Winter 2015

    The Trinary System:

The Trinary System:  Andrew, Larry, Roger

The Trinary System: Andrew, Larry, Roger

Meat4Tea Poster 2015Store 54 poster 2015

The band completed a 3-song demo in November, and plans to record in 2015.
Upcoming Shows:

Fri., Mar.13, Store 54, Allston, MA

Sat., Mar.14 Meat for Tea Benefit at Sonelab,
142 Pleasant St., Easthampton. MA
Miller is a featured artist at this event as well (see frottage drawing).




Fri., Feb.13 at Lizard Lounge, Cambridge:
Miller will be sitting in (keyboards w/electronics) with the improv. group Club D’Elf at The Lizard Lounge.  He’s done this off an on for years and it is always a blast.  Who knows what will happen:  everyone there always find out.


First Night Surrealist Games:

First Night Surrealist Games 2014/15

This photo doesn’t look that wild, but everyone you see is working on words or drawings or stories in a surrealist manner.

Somewhere between 250-300 people passed through the Surrealist Games tables the evening of Dec.31, 2014.  An older gent: “I’m not playing because I don’t feel competitive.”  Roger: “These games are zero% competitive – it’s the result of all players working as a team that counts.”  Gent: “OK.”  He had a blast.  As did 100’s of others.  The results were not necessarily great art, but every piece produced juxtapositions previously never before on this planet.  A good way to ring in the new year!

As a Composer:

Structure for the Composition Half-Moon Pond

Structure for the Composition Half-Moon Pond

Half-Moon Pond, for string orchestra, was just completed.  The photo above is used to structure the music, which in this case is highly improvised within specific parameters.
Once snow piles up in Somerville, Miller will re-video-shoot the Winter Season for the Davis Square Symphony.  He was hoping to have this completed by last July, but he only recently gained access to a Hi-Def camera – much better for projecting on an outdoor screen while the orchestra is playing along to the traffic in the film.  This is supported in part by The Somerville Arts Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Scream, Gilgamesh, Scream was delayed last fall.  The right baritone vocalist was not found.  It is tentatively planned for the Callithumpian Consort’s 2015-1016 season at the New England Conservatory.  The final section, Gilgamesh returning to Uruk, remains to be completed.

As a Soundtracker:

Work begins on a soundtrack for a documentary set in New Mexico.  Excellent terrain in New Mexico.
Another soundtrack, mostly sound design, is starting soon for Heide Solberg’s very interesting multi-platform story.  Sound design is in many ways more enjoyable than music scoring because you don’t get “ear-worms” of melodies in your brain when you are going to sleep, just random sounds.  Suitable for hypnogogic trance.

Winter: a time to reflect:

Limited shows by Alloy Orchestra (Mar.1, Hartford, CT; Mar. 7 Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA), and none by Mission of Burma this particular quarter (though their upcoming July 18 gig at Fenway Park opening for The Foo Fighters is certainly curious).

Fall 2014

Surrealist Games: First Night Boston!

Surrealist Games with Roger Miller.  First Night, Boston.
7:30pm-11:00pm.  Hynes Convention Center (900 Boylston St.).  Room 201.  (Dec.31)
Miller will lead the attendees in the Surrealist Games (drawing, writing) initiated by the Surrealists in the 1920’s.  Guaranteed to produce “answers to questions previously unknowable.”


As keyboardist in The Alloy Orchestra:

Alloy premiers our new score to SON OF THE SHEIK in San Francisco on Sept.20, then we are off to the mid-west for 2+ weeks.   Later in October and in November the group plays NY State, Pittsburgh, N.H., and more.  Alloy Orchestra Tour Schedule Here.

Roger’s published BLOG on the Alloy Orchestra Ukraine trip in June, 2014.

Last fall the group was recorded live in performance in Nashville for THIRD MAN RECORDS (Frank Black’s label).  The film was MAN WITH THE MOVIE CAMERA, one of the Alloy’s most rambunctious.  This has now been pressed as a double LP, vinyl.  For sale on tour and soon on the web site store!

