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

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Saturday, July 22, 2006
Schoedinger’s cat, parallel universes and music creation

The musical piece, objectified in the score or recording, does not actually exist unless someone plays/listens. This is a perfect example of the subject/object dependency that has baffled scientists for over a century. This brings to mind the Schoedinger cat paradigm – not a real cat, thank goodness, but a hypothetical cat cruelly placed in a closed box where a poison capsule has a 50/50 chance to be triggered. What do we know about the cat after one minute passes? Is the hypo-cat alive or dead? Actually, yes and no: until the fact can be observed, it does not exist as either one or the other, but as a superposition of two parallel universes.

Just as the cat may as well not have existed unless it was observed, I’ve always felt that my work didn’t exist until it was performed/shared. In fact, I don’t have much interest in composing in my parallel universe with no outside interaction. But I am sure many others are happy in their parallel universes, shielded from both criticism and even appreciation, which can be just as exacting. Could it be that we are in many little niches existing in their own parallel universes, or possibly in a larger niche of downtown music parallel and disconnected from uptown established music? And at any time, the poison capsule can be triggered - as we are essentially vulnerable.

Another aspect of the parallel universe theory applied to music is the emphasis on multidimensionality – a piece is designed according to process vs. result, even environmental factors, interactivity, mathematical or technological models, found sounds, and whatnot. Music is not restricted to time, it becomes a time/space shared experience, a flux.