Composer Elodie Lauten 50th Year Retrospective
The Death of Don Juan - an opera of consciousness
Featuring the Trine, a custom-made electro-acoustic lyre
"Elegiac melodies...pungent and intriguing."
-- The New York Times
"A composer of enchanting music, one of New York's most
of the present generation."
-- The Village Voice
"A force on the new music scene."
Saturday October 21, 2000 at 8 PM
Music Under Construction
10 East 18th St. 3rd Floor (between Broadway and
Concert and reception
cybercast @ www.theconstruc
(concert to be cast in real time on the Internet at this site)
Celebrating composer Elodie Lauten's 50th anniversary, Music Under
presents a multimedia performance of Lauten's groundbreaking work of the
The Death of Don Juan, which received a National Endowment for the
Arts award in 1985 and a Massachusetts Council for the Arts award in 1987
for the premiere at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. The
recording released on Cat Collectors in 1985 will be enhanced by live
by the composer on the Trine, her custom-made electro-acoustic lyre, and
of video work created in 1990 by the composer during residencies at Film
Arts and the Experimental Television Center.
The Death of Don Juan is about the
myth rather than the story of Don Juan. In this work, he is an archetype,
a symbol of human desire for freedom and transcendence. The setting is a
reflecting Don Juan's terminal experience as it unfolds in real time, as
apocalyptic replay of his past life as it comes back to him. Death
to him in a vision in the form of a woman who speaks in tongues and whose
multiples voices are those of the women he seduced. This confrontation
the female entity is a role reversal for Don Juan. The power is held by
opposite sex this time around. But he is at once seduced by the Death as
Woman and therefore unable to win his ultimate battle. Instead he begins
realize how barren he has made his life. His mind struggles with
and insanity. Only then is he able to understand the need for love,
purity and sincerity, all of which he once found trivial. This awakening
his salvation. There is no hell for this Don Juan: he is able to forgive
and be forgiven.
Composer Biographical Summary
Recently, Elodie Lauten's solo piano work Variations on the Orange Cycle
(Lovely Music) was recently included in Chamber Music America's list of 100
best works of the 20th century.
Born and raised in Paris, Elodie Lauten studied classical piano and was initiated
to jazz by her father jazz pianist/ drummer/ composer Errol Parker. At age 22,
she was chosen to compose and perform the music for an experimental play by
Dashiell Hedayat at the Paris Museum of Modern Art. Shortly after, in New
York, she found a mentor in Allen Ginsberg who encouraged her to compose and
introduced her to Buddhism. She moved to New York permanently in 1976 and
became an American citizen in 1984. In the early 80s she started producing
her own music and released 4 albums between 1981 and 1984. In 1983, following
the release of Piano Works, the Dance Theater Workshop presented her compositions
and her music became a regular feature of the New Sounds program on WNYC.
She has received commissions from Lincoln Center, the Elinor Coleman Dance
Company, the Soho Baroque Opera, the Queen's Chamber Band, The Lark Ascending
and the Bozeman Symphony Society -- to name a few. Her work has been presented
by the Whitney Museum, The Kitchen, the Performing Garage, La Mama, the New
Music America Festival, the American Festival of Microtonal Music. In 1993
she moved to New Mexico, spending two years devoted exclusively to composing.
During the late 90s a number of CDs featuring her varied output appeared on
various labels: Tronik Involutions (O.O. Discs), Variations on the Orange
Cycle (Lovely Music), Music for the Trine (Nonsequitur) and Inscapes from
Exile (New Tone). The Deus Ex Machina Cycle, music for voices and Baroque
ensemble (4Tay) is her latest release (1999). Elodie Lauten has a Master's
in composition from New York University.
For further information on the Elodie Lauten 50th Year Retrospective or for
copies of the 50th Year Retrospective CD please email ElodiL010@aol.com or