Alexander LaFollett (b. 1985) (pronounced “La-Fall-It”) is a composer, music theorist, and educator.
He is known for his strange yet accessible musical style, based on an expansive, modally-based harmonic vocabulary. His primary influences include Darius Milhaud, Igor Stravinsky, and Bela Bartok, as well as Eastern European music, various strains of progressive and alternative rock, and early video game soundtracks. Most of LaFollett’s work is in instrumental genres, including an ongoing series of orchestral pieces based on the periodic table of elements, as well as thirteen string quartets. His music has been performed by fEARnoMUSIC, Third Angle New Music, So Percussion with the Pacific Rim Gamelan, and the Portland Youth Philharmonic Young String Ensemble, among others. His most recently premiered projects include the Piano Trio No. 1, which won fEARnoMUSIC’s “Locally Sourced Sounds” score call for 2015-2016, and a violin sonata, written for Wyatt True of the Delgani String Quartet.
The area of expanded modality is also of significant theoretical interest for LaFollett. He has presented on the subject at conferences, including the 2015 West Coast Conference of Music Theory and Analysis as well as the 2005 SCI Region VIII conference, and is currently writing a book exploring modal theory and its compositional applications. Additionally, he has been developing Heptatonic Modal Utilities, a Java application for exploring modal properties and resources.
LaFollett earned his Ph.D. in music composition and theory from the University of Oregon in 2013, and a Master of Music degree in composition from Central Washington University (2006). He has served as faculty at Portland Community College and Western Oregon University, in addition to offering private composition instruction.