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
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Choose your other music carefully
Coming up this Thursday at Leonard Nimoy Symphony Space (7:30PM), the Ying Quartet performs a program conceived and curated by Tod Machover, including his own premiere by him. This addresses the fact that new works by composers are often presented along with other works that may or may note relate, and this can frequently deter the audience from really understanding and absorbing a new piece.
In this program Tod Machover put his own imprint on the other works performed, and even composed interludes between those pieces. It is not a technology-oriented program as he has done in the past, but it includes both purely acoustic and amplified/enhanced sounds. I asked Tod to provide some additional information on this unusual venue, and here are his notes.
“In addition to "...but not simpler...", we'll be doing:
Beethoven: Movements 1 and 4 from String Quartet Op.135 in F Major
Bach: Chorale and Chorale Prelude, "O Mensch Bewein dein Sünde
Gross" (my transcriptions)
Carter: Two Fragments for String Quartet (1994 and 1999)
Cage: "Quietly Flowing Along" from String Quartet in Four Parts (1949)
Byrd: "Agnus Dei" from Mass in Four Parts (my transcription)
Lennon/McCartney: "A Day in the Life" (my transcription)
Also, I have created original "interludes" that will connect each
group of pieces and tie the program together.
Since the Ying wanted to tour with this piece freely, I decided to compose it without
requiring any electronics; it is - indeed - purely acoustic (although it will be amplified and spatialized on January 5th). My own take on "Life Music" was to reflect on how to find coherence and calm amidst the increasing fragmentation and velocity of modern life; that in turn caused me to think about how to keep up and deal with reality without either getting sucked into it's vortex nor simply tuning it out in peaceful denial. The kind of balance that I imagine is - to me - what the piece sounds like; that's why I picked the title from Einstein's famous quote: "You should always make things as simple as possible.... but not simpler."