MUSIC



Please contact me with any questions,
including rental/purchase information: jasontbuchanan {at} gmail.com
soliloquios del viento (2016)
for Talea Ensemble and EXAUDI
six singers, bass flute, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, percussion, piano, violin, viola, and cello
Commissioned by Voix Nouvelles de la Fondation Royaumont
World Premiere: Royaumont Abbey, France - 9/09/2016
Hunger (2014-, work in progress)
A Multimedia Opera in Four Parts
for two sopranos, baritone, alto flute, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, electric guitar, percussion, piano, violin, cello, electronics, & video processing
Part III Co-Commissioned by the Darmstadt Contemporary Opera Workshop, The Industry L.A., Ensemble Interface, and the [Switch~ Ensemble]
CREATION & BRIEF SYNOPSIS:
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. Oumenos is a starving and delusional young writer unwilling to compromise his work even as his intellect and body gradually deteriorate. He is split in two; the baritone and soprano form a composite, each depicting aspects of his inner/outer selves and suppressed madness. His hunger and self-disgust lead him to consider stealing bread, and to thoughts of self-mutilation. He despises his baseness. He is a dog. He is drawn to Ylajali (mezzo-soprano), a young girl who appears to him in various manifestations…. (complete program notes...)


More at
www.hungeropera.com

hunger score
        

soliloquios del viento was commissioned by Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles, written in August 2016 and premiered by the Talea Ensemble & EXAUDI in September, conducted by James Baker. This fourteen-minute work is a meditation on eight poems of Pablo Neruda, reflecting love, distance, and despair. Six singers are set against eight instrumentalists whose fragile and often voiceless sonorities gently color and obscure the murmuring of the text and pointillisic vocal material. The Spanish text is predominantly unintelligible, with the content of Neruda's words instead conjured by the composite texture. He writes of two lovers, their romance characterized by abrasion -- a rendezvous between two scorched, ascetic souls, who consume and destroy one another, entangled yet divided by both sublime transfiguration and inexorable chaos… (complete program notes...)
gimme shelter (2015)
for Eklekto Percussion
three percussionists, electronics, and video processing
Text by Darcie Dennigan
Commissioned by Eklekto Percussion Center, Geneva

World Premiere: Geneva, Switzerland - 11/14/2015
walkside, lost and gimme shelter are two works in a cycle of compositions for three percussionists, electronics, and live video processing on texts by poet Darcie Dennigan, the first for Gaudeamus Muziekweek & Slagwerk Den Haag, the second for Eklekto Percussion Geneva. The pieces both revolve around the structural intersections of precisely notated gestures that influence human performance with software systems that influence behavior of multimedia, the obfuscation or recontextualization of semantic content in speech, and the way in which confusion and ambiguity distort a participant's perception. The systems I have designed for these works serve to generate reservoirs of video and audio in real-time that are recalled, manipulated, and re-composited against themselves during the live performance... (complete program notes...)
Audio, and video coming soon.
              
hunger fragments (2015)
for The New York Virtuoso Singers
sixteen solo voices
Commissioned by The New York Virtuoso Singers
Text by Darcie Dennigan

World Premiere: New York City, NY - 11/29/2015
hunger fragments is an assemblage of texts for sixteen solo voices, stripped from the libretto for the multimedia opera Hunger by Darcie Dennigan and Jason Thorpe Buchanan. These texts have been woven together to create a new work, independent from the opera, that functions as an impression of its essence. The stripping away of narrative leaves only a bare and visceral refraction, alluding to themes of psychological deterioration, fragility, and fragmentation of self or multiplicity. Poet Darcie Dennigan writes: "After reading accounts of writers who nearly starved for their writing, like Knut Hamsun's Hunger and Mavis Gallant's "Hunger Diaries," I became interested in the line between physical hunger endowing a kind of clarity of mind in a writer and physical hunger overtaking, muddying the mind. I, like this multi-threaded piece, am of approximately... (complete program notes...)
walkside, lost (2015)
for Slagwerk Den Haag
three percussionists, electronics, and video processing
Text by Darcie Dennigan
Commissioned by Gaudeamus Muziekweek

World Premiere: Utrecht, Netherlands - 9/13/2015
walkside, lost and gimme shelter are two works in a cycle of compositions for three percussionists, electronics, and live video processing on texts by poet Darcie Dennigan, the first for Gaudeamus Muziekweek & Slagwerk Den Haag, the second for Eklekto Percussion Geneva. The pieces both revolve around the structural intersections of precisely notated gestures that influence human performance with software systems that influence behavior of multimedia, the obfuscation or recontextualization of semantic content in speech, and the way in which confusion and ambiguity distort a participant's perception. The systems I have designed for these works serve to generate reservoirs of video and audio in real-time that are recalled, manipulated, and re-composited against themselves during the live performance... (complete program notes...)
        


      de/ter|           |ior.ation (2015)
in/               |minate|
for the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra
2.2.2.1-1.2.0.0-Timp+1-6.5.4.3.2

Commissioned by the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra as winner of Iron Composer 2014

World Premiere: Cleveland, OH - May 9, 2015
de/ter|       |ior.ation was written in early March 2015 and is closely tied to my multimedia opera Hunger, exploring themes of psychological decay, irrationality, & self-destruction through fragmentation of musical objects, gestures, video, & obfuscation. [...] These themes are manifest in the character of the musical materials themselves, navigating a spectrum between saturation & fragility. I imagine this almost as an estranged overture to the opera - existing separately, but remaining inextricably entwined. The music gradually unravels as a string pulsation slowly infects the orchestra, causing the ensemble to swell and burst -- giving way to delicate timbral and microtonal fluctuations... (complete program notes...)
Second Study for Alto Saxophone, Video, and Electronics: pulp (2015)
Co-Commissioned by Matt Evans, Casey Grev, Emily Loboda, Marta Tiesenga, & Sean Fredenburg
World Premiere: Strasbourg, France - July 13, 2015
Second Study for Alto Saxophone, Electronics, and Video: pulp (2015) was premiered at the World Saxophone Congress in Strasbourg, France in July 2015 by Matt Evans, and is based on the life and work of American poet Charles Bukowski. The work utilizes source materials - audio and video footage - recorded throughout Bukowski's life, such as interviews, documentaries, and poetry readings. The work gradually developed from an initial proposal for a work with voice, saxophone, and electronics, to instead include the soprano within the boundaries of the multimedia. The result is a collage made up of the superimposition of source materials, newly recorded media using texts of Bukowski and emulation of saxophone recordings, and video capture that is processed and composited against each opposing stream of video in real-time during the performance... (complete program notes...)
Full video coming soon.