March 28: Pipeline – live radio broadcast on WMBR
March 30: Once Somerville (w/Black Helicopter and Boston Typewriter Orchestra)
April 29: Aurora, Providence, RI (w/Minibeast)
May 20: On the Ground, Townsend, VT
2017 Reviews for AMPLIFY THE AMPLIFIERS (Listen HERE and buy if so inclined!):
Their EP Amplify the Amplifiers opens with a snarling garage nod to the younger Kink’s influence on MoB’s razored-amp electric fizz (“He kinda helped me go crazy”).
Delusions of Adequacy (UK):
The threesome’s promising self-released debut download/seven-inch combo EP, Amplify The Amplifiers, which appeared to not enough fanfare last year, extends upon Miller’s blistering psych-infused solo-traded “Big Steam” b/w “Dream Interpretation” 7” from 2012.
The band is planning to record their first full-length album in the late spring. Their newest song, “Hovering”, is based on two dreams from the same night. As Miller was waking up, he had a drum riff in his head that he kept perfecting for Trinary System. When he awoke, he wrote down this unusual drum beat. Later he wrote the main guitar riff around the drum beat and put together the lyrics from that night’s dreams. It is turning out to be one of the band’s more interesting songs.
Trinary System at Store 54. Photo: Margot Edwards.
Sun., April 30: Third Life Studio in Union Square, Somerville, MA.
The Elaine Rombola Ensemble will perform Miller’s composition In Natura (2011, for clarinet, viola, prepared piano and modified nature ambiences). Elaine Rombola prepared piano, who played on Miller’s Gilgamesh at Jordan Hall in 2016; Rane Moore clarinet, who helped with the extended techniques used on this piece; and Amelia Hollander Ames viola. Other compositions on the bill include a piece for toy piano and amplified viola as well as a Beethoven Cello Sonata adapted for viola.
“In Natura” continues Miller’s interest in concrete sounds, this time entirely from nature: wind, water, insects, storms. The 9’30” collage of natural ambiences is in 3 continuous movements and directs the entire composition. The clarinet and viola parts are based on Miller’s bird-whistling improvisations, incorporating numerous extended techniques, and the sound of very slowed down crickets. The prepared piano serves as commentary. As in “Vines for Music”, Miller has eliminated “concert pitch”, creating a score which mimics nature’s tuning: sounds co-mingled but do not form “chords” or have an over-arching tonal center.
Miller’s Davis Square Symphony was awarded a grant from The Awesome Foundation in March. Miller is close to completing this time-consuming work for film and orchestral score, with the aim of getting it into film festivals and shown as an art installation.
Alloy Orchestra has prepared two new films for our next season
1. A new version of the classic Dinosaur film, LOST WORLD.
2. The 1927 Japanese masterpiece PAGE OF MADNESS. The film is set entirely in an insane asylum and is a perfect vehicle for Alloy Orchestra’s more improvisatory work. One of our very favorite silent films!
Lincoln Center, NYC.
Academy of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles.
Roger Ebert film Festival, Champagne, IL.
AFI Silver Theater, Silver Spring, MD
Maryland Film festival, Baltimore, MD.
Castro Theater, San Francisco Silent Film Festival: Premier of LOST WORLD and PAGE OF MADNESS.
Mass MOCA Wilco Festival, North Adams, MA
Alloy Orchestra setting up in Albuquerque.
I continue teaching guitar lessons, mostly through Skype. I can be contacted at the link above.
2002? Photo: rthenadey.
Three quotes about my music that amused me:
1. The Noise (Boston). Nov.’95, regarding my Elemental Guitar CD:
“The album as a whole makes you feel like you’ve just been lectured to by someone who is a genius, but in a subject that you never thought was important.”
2. From an NPR piece on The Binary System, my piano/drum duo with Larry Dersch, in the late ’90’s:
“Roger writes complicated music. They learn it. Then they play it like it’s Louie Louie” – Russ Gershon, Either/Orchestra
3. I played one of my compositions for my teacher at CalArts in 1976. When it was over, he looked up at me and said:
“That shouldn’t have made sense.”
Maximum Electric Piano, Chicago 1987? Photo Russ Smith.