Composers Festival Spotlight: Jason Thorpe Buchanan

Jason Thorpe Buchanan

We end our series of profiles of the resident composers for the 2013 Mizzou International Composers Festival with Jason Thorpe Buchanan, who’s currently working on his Ph.D. at the Eastman School of Music, studying composition with Robert Morris and serving as a graduate TA at the Computer Music Center.

Buchanan began studying music at age fourteen at the College of San Mateo, CA, later attending San José State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While working for his master’s degree at UNLV from 2008 to 2010, he taught courses in composition and music theory.

He has studied composition with Allan Schindler, Virko Baley, Peter Michael Hamel, Jorge Grossmann, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Pablo Furman, Kevin Puts, Robert Aldridge, and Manfred Stahnke, as well as additional studies with Takayoshi Suzuki and Brad Lubman in conducting, and at Darmstadt with Georges Aperghis, Brian Ferneyhough, and Raphaël Cendo.

Buchanan spent 2010-2011 living in Hamburg, Germany, where he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater as a visiting scholar. He studied with Peter Michael Hamel, Manfred Stahnke, Georg Hajdu, and Sascha Lino Lemke while conducting research and interviews in regard to compositional process and aesthetics.

Buchanan has received awards from ASCAP, ACF, MPE, the NEON and Brevard Music Festivals, UNLV, SJSU, the Eastman School of Music, the American Prize, and the Miami Beach International Animated Film Festival. Recordings of his music are commercially available on the Melos Music label in the United States and the Windstream label in Japan.

He is the founder of Melos Music, a composer’s consortium for which he served as director from 2007-2012, as well as their annual New Music Concert series. During this past academic year, he served as assistant conductor for Eastman’s new music ensemble Musica Nova, as well as a board member of Ossia, coordinator for the Graduate Composers’ Sinfonietta, and co-founder/conductor of Eastman’s brand new Electroacoustic Initiative, the [Switch~ Ensemble].

You can see and hear Jason Thorpe Buchanan’s music being performed in various clips on his YouTube channel, and in the embedded video windows below.

Buchanan’s “Asymptotic Flux: First Study in Entropy,” performed in October 2012 at Eastman School of Music by the [Switch~ Ensemble], featuring Madison Greenstone, amplified bass clarinet; Lauren Cauley, amplified violin; Kelsey Farr, amplified viola; and Julia Nilsen, amplified cello.

“Amplified Box” Improvisation 1.0 (Study for Percussion Quartet) is an
improvisation with a homemade instrument built for Buchanan’s first percussion quartet.

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