Here are three video/music cues from SON OF THE SHEIK:     Desert Rider      Cafe Maure      Desert Oasis

Original Poster for Son of the Sheik.

Original Poster for Son of the Sheik.


As a Frottage Artist:

Miller’s Frottage Art will be in two shows this fall:

A group show opening on Sept.27 in Sogrates, N.Y. which includes all three Sproton Layer Miller brothers!

A Solo show at Geno’s Gallery in  Portland, ME, with the Trinary System performing opening night, Oct.25.

Green, Sept.7, 2008

Green, Sept.7, 2008


As guitarist/vocalist/ in The Trinary System: 

On Oct.25, the band will play at Geno’s in Portland Maine in support of Miller’s art show there, then record a 3-song demo in November.  The two shows they played in May proved they were no longer a Miller side-project, but a real band.

Live video from Geno’s Maine: “I Lead a Modular Life” on Oct.25.

The Trinary System prefers Books.

The Trinary System prefers Books.  Photo Debra McLaughlin.


As Guitarist/Vocalist (+cornetist?) in Mission of Burma:

The late August W. Coast jaunt went surprisingly well.  At the Roxy in LA the Volcano Suns re-formed for one song during the encore slot, and Miller added his dulcet cornet tones to Good Not Great to finish things off.
In San Francisco, Steve McKay, tenor sax-player on the Stooges’ FUN HOUSE album, was in the band before us.  So we had him join us and we did a completely feral version of 1970 for our last encore.
In Portland, Chris Brokaw joined us for the Consonant song Buckets of Flowers, and stayed on-stage for a spot-on Down on the Street (FUN HOUSE again!).  These featured Conley on rhythm guitar and Miller on bass.  The 4-piece finished off with Good Not Great again w/Miller on cornet.
In Seattle we merely played a very solid set out-doors at The Bumbershoot Festival.  Dave Minehan (Neighborhoods, who was playing in the Replacements), Steve Stain (early-80’s Thayer Street days) and Chris Porter (Booking agent in Boston’s punk past) all checked in so it was family night.  And we think we saw Xanna Don’t in the audience as well!  On top of that, we saw part of Bootsy Collins set – we got the funk.
All in all, quite a blast.

Miller at the Roxy in LA, Aug. 2014.  Photo by Michelle Shiers.

Miller at the Roxy in LA, Aug. 2014. Photo Michelle Shiers.

Mission of Burma performing BREAK ON THROUGH (Doors) at The Space in Boston in 1979. 


As an Uncle:

Roger with Felix Miller, age 3.    July, Boulder, CO.

Roger with Felix Miller, age 3. July, Boulder, CO.  Photo Debra McLaughlin.

Summer 2014

The Slaying of HumbabaThe Slaying of Humbaba

As a Composer:

This concert has been postponed until early 2015 due to the baritone vocalist getting an opera gig.  Delays are unfortunate, but all will be in place in early 2015.

                                    (Monday, Sept.22, The Callithumpian Consort (with Miller on guitar) will premier “Scream, Gilgamesh, Scream”
                                                                                                    at Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory.)

Scream, Gilgamesh, Scream (Punk Rock Piano Concerto) is written for piano, soprano voice, baritone voice, two percussionists, electric guitar, alto sax, bass clarinet, french horn, string quartet and synthesizer (bass).  This is a setting of the Babylonian “Epic of Gilgamesh”.  Miller’s take on the story is more about what happened to Enkidu, rather than Gilgamesh.  The music is quite barbaric: given that the Epic was composed 2,500-3,000 years B.C., and that “punk rock” is a subtitle, this may not be surprising.  But given the nature of the story, there are many lyrical moments as well.

Clarinetti in Natura (for two clarinets, prepared piano, and modified nature ambiences) was well received at its March 31 Southern Illinois University premier during the “Outside the Box Festival.”


