Guest Lecture, University of Northern Colorado

Looking forward to giving a guest lecture on my music here at the University of Northern Colorado, UNC tomorrow afternoon, and also checking out the UNC Composers’ Concert tonight! Big thanks to Anne Leilehua LanzilottiAttakorn Sookjaeng, and Paul Elwood for their hospitality! #newmusic #composerlife

Good times catching up with my Mahidol colleague Attakorn, giving a couple of lessons to some talented composers, and talking with the composition students at UNC about my music and work with the [Switch~ Ensemble]!

ACTOR-NETWORK THEORY (2017) video release

So, for whatever reason, I have a tendency to sit on recordings of my work for a little while before releasing them. After a year and a half, I’m happy to finally share some excerpts from ACTOR-NETWORK THEORY (2017), commissioned by Fondation Royaumont and premiered by the Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles Ensemble back in September of 2017. This was a very difficult work for me to complete, having sustained a quite serious injury the month before it was completed/premiered. I want to thank the many musicians involved, particularly given the circumstances, for their patience and dedication to making it happen. I want to additionally give special thanks to the absolutely brilliant soprano Mimi Doulton for her fantastic interpretation, musical fearlessness and virtuosity, and willingness to embrace the absurdity of this piece. Looking forward to working with each of you again in the future, and thanks to the rest of you for listening!

Program notes and score at:

Excerpts from ACTOR-NETWORK THEORY (2017) by Jason Thorpe Buchanan

Commissioned by Fondation Royaumont and premiered by Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles Ensemble

Mimi Doulton, soprano
Kathryn Williams, bass flute/flute
Madison Greenstone, bass clarinet/contra
Michiko Saiki, piano
Alina Traine, harp
Pauline Vuillerme, violin
Nina Kazourian, viola
Elsa Dorbath, cello
Victor Hocquet, percussion
Zach Seely, conductor
Jason Thorpe Buchanan, electronics

ACTOR-NETWORK THEORY was commissioned by Fondation Royaumont and composed between April and August of 2017 for the Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles Ensemble’s instrumentation of soprano and mixed ensemble, with electronics. The work is structured around two pages of text, culled from over 18,000 words generated by the DadaDodo engine, a class of program known as “dissociators” that “analyses texts for word probabilities, generating random sentences based on that.” The result is sometimes nonsensical, but often reveals intriguing alternative meanings or associations. These fragments were then composed into a linear blueprint, using the resulting speech patterns as a temporal framework. ANT was developed by Latour and others as an analytical tool to map and attempt to explain relationships and interactions between human and non-human ‘actors’, exploring how material-semiotic networks are formed, hold together, or fall apart. These networks are precarious, in that the exchange between nodes must be repeatedly ‘performed’ or the network will dissolve. In some ways, the transhumanist movement embodies ANT, which suggests that all nodes within a social network are ‘actors’, whether human or machine — a boundary that is increasingly blurred. Mutual interaction between these nodes creates a feedback loop, in which the technology we have developed begins to influence and change the human ‘actors’ participating in this system. Developments in technology and digital communication increasingly influence not only our relationships with one another, but our behavior as individuals and our interaction with the world. We are forced to consider to what degree we allow technology to mediate our presence with other humans, fundamentally challenging the ways in which we think about consciousness and our identity as human beings. As stated by Benjamin Piekut: “Networks are never simply language, never simply sound, never simply personal contacts, never simply practices and institutions, but rather a messy mix of all types of things”.

More info at

TICF Academy Announcement

Dear friends, I am very pleased to offer this new Academy for Young Composers at the College of Music, Mahidol University during the Thailand International Composition Festival – TICF August 5-10 with the wonderful Hong Kong New Music Ensemble 香港創樂團Duo OstinatoNina C. Young, and Tonia Ko. Participants will have a work premiered by one of the ensembles-in-residence on a TICF Festival concert, will receive lessons and participate in workshops, forums, masterclasses, and rehearsals with faculty and ensembles, and thanks to the support of the College of Music and the Goethe-Institut, we are happy to additionally be hosting HKNME guest conductor Gregor Mayrhofer and offering a much lower tuition than is typical for this festival model. Please spread the word! The deadline is rolling and applications will be reviewed as they are received. Tell any composers you know who may be interested in visiting Thailand and having their work performed by one of these fantastic ensembles!

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