Chamber Music


"...thinking of little researches into form and color while so many suffer and die." – Claude Monet

for six clarinetists (Eb/Bb; A/Bb; Bb; 2 Bb bass clarinets with C extentions)

Premiered  on July 23, 2013 at Santa Maria del Carmine in Pavia, Italy on the "REEDS" concert as part of the 2013 High Score New Music Festival.


performed by Rosa Franciamore's clarinet ensemble and friends, conducted by the composer





Percussion Quartet for Solo Timpani: Epigram in Memory of Elliot Carter



My first collaboration with sculptor Sara Dittrich, Percussion Quartet for Solo Timpani: Epigram in memory of Elliot Carter (2012) seeks to joyfully remember the life of American composer Elliot Cook Carter, Jr. (1908–2012) bearing in mind his famous quote about how his compositions sought to create "auditory scenarios for performers to act out their instruments."

Percussion Quartet for Solo Timpani: Epigram in memory of Elliot Carter was performed by Kramer Milan, Terry Sweeney, Jeff Stern, and Young Kyoung Lee at historic Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland. 11/30/12

Solo Instrumental

Some Assembly Required (New and Improved!) 

Originally started as an attempt to craft an electro-acoustic work for toy piano with an interactively rearrangeable musical score Some Assembly Required (New and Improved!) is a customizable fantasy for toy instruments and fixed electronics. The ensemble of toy instruments, as well as how to use them, is completely up to the performer(s) as long as they adhere to the composer's directed guidelines. Transcending childhood nostalgia Some Assembly Required (New and Improved!) pushes the performer to the furthest realms of virtuosity and imagination.

10/24/2012 at Griswold Hall of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

Vocal Music

Wondrous Sufferings

"Wondrous Sufferings" (1/7/2011) surpasses the boundaries of genres but has been classified as contemporary classical music and as performance art. In this, his second composition, Benjamin Buchanan uses English translations of text from Clara Schumann's (1819-1896) diary from 1854-1856 when Robert Schumann was in the mental asylum, Endenich, Benjamin Buchanan creates an incredibly powerful experience through this depiction of the pain that was felt by both Robert and Clara Schumann during his mental deterioration. Set for a female soprano and a male pianist, the singer plays the role of Clara and the pianist plays the role of Robert. The title, "Wondrous Sufferings," comes from a translation of something Robert Schumann scribbled in his
diary describing his auditory hallucinations.

Dedicated to his grandparents, Judge Lee Town Adams (1922-2010) and Muriel Kathryn Stang Adams (1914-2009), Buchanan writes "May those who hurt always have someone who loves them."

This recording is of a live, abbreviated, performance of the work on 2/9/2011 and features the lovely soprano and incredible actress Kirsten Johnson with the composer at the piano.

Electronic Music

4'33" 24/7

4'33" 24/7 is in honor of the centenary of John Cage's birth. Having recorded a special 24 hour-long performance of Cage's masterwork 4'33" on the 60th anniversary of the work's original premiere, Benjamin Buchanan has sped up the day-long recording thousands of times faster so that the whole day now fits into 4'33".

Special thanks are given to all of those who assisted in the performance by interacting with Ben throughout the day.

Dubstep from Some Assembly Required

By popular demand, this is the "dubstep" portion of the electronic track from the larger solo work Some Assembly Required. This was created in Logic Studio using Apple's samples. No loops were used.