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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. At the core of each performance is our commitment to the total integration of technology with our musicians. We strive for compelling artistry achieved through the seamless creation, production, and execution of new music. 

Our 2017-2019 seasons include the premiere of new works by Matt Sargent, Esaias Järnegard, and Adrien Trybucki, residencies at Cornell University, Ithaca College, Bard College, Buffalo State, and the Eastman School of Music’s Image/Sound Festival, as well as performances and recitals in New York City and San Francisco, including repertoire by Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri, Tonia Ko, Sivan Eldar, and the American premiere of Timothy McCormack’s  karst survey.

Our 2016-2017 season included 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 premiered over a dozen new works including commissioned works by Timothy McCormack and James Bean. Other recent highlights and invitations include a residency at Avaloch Farms Music Institute, the CD release of Christopher Chandler’s Smoke and Mirrors on the SEAMUS label, and featured concerts on the MATA Interval Series, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the Queens New Music Festival, the Vanguard New Music Series at Kent State University.

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. Our collaborative practices are optimized for needs that differ radically from the creation and rehearsal of acoustic music, allowing for continuous 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, and we have enjoyed collaborations with Anna-Louise Walton, Alican Çamci, Igor Santos, Bryan Jacobs, Katherine Young, Stefano Gervasoni, Stefan Prins, Panayiotis Kokoras, Wojtek Blecharz, Tonia Ko, Anthony Vine, Rand Steiger, Philippe Leroux, and many others. Additionally, we have performed the American premieres of works by Alexander Schubert, Elvira Garifzyanova, Santiago Diez-Fischer, Lisa Streich, and Anthony Pateras.

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. We are passionate about helping to build a diverse canon of 21st century works that leaves space for all voices—especially those that have historically been excluded from our field.

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

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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Unwound Path (2018) by Matt Sargent

Unwound Path began from a poem by Robert Creeley, entitled “Kitchen.” Creeley details three markers of the quiet passage of time within the stillness of one’s day: the “lace-like patterns” that sunlight reflects about the room in the morning, the silence of noon, and in the evening, a line that reflects about the wider passage of time, “perpetually sweeping this room, I want it to be like it was.” The poem’s exposure of circadian repetition–habitual periods that compose one’s life–formed into a kind of musical thinking that I sought to work out

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