Bradford BallroomBradford Ballroom 1983.  Photo by Vernon Doucette.

As a Guitarist/Vocalist in Mission of Burma:

Mission of Burma will be on the West Coast at the end of August:

Aug.28:  The Roxy Theater, W. Hollywood, CA
Aug.29:  The Independent, San Francisco, CA
Aug.30:  Doug Fir, Portland, OR
Aug.31:  Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle, WA

For more information


Ukraine 2013Protests in Kiev from our trip in 2013.

As a Keyboardist in The Alloy Orchestra:

The band has three shows the end of June in, you guessed it, Ukraine.  Kiev and Odessa, i.e., the safe side of the country.  They were there last year and enjoyed it very much.  Never having been to Odessa or seen the Black Sea, this promises to be, in many ways, a very interesting trip.

July 12:  Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY.
Aug. 3:  Michael Moore’s film festival in Traverse City, MI
Aug. 9: Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA
Sept. 20:  San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

Midwest Tour starts the last week in Sept.

As a Camper:

D+R VTMe ‘n’ Deb hiking whilst camping in upstate Vermont.

Spring 2014

The Trinary System after the Act

The Trinary System after the Act

The Trinary System to play two shows in May

The Trinary System is breaking out again this May, like they did in May 2012.  The band is Lawrence Dersch on drums; P. Andrew Wills on bass and vocals; Roger C. Miller on guitar and vocals.  Some new songs have been added.

Fri., May 30:  STORE 54 in Allston
Sat., May 31:  Montague Bookmill, in western MA

BIKE! Video from TT the Bear’s, May 2012


The Mission of Burma documentary “Not a Photograph” was included in the Huffington Post’s 18 Documentaries you need to watch on Hulu Right Now.   We’re in there with the Stones “Gimme Shelter”, Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Look Back”, and “The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins”.  Pretty amazing – comparatively, we are almost nobody.


And the Surrealist Games continue:

Fri., May 2:  The I.C.A., Boston.
Sat., May 17:  Portsmouth Book and Bar, Portsmouth, N.H.

Article/interview in Seacoast Online for Portsmouth show
Mass MoCA’s photographs from the Feb.22 Surrealist Games event there.

As a Composer:

Mar.31, 2014: The “Outside the Box” festival at Southern Illinois University featured a performance of “Clarinetti in Natura”.  The composition is for two clarinets tuned 1/4 step apart, prepared piano, and a solid 9.5 minutes of modified and collaged natural ambiences.  It was very well received.

Miller is currently working on Half-Moon Pond.  This composition utilizes natural phenomena to organize a composition involving time-specific improvised gestures.  For String Orchestra.

Rothko Score I

Initial Score work for Half-Moon Pond

Half-Moon Pond Photo

Half-Moon Pond Photo


As a Guitarist/vocalist in Mission of Burma: 

Burma RegentRockin’ the Regent Theater, Feb.2014.

Shows upcoming this summer:

Mission of Burma playing the SLED ISLAND FESTIVAL in Calgary, Canada, on June 19.

Mission of Burma on the West Coast Aug.28-31.

Mission of Burma Web Site

As a Keyboardist in The Alloy Orchestra

The Spring Season is kicking in for another round of bringing silent film into the 21st Century:
March 28-30: AFI Silver Theater, Silver Spring, MD
April 12: Cape Ann Community Cinema, Gloucester.
April 19: National Gallery, Washington DC.
April 25: Roger Ebert Film Festival, Champaign, IL
April 27: Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.
May 11:  Maryland Film Festival, Baltimore, MD

Alloy Orchestra Tour Schedule

Alcazar Hotel, our fave in ClevelandOur favorite Cleveland Hotel, The Alcazar Hotel

Frottage Drawing:

Miller has not done much frottage drawing of late, but he did have two of his frottage drawings laser-etched onto his Strat.

