Lawrence Dillon@Sequenza21.com

"There are no two points so distant from one another that they cannot be connected by a single straight line -- and an infinite number of curves."

Composer Lawrence Dillon has produced an extensive body of work, from brief solo pieces to a full-length opera. Three disks of his music are due out in 2010 on the Bridge, Albany and Naxos labels. In the past year, he has had commissions from the Emerson String Quartet, the Cassatt String Quartet, the Mansfield Symphony, the Boise Philharmonic, the Salt Lake City Symphony, the Ravinia Festival, the Daedalus String Quartet, the Kenan Institute for the Arts, the University of Utah and the Idyllwild Symphony Orchestra.

Although he lost 50% of his hearing in a childhood illness, Dillon began composing as soon as he started piano lessons at the age of seven. In 1985, he became the youngest composer to earn a doctorate at The Juilliard School, and was shortly thereafter appointed to the Juilliard faculty. Dillon is now Composer in Residence at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he has served as Music Director of the Contemporary Ensemble, Assistant Dean of Performance, and Interim Dean of the School of Music. He was the Featured American Composer in the February 2006 issue of Chamber Music magazine.


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Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Postmod

Tom Myron and I had a recent misunderstanding over the term postmodernism. The term is relative at best, which is ironic for many reasons.

Iím curious to know what others have made of this word. My understanding has come mostly from Charles Newmanís analyses of postmodern literature. Newman contrasted postmodernism with modernism in a way that can be summarized as follows:

Characteristics of Modernism
  • It is revolutionary (Virginia Woolf: "On or about December 1910, human nature changed.")
  • The certitude of despair.
  • The idea that one can have a revolutionary art without an evolutionary society.
  • Art as a sanctuary (perhaps the only one) for the individual.
  • Self-absorption in the grand manner: Elitism
  • The idea of art as a technical, even scientific process.
  • The task of art: its own self-realization.
  • Aesthetic moralism.
Characteristics of Post-modernism
  • license to talk about anything in the context of anything else: after all, international banking is more surreal than surreal art itself.
  • a violent adjacency of pure expressivity and pure accessibility, which reflects more often than not an atmosphere of intense demoralization.
  • the first period that does not idealize a specific past period as an emulative model. Rather, the entire history of art comes under attack through parody.
  • modernism reacting to overinformation.
By the late 20th century, repression of modern art was no longer a problem: the problem was indifference. Art was replaced by mass consumer culture in the hearts of the mainstream audience. Newman saw postmodernism as an assault upon a passive, indifferent mass culture.

Does this contradict or align with your understanding?