"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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Saturday, May 09, 2009
Appendage 2.0

Finally finished the score and parts to Appendage, three weeks before rehearsals begin. What a relief. This is the song cycle that was composed in 1993. Since then, various elements of different versions of the piece had been misplaced, so I had to re-do the entire, 1000-measure piece. Basically a month of data-entry, with very little composing. Total drudgery.

I did make a few adjustments, though. I donít think I changed more than a handful of notes, but I revised some articulations and refined some of the French poetry Ė there are passages where the soprano shifts back and forth between singing in English and French. (You can ask me why I chose to have some passages in French, rather than doing the whole thing in English, but Iím not sure I could give you a good answer Ė it just seemed like the right thing to do for this piece. I blame Bernard Randsís Canti del sole, a wonderful piece I heard the NY Philharmonic premiere in 1983, for my habit of disregarding language consistency in a number of my vocal works.)

Now Iím finally getting back to work on String Quartet No. 4: The Infinite Sphere. The deadline for this piece is July 1st, but I really need to have it finished by May 29th, for reasons that I may have an opportunity to explain in a later post. Not having a chance to look at it since mid-March was a bit nerve-racking, but it was also wonderfully clarifying: it was great to discover that the piece is 90% right, and that I know exactly what to do in order to bring the other 10% into focus.