Jason Thorpe Buchanan is an American composer, Artistic Director of the [Switch~ Ensemble], and Department Chair/Lecturer in Composition, Theory, and Electroacoustic Music at the College of Music, Mahidol University in Thailand.

Commissions and performances include collaboration with Alarm Will Sound, Talea Ensemble, Ensemble Interface (DE), Nikel Ensemble (Israel), Linea (FR), Insomnio (NL), EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble(UK), Slagwerk Den Haag (NL), Eklekto Percussion (CH), the Mivos Quartet (USA), Iktus Percussion, the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra, wild Up, the NY Virtuoso Singers, the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, TACETi (Thailand), and the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble.

Scenes from his multimedia opera Hunger have received performances at Darmstadt, The Industry’s FIRST TAKE in L.A., and MATA in NYC with the [Switch~ Ensemble].

Honors include a Fulbright Fellowship in Hamburg, nomination for the Gaudeamus Prize, fellowships, residencies, and commissions from Royaumont (2016 & 17), MATA, the International Horn Society, AiR USF Verftet (Norway), an American-Scandinavian Foundation Grant, the Embassy of Foreign Artists Residency, Geneva (Switzerland), Earle Brown Music Foundation, ASCAP Morton Gould Award (2014 & 2015), Howard Hanson Orchestral Prize, and winner of Iron Composer.

He holds a Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music, served for three years as Executive Director of the VIPA Festival (Spain), two years as a Curator for the San Francisco Center for New Music, is director of the recently formed Academy for Young Composers at TICF (Thailand), and was course instructor in electronic music and composition, as well as assistant conductor for the Musica Nova Ensemble with Brad Lubman at Eastman. He is widely sought internationally as a guest composer and lecturer at institutions including UT Austin, Chamber Music Campania (Italy), the VIPA Festival (Spain), the University of Virginia, SJSU, Tzlil Meudcan (Israel), UNLV, Queens New Music Festival, MATA, Hamilton College, Portland State University, Transit Festival in Belgium, University of Richmond, UNCG, Michigan State Univerity, University of Northern Colorado, the Bergen Center for Elektronisk Kunst (BEK) in Norway, the University of Chicago, and Stanford University.

[Curriculum vitae]
(updated Aug.30.19)
[Media Portfolio]
(updated Sep.1.19)


Jason Thorpe Buchanan is an American composer of opera, orchestral, chamber, electroacoustic, and intermedia works that explore fragmentation, multiplicity, intelligibility, and the integration of live performance with technology. He is currently Artistic Director of the [Switch~ Ensemble], and Department Chair/Lecturer in Composition, Theory, and Electronic Music Composition at the College of Music, Mahidol University in Thailand. His works have been described as "an uneathly 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, a fellowship and commissions from Royaumont for soliloquios del viento (2016) for the Talea Ensemble+EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble and ACTOR-NETWORK THEORY (2017) for the Académie Voix Nouvelles Ensemble, a 2015 American-Scandinavian Foundation Grant, a 2014 commission from the International Horn Society and 2015 ASCAP Morton Gould Award for Double Concerto (2014) written for the Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble, soloists Jeff Nelsen, Michael Walker, and conductor Brad Lubman, a 2014 ASCAP Morton Gould Award & 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), commissions from Ensemble Nikel (Israel, 2014) and Iktus Percussion (2013), the German/American Fulbright Commission (2011) and winner of newEar Composer’s Competition (2013).

In 2015, as Artist-in-Residence at USF Verftet/City Council of Bergen, Norway and nominee for the Gaudeamus Prize, three works were presented by Insomnio, New European Ensemble, and Slagwerk Den Haag at Gaudeamus Muziekweek (NL).

His works </em>walkside, lost</em> and gimme shelter (2015), commissioned by Gaudeamus Muziekweek and Eklekto Percussion Geneva, both explore the structural intersection of precise physical gestures, fragile sounds, and speech alongside live audio and video processing. Three speaking percussionists manipulate household objects, microphones, and speakers embedded in wooden boxes while cameras generate a reservoir of video files. These files are retrieved, re-organized, and composited against one another, creating temporal, aural, and visual dissonances between past and present actions.

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 the discrete physical gestures of performers and governing the behavior of both signal processing and soundfile triggering through wearable technology, sensors, and motion tracking.

PANIC ARCHITECTURE (2017), commissioned by the Earle Brown Music Foundation for the Talea Ensemble and TIME SPANS Festival in NYC, evokes a participatory framework demanding compulsive interaction and attention. The relentless influx of email, messages, and notifications compel our constant engagement and response, functioning as both our tether to society and primary mode of interpersonal contact. Intermittent reinforcement entices users to obsessively check for new content. Digital panic occurs when multiple, simultaneous systems demand a user’s attention concurrently.

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]. 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

Primary mentors have included Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Steven Takasugi, Pierluigi Billone, Chaya Czernowin, Raphaël Cendo, David Liptak, Virko Baley, Peter Michael Hamel, Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann, Pablo Furman, and Georges Aperghis.

Jason served for three years as Executive Director of the Valencia International Performance Academy & Festival (Spain), for two years as a Curator for the San Francisco Center for New Music, and as founding Director of the TICF Academy for Young Composers, as well as course instructor in electronic music and composition, board member of OSSIA, and assistant conductor for the Musica Nova Ensemble with conductor Brad Lubman at the Eastman School of Music.

He is widely sought internationally as a guest composer and lecturer at institutions including the University of Virginia, San Jose State University, UNLV, Queens New Music Festival, MATA, UT Austin, Tzlil Meudcan Festival (Tel Aviv), Hamilton College, Chamber Music Campania (Italy), Portland State University, TRANSIT Festival Belgium, University of Richmond, UNCG, Michigan State University, University of Northern Colorado, the Bergen Center for Elektronisk Kunst (BEK) in Norway, the University of Chicago, and Stanford University.

He holds a Ph.D. in Composition from the Eastman School of Music, and degrees in Composition and Music Technology from San José State University (BM & BA, 2008) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (MM, 2010), where he taught courses in composition and theory.

Current projects include the multimedia opera Hunger, and a large work for the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble commissioned by the MATA Festival in NYC (2020).



Please contact me with any questions, including rental/purchase information: jasontbuchanan {at} gmail.com