01.14.09

11:10pm // Karttikeya (Study No. 1) // Having never written for solo piano, in December I began working on a piece initially conceived as one movement in a small set of works for solo piano. These works would serve as studies, for myself to develop aesthetics and explore new methods of generating material, as well as for the performer; perhaps as a departure from other works in the literature. After a trip to the Asian art museum in San Francisco, I was reminded of my interest in Indian culture and their systems of organization in music. I had already begun to sketch pitch material based on a 12-tone row, so I began to research their use of rhythmic cycles called desi-talas. Each of the 120 ancient talas have specific cultural, spiritual and emotional associations and are used for specific events and situations.

While visiting the museum and reading some Hindu mythology, I became intrigued by the idea of writing a series of character pieces based on Hindu deities. With this in mind, after doing some research I came across the story of Karrtikeya, a Hindu god of war and the eldest son of Shiva and Parvati. In mid-December I set out to write the first of this seristhis series utilizing several talas chosen for their close associations with this deity Karttikeya is usually depicted with six faces and twelve arms, and was born with the sole purpose of defeating the asura (demon) Taraka, thus restoring order to the universe.

In addition to choosing talas with characteristics to evoke the image of Karttikeya, there are several structural elements that specifically use the number twelve. This work utilizes the 12-tone system, with a total of 12 permutations of the row. After writing the initial sketch with 12 recurring motivic gestures, I graphed them into 12 regions. Then, I revised the sketch so that without departing from relatively strict serialism, the entrances of these 12 recurring gestures would occur symmetrically throughout the work. With these studies, I look forward to my increased knowledge of Indian music and its utilization in my own works.

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About Jason Thorpe Buchanan

Jason Thorpe Buchanan (b. 1986) is an American composer of contemporary concert music. He began his studies at age fourteen at the College of San Mateo, CA with Charles Gustavson and holds degrees in composition and in music technology, from San José State University, where he was awarded the Outstanding Graduating Senior award (2008). As an undergraduate he was commissioned by the SJSU Concert Choir, founded melosmusic.com, and held positions as music supervisor, composer, and sound engineer for the winner of Best Feature at the Miami Beach International Animated Film Festival (2009). During graduate study at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he worked as an instructor of composition and music theory, and was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student award (2009-10) by both the Music Department and the College of Fine Arts before receiving his master's degree. He has studied composition with Virko Baley, Jorge Grossmann, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Pablo Furman, Kevin Puts and Robert Aldridge, as well as conducting with maestro Takayoshi Suzuki. Mr. Thorpe Buchanan has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship (2010-11) at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg as a visiting scholar where he will study with Peter Michael Hamel and Manfred Stahnke while conducting research and interviews throughout Germany in regards to compositional process and aesthetics. He has received the Mu Phi Epsilon International Sterling Achievement Award (2008), fellowships from the NEON Music festival (2009) and the Brevard Institute of Music Festival (2009, 2010), and has won both the UNLV Cristina Valdés solo piano composition competition (2009) and the Mu Phi Epsilon international composition competition (2009). His first work for large ensemble - A Zarzuela & Other Lost Works (2007) was premiered and recorded in 2009 by the Tad Wind Symphony in Tokyo, with a CD released on the Windstream label in Japan. Jason has participated in masterclasses, seminars and private lessons with composers such as Brian Belet, Koray Sazli, Lei Liang, David Crumb, Joel Hoffmann, FredJason Thorpe Buchanan (b. 1986) is an American composer of contemporary concert music. His work draws from a broad variety of aesthetic genres and influences, and has been described by leading composers in the United States and Europe as “symphonic…” and “ambitious.” He began studies at age fourteen at the College of San Mateo, CA, later attending San José State University to receive Bachelor’s degrees in composition and in music technology, where he was awarded the Outstanding Senior award (2008). He received his Master’s degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he taught courses in composition and music theory (2008-2010), later presented the Outstanding Graduate Student award (2009-10) by both the Music Department and the College of Fine Arts. Since 2007, he has served as director of the composer’s consortium Melos Music (http://www.melosmusic.com/), as well as their annual New Music Concert series. He has studied composition with Virko Baley, Peter Michael Hamel, Jorge Grossmann, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Pablo Furman, Kevin Puts, Robert Aldridge, and Manfred Stahnke, as well as conducting with maestro Takayoshi Suzuki. Jason spent 2010-2011 living in Germany, where he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg as a visiting scholar for studies with Peter Michael Hamel, Manfred Stahnke, Georg Hajdu, and Sascha Lino Lemke while conducting research and interviews in regard to compositional process and aesthetics. In 2011 his 'Berlin Songs', for two singers and mixed chamber ensemble, were performed for an audience of 400 grantees and staff at the Pan-European Fulbright conference in Berlin, Germany under the baton of Thomas Heuser, who commissioned the work. An expanded orchestration was later recorded and premiered in the United States at the 2nd Annual Melos New Music Concert in San Francisco, conducted by the composer. In 2010 his orchestral work - 'The Gods of Pegãna', was read by the Brevard Music Center Orchestra under the baton of Ken Lam, and was later a finalist in both the ASCAP Morton Gould and ACF Minnesota Composer’s Institute competitions (2011). In 2009, 'A Zarzuela & Other Lost Works' was premiered by the Tad Wind Symphony in Tokyo for an audience of over 800, and recorded with a CD released on the Windstream label in Japan. As a conductor and advocate for contemporary music, Jason is committed to providing opportunities for young composers by producing high-profile concerts, where he has premiered and recorded works by composers such as Daniel Temkin, Tonia Ko, Chin Ting Chan, and Tom Brennan, in addition to his own. He has received awards from ASCAP, ACF, ΜΦΕ, the NEON and Brevard Music Festivals, UNLV, SJSU, the Eastman School of Music, and the Miami Beach International Animated Film Festival as composer and music supervisor for the winner of Best Feature (2009). His current projects include a cycle of works for soloists, a sound collage/score for a documentary on Busking/street artists in Hamburg, and a Horn Concerto commissioned by Michael Walker. Jason currently studies composition with Allan Schindler and holds a Teaching Assistantship at the Computer Music Center as a Ph.D. student at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.rick Kaufman, and Augusta Read Thomas. Upon returning from Germany in 2011, Jason will begin his studies as a Ph.D. candidate in composition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.
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