Strat front

Strat back

At the top of 2014


Miller will be joining the Callithumpian Consort the first four Mondays in March, from 2-4pm, at the Gardner Museum in Boston, performing music by Stockhausen.  The compositions are defined by Haiku-like descriptions and are highly improvised.  Miller will play electric guitar.

Miller’s composition “Clarinetti in Natura” for two clarinets, prepared piano and an audio track made of 30 different natural ambiences will premier at Southern Illinois University in March as part of the “Outside the Box” festival in April.

The Feb.20 concert at New England Conservatory has been postponed to Fall 2014 due to over-extension of the Callithumpian Consort.  Miller’s composition “Scream, Gilgamesh, Scream” will still be included in that concert.

Miller's work-table for composing "Hillside Rock", for solo electric guitar.

Miller’s work-table while composing “Hillside Rock”, for solo electric guitar.


Miller has reactivated Surrealist Games Night.  Miller is the consummate surrealist host and guides attendees through the drawing game, word games, and The Dream Game.  He also provides an appropriate soundtrack via his laptop.

Upcoming shows in 2014:

Sat., May 17: Portsmouth Book and Bar, Portsmouth, NH

Feb.22:   Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA.
Mar.1:   Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT.

1977 Exquisite Corpse drawing:  Laurence Miller, Roger Miller, Link Yaco,.

1977 Exquisite Corpse drawing: Laurence Miller, Roger Miller, Link Yaco.

As a guitarist/vocalist in MISSION OF BURMA:

Four February shows in place:
Thurs., Feb.6: Spaceland Ballroom, Hamden, CT.
Fri., Feb.7:  The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY.
Sat., Feb.8:  First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA.
Sun., Feb.9:  Regent Theater, Arlington, MA

As a keyboardist in ALLOY ORCHESTRA:

Jan.25 at The Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA.  The film is “He Who Gets Slapped” and stars the amazing silent film actor, Lon Chaney.
Other shows upcoming.

Escaping the Disney Magic on the TCM Cruise, Dec. 2013.

Escaping the Disney Magic on the TCM Cruise, Dec. 2013.


Miller will complete DISRUPTION in January, the next film by Skylight Productions.  The last film he scored with Skylight was GRANITO, which helped convict Guatemalan Dictator Rios Mont of genocide.

Miller continues teaching Guitar Lessons out of his home.

 Ice in Debra's creek in VT.

Ice in Debra’s creek in VT.

New Mexico Hotel (detail).

New Mexico Hotel (detail).


Fall Actions…..

The Alloy Orchestra is in full tour mode for the fall:
1.  Telluride (Coloroado) Film Festival, Aug.28-Sept.2, where they premier their new film.
2.  Then on to Tromso, Norway, Sept.5-8, for the Tromso Internasjonale Film Festival.
3.  Then to their midwest tour, Sept.27 – Oct.15, with a recording session at Third Man studio in Nashville towards the end.
Alloy Tour Schedule:

Alloy Orchestra smites Again

Alloy Orchestra smites Again

Mission of Burma has a midwest jaunt, Sept.12-15:
Pittsburgh, Columbus, Indianapolis (these last two cities are firsts for the band), ending in Chicago at the Riotfest Festival.  Schedule here.

Between the two shows at Maxwell's.  Photo: Debra McLaughlin

Between the two shows at Maxwell’s. Photo: Debra McLaughlin

Frottage Drawings continue to get made (see Frottage Gallery 2013).

Heslinki Botanical Gardens,

Helsinki Botanical Gardens, July 8, 2013.

The film Miller scored in 2012, GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR, was nominated for the Emmy Award Outstanding Investigative Journalism—Long-Form in July, 2013.  Hoping it wins!


Composing is an on-going process.
Currently working on both “Scream Gilgamesh, Scream!” and the Davis Square Symphony.

MLC Score #2 BLOG

Video for the Trinary System at TT the Bear’s in May, 2013 performing BIKE!

