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
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Metaphysical Reality Check

“Question reality” (The Mountain Astrologer)
“If the means is impure the result is impure” (Gandhi)
“Only two things are certain: death and taxes” (old saying)

To question reality one must first find reality. But where is reality? What is it? Reality is not one-dimensional – both quantum scientists and Buddhist monks have questioned even the reality of reality itself, as the observer is involved in the observed and therefore affecting it in some way. Reality could very well be a kind of slippery, elusive, subjective-objective continuum.

Reality in the expression “reality show” is actually a synonym for human experience – which is not, truth be told, the whole of reality.

Reality is sometimes a synonym of negativity: bursting your bubble, taking off the rosy-colored glasses. Reality hits when something suddenly disrupts your habitual sets of patterns. More often than not, reality is synonym of catastrophe or mishap.

With the life-through-screens we now enjoy thanks to the computerized (or other-ized) exciting colored displays, portables and other devices that blend the real and the imagined, the world we have built for ourselves is partially virtual, as news stories, invented characters and imaginary situations play a role, but where is our reality? There is a blending of the experienced and the imaginary; there is also the experienced-through-film, seen-on-film reality like the footage of ground zero after ‘it’ happened. Through our outlets on the internet we can be viewed through our writing, images, music, art, via our real persona or an invented one; this brings us closer to a continuum of creativity.

Reality is the change that takes place at every second, whether this change is tiny, gradual or revolutionary. Questioning reality is being aware of when the so-called “real world” offers a set of options that is too limited, too crushing, when the phoniness of the alternative screens and scenarios loses its charms. But it seems to me reality could very well be the whole Buddhist hot dog, the lived, the phony and the virtual as well.