Elodie Lauten was born in Paris in 1950, moved to the US in 1972, and tragically died all too young on June 3, 2014. The daughter of the jazz pianist and drummer Errol Parker, she studied piano at the Paris Conservatoire at age seven, and started composing at age twelve. In New York in 1973, she responded to an ad in the Village Voice, and ended up as lead singer for a band called Flaming Youth. She shaved her head, long before that was a common fashion statement. Flaming Youth's guitarist Denise Filiu was living at the time with the famous poet Allen Ginsburg, who also took Elodie in and gave her a Farfisa organ so she could accompany him when he sang and chanted. She studied with La Monte Young, whose Well-Tuned Piano her keyboard music occasionally brings to mind. Despite these radical beginnings, Elodie poured the creative energy of her later years into the forms of opera and oratorio, beginning in 1985 with The Death of Don Juan, and including such large works as Deus ex Machina, Orfreo, and Waking in New York, this last based on Ginsburg poems that he had selected for her. Just before her death she was awarded the Robert Rauschenberg Award, the money from which she used to stage a new performance of Waking in New York. She was too ill to attend it, and died the next day.