12:32pm // Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Japan and attend a performance of a work that I had written during my undergraduate degree. The performance in Tokyo by the critically acclaimed Tad Wind Symphony, a professional ensemble in its 16th season, will be released on the volume eight of their live CD series later this year. I am very grateful for the good fortune of having my music performed by such an extraordinarily talented group of musicians; in particular, Maestro Takayoshi “Tad” Suzuki, who has greatly influenced me.
Looking back on my experience in Japan, observing the four-day rehearsal process was greatly beneficial in achieving a deeper knowledge of wind ensemble writing, particularly orchestration. Even at the first rehearsal I was shocked by their tone quality, balance, and power that shook the hall, not to mention the degree of musicality achieved. My time there drastically changed my view on composition, and I am glad to have met many world-class musicians, who I hope to continue collaboration with in the near future.
Throughout my travels this summer, I have found it difficult to maintain a high level of consistency in my output. In four days, I will leave for the Brevard Institute of Music and Festival, where I will study with Kevin Puts and Robert Aldridge. I have learned that the composition program is quite demanding; three new music concerts and an orchestral reading session — with all works to be written, copied, and rehearsed while in residency for six-weeks. I am looking forward to the challenge and intend to devote myself fully to composition for the entire duration.
My current project, The Gods of Pegana (A Tone Poem for Nine Musicians) is based on a 1905 novel of the same title by Irish author Lord Dunsany. It is an alternative creation fantasy that proposes: “The maker of all small gods, who is MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI, who made the gods and hath thereafter rested”, will “one day forget to rest, and destroy the gods whom he hath made…” The entire work will be directly proportional to the novel’s 32 chapters. My current preoccupation with symmetry and proportion has shone through in my sketches, with much of the harmonic, rhythmic and thematic materials being of a synthetic, symmetrical structure.
– Jason Thorpe Buchanan