoni, Panayiotis Kokoras, and many others, including American premieres of works by Alexander Schubert, Santiago Diez-Fischer, and Lisa Streich.

Founded in 2012 at the Eastman School of Music’s Computer Music Center in Rochester, NY as a flexible-size professional ensemble looking toward the future of contemporary music, the [Switch~ Ensemble] specializes in high-level chamber music  integrated with cutting-edge technology and multimedia, supporting emerging and early career composers to create bold new works featuring multimedia and electroacoustic elements. At the core of each performance is our commitment of total integration between technology and live performance — our goal is compelling artistry achieved through seamless production, creation, and execution.

Zach Sheets, flute
Madison Greenstone, clarinet
Matt Evans, saxophone
Lauren Cauley, violin
T.J. Borden, cello
Megan Arns, percussion
Wei-Han Wu, piano
Christopher Chandler, Executive Director/co-Founder
Jason Thorpe Buchanan, Artistic Director/co-Founder
Clay Mettens, Director of Development/sound engineer

Voi(rex) by Philippe Leroux (Mvts. 1-2) – the [Switch~ Ensemble]

Voi(rex) (2002)
Philippe Leroux
voice, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion, and processing

the [Switch~ Ensemble]:
Sophie Burgos, soprano
Zach Sheets, flute
Madison Greenstone, clarinet
Lauren Cauley, violin
T.J. Borden, cello
Megan Arns, percussion
Wei-Han Wu, piano

Artistic Co-Directors:
Jason Thorpe Buchanan, composer/conductor
Christopher Chandler, composer/electronics

Nov. 20, 2013 – Eastman School of Music
For more information, visit http://www.switchensemble.com

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HUNGER: Part III, Scene 2, (8 Excerpts) by Jason Thorpe Buchanan

A new multimedia opera in four parts by composer Jason Thorpe Buchanan & librettist Darcie Dennigan

Premiered by the [Switch~ Ensemble] on the MATA Interval Series, DiMenna Center, NYC – May 15, 2015
Sophia Burgos, soprano
Lucy Dhegrae, soprano
Jeff Gavett, baritone
Daniel Bassin, conductor
Jason Thorpe Buchanan, composer, artistic, and technical director

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…

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Jökulsárlón (2016) by Anna-Louise Walton

Commissioned by the VIPA Festival for the [Switch~ Ensemble]
Premiered 7/9/16 – Valencia, Spain

“When I first visited Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, I was left speechless by both the sight and sounds before me. As the glacier slowly melts, it creates a lagoon full of ice crystals of all shapes and sizes, which crackle and hiss gently. The vastness of the lagoon seemed to amplify these sounds; they were simultaneously delicate and striking. While writing Jökulsárlón, I attempted to create sound world that was similarly sparse yet captivating…

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