"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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Thursday, October 12, 2006
Shake It Up

Tonight begins the third annual Shake It Up Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. Run by Composer/Saxophonist Mark Engebretson of UNC-Greensboro, the festival includes three lectures, three pre-concert talks and three concerts.

My Appendage, from 1993, will conclude the final concert on Saturday night.

Appendage is one of my most intense works Ė Iíve sometimes billed it as ďa Psychosexual Song Cycle in Six Consecutive Sections.Ē The form is interesting: the first five songs gradually accrue motives and text fragments, which finally coalesce into the Last lullabye that concludes the piece. Some people consider it my best work; I think of it as one of the better examples so far of a particular kind of work I do, pieces in which the text is composed as just one of the elements of the music, on equal footing with rhythm, timbre, harmony and melody.

Appendage (1993)
  1. Appendage
  2. tes yeux
  3. warm eyes
  4. Appendage
  5. Recognition
  6. Last lullabye
If you are interested, you can hear it here.

Because of its length (33 minutes) and scoring (soprano, vn, vla, vc, cl, sax, pno) Appendage is hard to program, so Iím particularly appreciative of Markís efforts in putting together the forces that will play the piece on Saturday night.

The festivalís focus this year is on composers residing in North and South Carolina. As might be expected from any regional collection of composers, the result is a real mixed bag of styles and artistic interests. Other composers weíll be hearing: Ben Johnston, Karel Husa, Michael Rothkopf, Scott Lindroth, Reginald Bain, James Paul Sain, John Fitz Rogers, Stephen Anderson, Mark Engebretson, Edward Jacobs, Allen Anderson, John Allemeier, Adam Josephson.