"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.

Visit Lawrence Dillon's Web Site

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Sunday, January 02, 2005
Launching Pad

Welcome to the launching pad of my Sequenza21 blog, a space where new music will serve as a catalyst for wide-ranging discussions of culture, politics, history, art, marketing, psychology and possibly even the weather. I have a few things to say on many of these topics, and I'm hoping your feedback will give me even more to say, and much to think about.

I am a full-time composer who gets great satisfaction from other roles as educator, conductor and administrator. A lot more personal/professional detail may be found on my website, but for the immediate purposes of this post, the generic outline will do.

What I Hope to Accomplish:
By pulling together an assortment of ideas from current cultural thinking, historical precedents, dissenting voices and some of my own pet notions, I hope to explore the ways that new music can illuminate and coalesce the disparate strands of our lives in the early twenty-first century. The direction is clear; the destination is yet to be discovered. I start with the axiom that 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.

What I'd Like to Avoid:
Polemical arguments, and -- in particular -- critical dichotomies: I am not a fan of the current ubiquitous form of logic that separates the world into X and Y, then says X is good because Y is bad. If I have a particular view to espouse, I hope I can make a compelling argument without relying on my ability to demonize those who feel differently -- musicians, listeners, critics, politicians -- even when they deserve it.

I am confident that the true demons will do our dirty work for us.

That's my launching pad, and with a bit of luck I will be able to hold things on course -- although I am not averse to the occasional surprise side trip! Again, although I have a plan in mind, reader response will do much to inform the direction from one post to the next. Please don't hesitate to join me: I'll do my best to make the journey worthwhile.