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
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Chögyam still hot

I always seem to start the year from a point of complete despair, but as Chögyam Trungpa puts it, despair is a staircase. I always found great inspiration in his books. After I read The Myth of Freedom, I never felt the same about spirituality. One must make a distinction between spirituality and religion. Strictly speaking, Buddhism is not a religion. It is a “nontheistic spiritual discipline, which does not talk in terms of worship and does not regard the world as somebody’s creation. According to the Buddhist teachings, there was no great articifer who fashioned the world. The world is created or produced and happens to be purely through our own existence. We exist; therefore, we have fashioned this particularly world.” *

As my father said, music is my religion. I find it to be a spiritual exercise similar to meditation, like a ‘meditation in action’. I am surprised that among all all our composers’ talk, we so rarely mention the more spiritual aspects of composing. After all, if there are no wordly rewards to the exercise of a musical gift, there is an inherent reward in a practice based on pure and unselfish musical thought and possibly some healing as well.

The new age is over by now, and spirituality is no longer among the ‘in’ subjects, as we are more concerned about the practical aspects of the technologies that will enable the communication of music in the future than the spiritual purpose of music. It would be nice to remember it once in a while, though.

*The Great Eastern Sun, by Chögyam Trungpa