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LOWER EAST SIDE PERFORMING ARTS, INC.
501(c)3 nonprofit organizations founded in 2006 

LESPA thanks the Foundation for Contemporary Arts for the 2014 Robert Rauschenberg Award to Elodie Lauten

 

Contacts
Marketing: Mike Barry mike@princetoncreative.com
PR: Jeffrey James jamesarts@att.net
Management: Carolyn Ratcliffe nymagnolia@gmail.com
Projects: Elodie Lauten elauten@yahoo.com

LESPA received support from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts 2014 Robert Rauschenberg Award to Elodie Lauten, from the Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund, and public funds from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Senator Daniel Squadron), The Fund for Creative Communities supported by the New York State Council on the Arts and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and aministered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Material for the Arts, as well as private donations and memberships. We thank our sponsors for their generous support.

lmcc

parks

mfta

nysca

dca

argosy

 

Acknowledgements for Waking in New York: Allen Ginsberg Trust, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Robert Rauschenberg Award 2014, The Fund for Creative Communities, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

 


Mission

A commitment to accessible programming, free ot low cost, and to artistic excellence.


LESPA encourages the creation of new work in contemporary music and musical theater. It facilitates the interface between diverse composers, artists, performers, especially women, and primarily low-income, multi-cultural communities. LESPA's affordable programs show depth and humanity, and effectively address the complexity of our time, improving the quality of life and sense of community.

Services

BENEFITS TO THE COMMUNITY
Affordable programs of high cultural standard,
Diversity oriented programming
Cultural enhancement through innovation
Economic development opportunities and jobs

BENEFITS TO ARTISTS
Exposure
Web pages
Networking
Collaborations
Archive

 

Spring 2014 Programs

WAKING IN NEW YORK: THE OPERA ABOUT NEW YORK BY ELODIE LAUTEN AND ALLEN GINBSERG PROJECT HISTORY

During the summer of 1996, Allen Ginsberg gave to Elodie Lauten a selection of his poems on the theme of New York for a musical setting. Lauten met Allen Ginsberg when she first came to New York. As a member of the band Flaming Youth, she became a guest in his apartment on East 10th St, and accompanied him in his public readings. Ginsberg encouraged her to compose: one day he brought home a Farfisa organ for her to play - her first experience with an electronic musical instrument. He introduced her to Buddhism, and taught her how to chant mantras and meditate. Albeit unconventional, some form of mentoring took place, and she has always felt deeply connected to Ginsberg's life, poetry and philosophy. Waking in New York represents a cultural legacy as Ginsberg passed on in 1997 a few months after he gave Lauten the poems to set. The Allen Ginsberg Trust considers the project an important tribute to Ginsberg, helped obtain the necessary permissions and facilitated contact with Harper Collins, Allen Ginsberg’s publisher.


Waking in New York has been in progress for a number of years and is currently being expanded towards its fully staged premiere. It was seen in concert version and  semi-staged readings, including the New York City Opera's Vox series. The CD recorded at Sony Studios and released on 4Tay was well received: "a moving memorial"(New Music Box), "Compelling work" (American Record Guide), "One of the most influential works of the last 3 decades." (Sequenza21).

This "first reading" of Waking in New York at St Mark's Church continues a tradition of Ginsberg readings in this powerful locus in the heart of the East Village. The June 1st performance will feature the expanded material for a 90 minute performance arranged for piano, contrabass and flute, sopranos (3), baritone and chorus - performed by the St Mark's Chorus.


NEW YORK CITY THROUGH THE EYES OF A POET
In Waking in New York, Ginsberg is just living his life moment to moment. From his apartment in the East Village, his writing is transparent: he tells us about his feelings, observations, perceptions, causes, how he sees the city and the diversity of its people. He is in a constant dialogue with his muses, Freedom and Compassion - characters created by Lauten to represent the ‘feminine’ side of Ginsberg. Suddenly, he may stop to look at the beauty of a tree, the odd shape of a roof top, even the fumes of an exhaust pipe… He tells stories about the odd mix of characters in the neighborhood. He expresses his love of life, humanity and compassion in a down-to-earth, occasionally satirical vision of the world, alternating with moments of deep emotion and poetic lyricism.


MUSIC
Waking in New York uniquely sets the Ginsberg poetry as melody, which brings out the lyrical qualities of the text – as opposed to other settings where his text was set simply as narrative over music.  In Waking in New York every word is sung, even the most unlikely. 

 

 



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