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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Friday, June 19, 2009
Incredibly fun

I like to get together with players face to face and improvise sounds. For example, even though Iíve written two string quartets, I know that when I write my third Iíll schedule a session with players so that I can hear and feel the string sounds afresh. Fine players often show me qualities of the instrument and playing techniques that I couldnít come up with on my own, because they work with the instruments and live with them, day in, day out.

After that, when I take pencil and paper, the physical sounds will still be ringing through me. Iíll sketch maybe 100 pages or so, depending on the piece. I try not to censor anything I write. I look at what Iíve put down on paper and let myself feel how the sounds flow Ė their energy and their direction. When I feel the sounds in this way I want to work on them to make them more beautiful, or clearer or stronger or more dynamic or dramatic Ė in other words, I want them to flow as much as possible. Itís incredibly fun to do this.

- Lois V Vierk