Elodie Lauten


Visual scores and documentation

(I Ching readings from translation by Thomas Cleary)


  Transformations is a dynamic universal correspondence composition matrix. It is based on a hierarchy of 12 parts: 12 hours of the day, 12 months of the year, 12 key signatures, as well as element correspondences with water, earth, wood, air, metal and fire. The dynamic element is represented in the evolution of the seasons throughout the year and a set of I Ching hexagrams where the Yin evolves into the Yang paralleled by the number of alterations in the key signature for each of the 12 music sections.



































Transformations – presentation at Essential Elements Opening, May 1st, 2013
Concept, composition and electronic realization by Elodie Lauten
With performance by Jonathan Hirschman, guitar


You will hear several excerpts of Transformations, a set of twelve pieces inspired by a universal correspondence matrix of the “Essential Elements” (earth, fire, water, air, metal and wood), 12 hours, 12 months, 12 astrological signs, 12 Chinese signs/animals, the solar system, 12 colors, 12 plants, 12 stones, 12 colors, and a time dynamic of twelve I Ching hexagrams matching a dynamic of 12 key signatures. This is part of a quest for the necessary balance between elements for sustainability, which is of great concern to all of us at this time. The I Ching is used as a cosmology and structuring device – there is no “chance” involved - since it combines the various essential elements (or trigrams) of Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Mountain, Thunder, Wind and Lake.

Harmonically, the music is tone- based in natural harmonic mode, with some bitonal or polytonal overlays. Its rhythmic engine is a combination of multiple cyclic patterns. Whereas the musical premise is ancient, the realization is modern with state-of-the-art technology (Reason, Reaktor).



Conception  (Mode:  A minor)
Reading excerpt: Conception is active and powerful
as a woman conceives a child or an artist conceives a project.


Expression (Mode: G minor)
Reading excerpt: “The power of greatnes benefits the true.
It is powerful because of strong action. Whatever is improper, cultured people avoid doing.” (Translated by Thomas Cleary)

For me, strong action means creating through artistic expression.


Rebirth (Mode: Eb minor)
Reading excerpt: At the winter solstice days begin to lengthen, which is auspicious as rebirth, recovery and expansion.


Expression Alternate (Mode: G minor)
A special version for this event with unusual sounds produced
on synthesizers designed in Reaktor.


Meeting Alternate (Mode: E minor)
A special version for this event.
Reading excerpt: When people meet there is an adjustment of energies –
it doesn’t click every time, and one should be watchful of who leads and who follows.

Elodie Lauten is a composer, performer, producer and media artist. As a leading exponent of post-minimalism, she was listed among the most influential composers of the last three decades (Sequenza 21). Her piano, electronic, orchestral music and five operas have had over 30 releases on major and independent labels in the US and Europe. Venues include the Lincoln Center Festival, the New York City Opera, The Whitney Museum, throughout America with performances and university residencies, and in Canada and Europe.  Art critic James Baldwin Cohen said: “Her highly sophisticated use of today’s advanced technology has opened a new dimension in the art world.”  She received a Bachelor’s in Economics from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and a Master’s in Composition from New York University. She has taught at NYU and is on faculty at CUNY’s New York City College of Technology. She serves as artistic director of LESPA and as a board member of the Art Loisaida Foundation. 

A native New Yorker, Jonathan Hirschman began playing lead guitar in Village clubs as a teenager. He has performed with countless bands from metal to blues to R&B and is known on the scene as a powerful improviser. In 2002 Elodie Lauten produced his solo album of Tunes from the Lower East Side (Studio 21). He then became a core member of the Elodie Lauten Ensemble, recording  Harmonic Protection Circle, featured on WNYC. He was a soloist at Theater for the New City in Lauten’s The Two-Cents Opera (2009) and The Death of Don Juan (2011).


Thanks and acknowledgements: New Museum Ideas City Festival, Carolyn Ratcliffe, Jeffrey James, Art Loisaida Foundation, LESPA, Smart Clothes Gallery, Materials for the Arts, Circular Creation, Lungs, LESPI, the East Village Teen Dance Company, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council (Rosie Mendez).