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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Sunday, November 02, 2008
The Infinite Sphere

Iíve finally finished drafting my fourth string quartet. As with the first three quartets, Iím zooming in on a particular formal concept, teasing out a host of ramifications from a single source.

Hereís how itís going to work:

Taking Blaise Pascalís reference to an ďinfinite sphere, whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhereĒ as a starting point, String Quartet No. 4: The Infinite Sphere will tap the potentials of Classical circular forms and techniques Ė in particular the rondo form and canonical rounds. The result will be a six-movement rondo structure (ABACBA) in which all of the surface details reflect the wheels-within-wheels form:
Round: Ascent
Rondo: Vivace
Round: Descent
Rondo: Presto
Rondo: Vivace
Round: The Infinite Sphere
Each round will feature an accelerating circle of fifths, gradually spinning out of control. The rondos will intertwine contemporary and traditional dance rhythms. In keeping with the spirit of the Classical rondo, The Infinite Sphere is exuberant, joyous, life-affirming.

Now that the first draft is done, itís time to turn my attention to my fifth quartet. Hopefully Iíll have a first draft of number 5 done by the end of November Ė then itís second-draft time for The Infinite Sphere.