American composer Laurie Spiegel was born in Chicago on September 20, 1945. She has worked at Bell Laboratories and in computer graphics. Primarily known for her groundbreaking electronic-music compositions and her algorithmic composition software Music Mouse, she also plays the guitar and lute.
Spiegel, who attended Shimer College, Brooklyn College, and Oxford University, received a degree in social sciences and went on to study composition with Jacob Druckman and Vincent Persichetti at the Juilliard School. Her early musical experiences were largely self-directed, beginning with the mandolin, guitar, and banjo she had as a child which she learned to play by ear; she taught herself music notation at the age of 20, after which she began writing down her compositions.
Spiegel was seen by some as a pioneer of the New York new-music scene. She withdrew from this scene in the early 1980s, believing that its focus had shifted from artistic process to product. While she continues to support herself though software development, Spiegel's aims to use technology in music as a means of furthering her art rather than as an end in itself.