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
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Possible obsolescence of chaos

With the following keywords: fractals+creativity requested from Google, the number of entries were over 500,000 – there is obviously interest, even excitement over fractals. Fractal analysis helps explain many phenomena which we are accustomed to considering as ‘chaos’, and this very term may be obsolete one day, along with the antonyms order/chaos, because fractals seem to, if not fully explain, at least underscore the hidden patterns in an apparently random set. And haven’t you noticed that lately the weather reports are a lot more accurate? Now, the chaos whose underpinnings I would like to see explained is the one created by human shortcomings and inadequate leadership: ghost in the machine, faulty brain signals?...

The powerful fractal formula, so innocent-looking in its simplicity, would not have been tested without the computer running an outlandish number of iterations. And almost playfully, magically, one day Benoit Mandelbrot set the computer to color-code the numbers – and in that seemingly small gesture, he enabled the birth of a new form of art.

Examples of fractal music using self-similar elements are available on the internet, as well as software to create it. However, as I understand it, in principle, all music is self-similar to a corresponding scale or set of proportions (intervals). This is why, if on occasion I have toyed with palindrome patterns, the Fibonacci series, and various degrees of self-similarity, I find that using fractals to create art is infinitely more satisfying than using them for music composition.

Some of this fractal art I made and music (not initiated from fractals but from pure ratios) that goes along with it are now on display at Cybergallery66 as part of my Correspondences web page Milton Fletcher (artist, photographer, writer) founded the cybergallery in 1998. On this Cybershow #9 you will also see Strike!, an unexpected and, so far, guy-only combination of boxing and chamber music, brainstorm of cellist Dan Barrett, where ten-minute sets of modern music alternate with 8-minute boxing matches of 3 rounds each. The 2007 Strike! collaborative effort is well-documented on the web page.

I'll admit I am a closet artist. I don’t like to say I’m an artist as many people are likely to negatively react to the word ‘artist’ – and not for the same reasons. This is a word that seems to bring hatred and contempt along with it... With an exhibition list under 10 venues I don’t mean to measure up to anyone who has made art their way of life as I have made music mine, but for some strange reason, I have always regarded drawing as a means of spiritual improvement and protection, and I have been drawing mandalas and talismans for years as a practice. Never touched paint. Worked with collage and mixed media. Designed sound installations (even though they are expensive to produce, and I never got to see many of them realized) but the medium is so totally spectacular. And as soon as I was able to get my hands on computer design programs, I worked with them, and now fractal-making programs, which are widely available and free on the internet (but not terribly self-explanatory, though.)

Maybe it’s genes – as few people would know, my father, Errol Parker, besides being a jazz musician, studied art with Arman (the French sculptor who made accumulations of car parts and such) and in 1963 Errol had a gallery show in Paris called Metamorphosis, inspired by Kafka’s story of a man transforming into a coackroach – but the sculptures were made of a certain kind of polyurethane that gave my father a severe allergic reaction; he got very sick and ultimately his eyes changed color, turning from brown to hazel – and stayed that way; he had to stop the polyurethane activity altogether.

I found a good book providing basic information on fractals in an accessible and humorous form: Introducing Fractal Geometry, by Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon, Will Rood, Ralph Edney.