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LAUTEN Elodie - Inscapes from the Exile
Inscapes from the Exile

Fy 7004

Newtone Records
USA Stati Uniti
1 CD

Inscapes from Exile is a concept album, an electronic composition inspired by the history, myths and legends of New Mexico. The pieces were composed in 1994-95 in Albuquerque and LAUTEN perceived this two-year period as a doubleexile - from her place of birth, Paris, and her place of adoption, New York. The music is drone based - a postminimalist starting point - but what makesit different is the microtonality of its electronic layers. Microtonality isdefined as the use of any tuning / temperament other than the standard A=400 equal temperament. The synthesis process includes several types of unusualtunings, sometimes used in simultaneous layers. The texture can be complex. Again, like in Tronik Involutions, LAUTEN’s previous release, no sequencing takes place. Everything is played live, including the spinningly fast Barbie pieces. As a keyboardist, LAUTEN focuses her art, beyond synthesis, in the playing of electronic sounds - in most programs used in this work, theamount of pressure applied on the keys triggers slightly different tonal color - and she’s is adept at playing the sound «from within», letting trigger an almost organic development of its own characteristics. LAUTEN was called «the mistress of electronics» (New Hope International, London) and was voted #1 keyboardist in an internet poll (Green Dolphin, April 98). The music on the CD was described as «expanded contrapuntal freedom, couched inunearthly timbres, creating a fluid feeling of stationary motion, hovering busily in space» (Kyle Gann, The Village Voice, review of performance at Experimental Intermedia, New York). Inscapes from Exile is not landscape music, it is rather a musical journey, a kind of electronic «On the Road», but as usual with LAUTEN’s work there is subtext: it is an existential journey more than a physical one, a exploration of inner more the outer reality. There are three levels of exploration: the physical experience of a place (passive), the mental experience a place (receptive) and the introspection triggered by the experience (active). This approach is expressed in the poem Three Red Dots (see booklet) preceding the last piece, Unknown Presence at the Mesa. The first piece, Gusty Winds May Exist, is named after an oddly poetic road sing often seen on the highways. A long car ride through barren vistas is the unavoidable prelude to any experience in New Mexico. The focus is on the unseen. In the desert, or tundra, one is faced with an almost extra-terrestrial reality: the horizon displays itself so widely, opening to space and infinity, and there is a sense of unexplained presence, the nature of which can be left on the imagination - is it the memories of long lost civilizations or visitations of alien or spiritual origin? .... The journey starts with Roswell. Here the subtext is the familiar so-called Roswell incident. The story goes: a UFO crashed in Roswell along its alien crew, and some of them of may have been alive - all of which was denied by the US army but the truth remains a mystery. This story triggers two movements: Changing Gravity, Clearly Identified Floating Objects. The two «Barbie» pieces, Barbie’s Abduction and Barbie’s Fugue State express opposite viewpoints on alien abductions: one the one hand, some people believe they have had an abduction experience which feels real to them; on the other hand, there is a strong possibility that it is only a «fugue state», an amnesiac state in which the person temporarily does not recall where they were, why or who they are. Ordinary Spatial Distance is about adjusting to ordinary reality. The next stop on the journey, entitled Quantesaurus, recalls a visit to the petroglyphs, or prehistoric stone carvings on deserted hilltops of black volcanic stone, which stand as witnesses of a lost world. The journey continues through Hispanic pueblos - Lost in Los Lunas - two or three houses, and a restaurant, closed with a sign on the door: Hot food on Tuesdays. Such sites bring a feeling of exile in space and time, as if one had suddenly and unwittingly been thrown into the past. The song At the Sundown, in memory of Geronimo, was given to the composer by a Sioux soprano, Bonnie Jo Hunt, whom she met during sessions for the TBS documentary The Native Americans. The lyrics are an early 20th century translation of the folk song. The Mesa piece, Unknown Presence at the Mesa, was inspired by Chaco Canyon. Chaco Canyon in no tourist trap.You have to ride through 25 miles of dirt road before getting to the kivas and ruins of the ancient city, and at dusk it is particularly desolate. The site itself, a very wide canyon carved into red cliffs, is of incredible beauty. The whole experience is overwhelming. LAUTEN felt a strong emphaty with the Anasazi or «Ancient People». Their presence exuded anger and sadness, a kind of continuous morning for those who have gone - as there are no more descendants of the Anasazi. In the music, it is expressed by the ghostly flute solo created from a series of samples of traditional flute, played by ceremonial artist Ron Sunsinger. Inscapes from Exile is ELODIE LAUTEN’s 8th release. ELODIE LAUTEN has been described as a seminal figure, on of the leader of the postminimalist movement (20th Century American Music, Schirmer 1997), «a force on the experimental music scene» (Fanfare, Spring 98). Over the past 20 years LAUTEN’s various bodies of work - multimedia operas, sound installations, electronic, piano and chamber music - have met critical acclaim in Europ and North America. Recordings have been released by O.O. Disc, Nonsequitur, Tellus, Point / Polygram, Lovely Music and Newtone. LAUTEN has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, ASCAP, Meet the Composer, and commissions for Lincoln Center, the Soho Baroque Opera, the Queen’s Chamber Band, the Lark Descending, Elinor Coleman dance Company, David Hockney, etc. ... . A disciple of LaMonte Young and Sri Chimnoy, LAUTEN has Masters in Electronic Music Composition from New York University, and has taught / lectured at the New School for Social Research, the Berklee School of Music, Bucknell University, CUNY and New York University.

LAUTEN Elodie from Felmay Shop


Composed, Performed and Produced by ELODIE LAUTEN

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