Composer/keyboardist/producer Elodie Lauten creates operas, music for dance and theatre, orchestral, chamber and instrumental music. Not a household name, she is however widely recognized by historians as a leading figure of post-minimalism and a force on the new music scene, with 20 releases on a number of labels.

Her opera Waking in New York, Portrait of Allen Ginsberg was presented by the New York City Opera (2004 VOX and Friends) in May 2004, after being released on 4Tay, following three well-received productions. OrfReo, a new opera for Baroque ensemble was premiered at Merkin Hall by the Queen's Chamber Band, whose New Music Alive CD (released on Capstone in 2004) includes Lauten's The Architect. The Orfreo CD was released in December 2004 on Studio 21. In September 2004 Lauten was composer-in-residence at Hope College, MI. Lauten's Symphony 2001, was premiered in February 2003 by the SEM Orchestra in New York. In 1999, Lauten's Deus ex Machina Cycle for voices and Baroque ensemble (4Tay) received strong critical acclaim in the US and Europe. Lauten's Variations On The Orange Cycle (Lovely Music, 1998) was included in Chamber Music America's list of 100 best works of the 20th century.

Born in Paris, France, she was classically trained as a pianist since age 7. She received a Master's in composition from New York University where she studied Western composition with Dinu Ghezzo and Indian classical music with Ahkmal Parwez. Daughter of jazz pianist/drummer Errol Parker, she is also a fluent improviser. She became an American citizen in 1984 and has lived in New York since the early seventies

Visit Elodie Lauten's Web Site
Friday, December 30, 2005
The Tao of Duh

Glancing over a neighboring New York Post on the bus, I was shocked to read that a new law forbids anyone under the age of 21 to buy spray paint...and markers! This is the first I have heard about it, and forgive me if I am less than informed. I thought that street graffiti were akin to a radical, anarchistic form of art that bred the like of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. In my neighborhood, they actually enhance the grimness of the grey metal storefronts. Is this another 'let them jews wear a yellow star' thing? Or a simple case of 'duh'?

There are two issues here:

One, are graffiti markings vandalism or art? Don't they provide a much-needed form of self-expression in an unforgiving modern metropolis, as well as street entertainment for the passers-by? Isn't this new law another restriction to freedom of expression? When I first came to New York, one of the attractions of the city was this wild form of art which I had never seen before in my native, uptight and bourgeois Paris.

And two, even if one considers graffiti as a negative, are teenagers under 21 in general really responsible for graffiti? Isn't it more likely that graffiti art is created by gang artists who actually plan and execute this as a work of art? And that if they want to obtain spray paint, they will - even if it is illegal.