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
Saturday, November 29, 2008
A textural Godot resurfaces into the 21st century with Sin Cha Hong

Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot (1953), even though it was somewhat unconventional in its premise as it wrestled with existential problems of being and nothingness, had a long run on Broadway. If you have a chance, try to catch the new "Godot" at LaMama, choreographed, directed and performed by Sin Cha Hong. It is a both delightful and intense one-woman show by one of New York's most popular artists. In the 70s and 80s, she created the Laughing Stone Dance Theater and performed with John Cage and Nam June Paik. She moved away back to Korea in 1993 where she received many prizes and honors as a major artist. She also published a book, Excuse for Freedom, which has been a bestseller in Korea.

Sin Cha Hong's "Godot" is a streamlined interpretation of philosophical uncertainty. The first section is a textural exchange between performer and musician - David Simons artfully composes a live score with strange percussion instruments, some of which he made - such as what sounds like some 19th century Japanese instrument - but actually it's just a piece of styrofoam with rubber bands stretched across it, played with subtlety and ear - one for recycling...very 21st century. Other sounds are produced out of a large array of unexpected instruments by which he creates an Asian-inspired musical atmosphere that weaves right along with the movements of the performer. The coordination between the two is utterly remarkable and fascinating to watch.

The set design by Young A Choi is minimal and completely in tune with the piece, while the lighting design by David Moody is right on target. The costumes by Hae Ja Han are clever in their near-invisibility of whiteness. There are many exciting moments in the piece - the sexy red shoes, the ghost scene where she nearly disappears in a white cloth on the floor (a short-lived taste of "Ringu"), the rope section which reflects back to the original play, and moving moments like the recorded music sung by the unique voice of Lisa Karrer and the traditional Jewish lullaby on tape that comes at the end. I cannot begin to describe the intelligence that went into this piece. The 21st century is the time for 'smart' dancers, and here is one.

The Annex Theater at LaMama, 74A East 4th Street - performances tonight, at 7:30 and Sunday November 30 at 2:30PM.