12:46am // As usual, some time has elapsed since my last blog (something I aim to remedy), and consequently much has happened! In March I was admitted to the Eastman School of Music as a Ph.D. candidate, and was subsequently granted a Fulbright fellowship. To make things more complicated, this occurred after I had already accepted Eastman’s offer. Thankfully, the faculty were kind enough to allow me to defer enrollment for the following year upon my return from Germany. I completed my Master’s coursework at UNLV in May, and after saying my goodbyes I was off to California. This time was spent in preparation for the coming year, as well as the Brevard Music Institute and our first annual new music concert in Chicago, which was a great success!
I will be spending the next six weeks at the Brevard Institute of Music doing intensive compositional work. My last summer here proved incredibly productive, and I intend to maintain a similar or higher level of output. In the next two weeks my first major work for orchestra will be completed, and I will also begin work on a handful of songs and chamber works to be performed here at the Music Festival.
Upon arrival in Germany in August, I will spend six weeks at the University of Marburg’s Fulbright sponsored language program with other Fulbright fellows in various fields of study. In October, I will begin my musicological research at the Universität Hamburg as well as my studies with Peter Michael Hamel and Manfred Stahnke as a visiting scholar at the Hochschule für Musik und Theatre. The focus of my research project involves compositional process and aesthetics, specifically a comparative analysis of the effects of methodology from one composer to the next. I will seek to interview a number of prominent living German composers, consult leading musicologists, and perform archival sketch studies to illustrate the effects of each method utilized by a sampling of composers from the twentieth century.
I have found that many people are not really aware of what composers actually do. My goal is to essentially “demystify” the craft of composition, to collect and present this information in such a way so as to dispel any misconceptions and elucidate that composition is a learned craft that should be accessible to anyone that would otherwise be discouraged. More details to come soon, I expect these next few months should be quite eventful!
– Jason Thorpe Buchanan