Summer Summer Summer

Sproton Layer at PJ's Lagerhouse in Detroit, June 2013.  Photo Mark Brahce (with assist by Benjamin)

Sproton Layer at PJ’s Lagerhouse in Detroit, June 2013. Photo Mark Brahce (with assist by Benjamin)

Sproton Layer, the Miller Brothers’ band from 1969-1971, has three more shows this summer.

Sproton Layer is not neo-psychedelic – it is psychedelic.
Roger on bass and vocals, Benjamin on guitar and vocals, and Laurence on drums.  Non-brother Steve Smith on trumpet.  Until our June 2013 shows in Michigan, which were exceptionally well received, the band’s last concert was 43 years ago.

Their album “With Magnetic Fields Disrupted”, recorded in 1970 and released in 2010 on World in Sound Records, has garnered high reviews from psych-heads who’ve listened.
Michael Azerrad described their recordings in his book OUR BAND COULD BE YOUR LIFE: “…a valuable document of an amazing band that sounded like Syd Barrett fronting Cream.”

See video: “UP” from Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, June 14, 2013.

July 2013 East Coast Shows:
Thurs., July 25: TT the Bear’s, Cambridge, MA
Fri., July 26: Mercury Lounge, NYC
Sat., July 27: Flywheel, Northampton, MA

(Literally), our Hotel in Amsterdam.

(Literally), Mission of Burma’s Hotel in Amsterdam.

Mission of Burma in Europe was quite fun, though the usual long drives and lack of sleep most nights must oft-times be ignored.  Started off sunny in London, not extremely common!  Best show we’ve ever had in Amsterdam.  Beautiful harbor-side scene in Hamburg.  First time in Scandanavia.  Enjoyed the Botanical Gardens in Helsinki (where I completed most of the below frottage drawing which was started in Hamburg).  Overall really great hosts everywhere.

My two main “things to do” on this tour were:
1. Read the really amazing book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Break Down of the Bicameral Mind”, by Julian Jaynes.  It is the first take on human origins that made it clear to me how “we” got from proto-human to actual civilization.  And how consciousness formed from there out of language.  It almost explains too much, and I’m pretty sure it’s not for the squeamish.  Stunning.
2.  Work on my composition “Scream Gilgamesh, Scream”, a setting of the Epic of Gilgamesh for 10 musicians, soprano and baritone voice.  The alternate title is “Punk Rock Piano Concerto” so you can imagine there is a fair amount of bad attitude in this baby.  If the music is often quite barbaric, it may be due to the fact that the story was composed close to 2000 B.C., pre-Babylon.

See my Tour Blog on the Mission of Burma FB site for more tour details.

Frottage started in Hamburg on July 4.  Not done yet.

Frottage started in Hamburg on July 4. Not done yet.

Alloy Orchestra setting up in New Mexico theater.

Alloy Orchestra setting up in New Mexico theater.

Alloy Orchestra is half-way through their new score for the fall.  They will premier the film at the Telluride Film Festival, end of August into early September.  Then play all over the U.S. (this side of the rockies) through December.

Score Map for VINES FOR MUSIC.

Score Map for VINES FOR MUSIC.

In June, Miller’s Composition VINES FOR MUSIC was performed at the New England Conservatory’s SICPP (Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice) event.  The piece was very well received by audience and performers alike.

NewMusicBox Review (July 2013):

Roger Clark Miller’s Vines for Music was an immediate stylistic contrast, and the musicians proved themselves totally ready for this pared down aesthetic. While Miller nods to Cage in the program notes because of the use of prepared piano, there is a more implicit resonance with Lucier and a piece like Still Lives in the use of shapes found around the house (in Miller’s case, vines attached to the garage door) as pitch contour. The transparent quality of the slow string glissandi and careful inside-the-piano work demanded a special kind of concentration from the players, which was beautifully met.

Camping in VT w/Deb.

Camping in VT w/Deb.

After camping w/Deb the week before Sproton Layer’s East Coast shows, I am hoping to be around almost all of August before the fall touring season kicks in.  That would be a luxury I rarely see.


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