Jason Thorpe Buchanan is an American composer of whose works explore fragmentation, multiplicity, intelligibility, behavior, and the integration of live performance with technology. His works have been described as “an unearthly collage of sounds”, “sharply-edged”, and “free jazz gone wrong—in a good way.”
Jason is the recipient of a 2010-11 Fulbright Fellowship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg (DE) as a visiting scholar, commissions from the Mizzou International Composers Festival for Alarm Will Sound (2013), Iktus Percussion (2013), the International Horn Society for the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, soloists Jeff Nelsen, Michael Walker, and conductor Brad Lubman (2014), Ensemble Nikel/Tzlil Meudcan (Israel, 2014), the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra as winner of Iron Composer (2014), the NY Virtuoso Singers (2015), the Earle Brown Music Foundation for the Talea Ensemble and TIME SPANS Festival (NYC, 2017), the Thailand New Music and Arts Symposium for the TACETi Ensemble (2019), a fellowship and commissions from Royaumont for the Talea Ensemble+EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble (2016) and the Académie Voix Nouvelles Ensemble (2017), the Howard Hanson Orchestral Prize (2014), two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (2014 & 2015), an American-Scandinavian Foundation Grant (2015), and 2015 Artist-in-Residence at USF Verftet/City Council of Bergen, Norway.
As a nominee for the 2015 Gaudeamus Prize, three works were presented by Insomnio, New European Ensemble, and Slagwerk Den Haag at Gaudeamus Muziekweek (NL). His works walkside, lost and gimme shelter (2015), commissioned by Gaudeamus for Slagwerk Den Haag and by Eklekto Percussion Geneva explore the structural intersection of physical gestures, fragile sounds, and speech alongside live audiovisual processing. As 2018 Artist-In-Residence at the Embassy of Foreign Artists in Geneva, Switzerland, he developed a new, interactive processing environment for surface, tension (2018), responding directly to discrete physical gestures of performers and governing behavior of multimedia through wearable technology, sensors, and gestural tracking.
Scenes from his multimedia opera Hunger have received performances at Darmstadt (2014) with Ensemble Interface (DE), 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
He is Artistic Director of the [Switch~ Ensemble], Composition, Theory, and Electroacoustic Music Department Chair at the College of Music, Mahidol University in Thailand, and 2020 Visiting Lecturer in Composition/Interim Director of the Electronic Music Studios at the Butler School of Music, University of Texas at Austin.
As a guest composer and conductor, he is widely sought internationally at institutions such as the University of Chicago, Stanford University, TRANSIT Festival (Belgium), TIME SPANS Festival (NYC), Chamber Music Campania (Italy), the Eastman School of Music, University of Miami, Queens New Music Festival, MATA, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory (Singapore), the Bergen Center for Elektronisk Kunst (BEK, Norway), and over two dozen Universities throughout the United States.