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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Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Cool Machine

Why did I suddenly crave to hear once again the sounds of the band Soft Machine? I hadn't listened to that music since the early seventies. I was able to locate the album "Soft Machine Third" authored by Ratledge (keyboards), Wyatt (drums) and Hopper (bass) and as soon as I hit the play button it took off like a Marcel Proust "madeleine" (you know.... how in Remembrance of Things Past, the writer suddenly recalls the very mood of his childhood contained in the taste of a certain kind of cookie dipped in tea). In my case, it was not a taste but a sound: the beginning of the album, a textured architecture of minimalist patterns on the synthesizer, took me right back to the days when I heard the star-spangled banner played by Jim Hendrix at the Isle of Wight Festival and mind you, it wasn't even that much fun as I remember suffering from the bitterly cold Atlantic summer night as well as lack of sleep as we were struggling with large sheets of brown paper as all-weather coverage. It may have been one of the most uncomfortable moments I have ever experienced, but comfort isn't everything. Soft Machine's trebly, melodic bass lines took me from the bold, early minimalism of the keyboard work through modal grooves and free form improvisations. Uniquely, this album blends three styles
I really enjoy: layered synch textures, modal jazz grooves and melodic songs especially Wyatt's very own Moon in June. Much intensity and well-ahead-of-its-time inspiration in this forgotten 1970s album, found at last.