playlist: Gaudeamus Highlight Selection playlist

'New music is often considered 'ugly' but I do think beauty can be found in any sound.'

Gaudeamus Award 2015 Nominee

Jason Thorpe Buchanan

Jason Thorpe Buchanan (1986) is a child of his time. Largely raised on rock music – “from an early age, I have loved the intensity of rock” – his composition techniques are often cinematographic. “I always wanted to be an inventor.”

Buchanan studied, evaluated, performed, and recorded rock music. What fascinated him was its layered construction. “In that sense I differ from composers who grew up within a purely classical tradition. Rock songs evolve layer by layer; the musicians respond to what has already been recorded. A “feedback loop”, you could say. I often think about the relationship between various sound layers.”

Multimedia opens the door to ‘cinematic time’. As Buchanan says, “In opera or theatre, time moves slowly. I want contrast, speed; the performers should have almost schizophrenic abilities. Multimedia and electronic processing make this possible.”

He was relatively unaware of European contemporary music until 2012 when he received a scholarship to study in Hamburg. “A steep learning curve! I reinvented myself in Germany. I’ve learned to think radically differently; to step outside myself. My music intentionally pushes people out of their comfort zone. New music is often considered ‘ugly’ but I do think beauty can be found in any sound.”

Photo © Anna van Kooij