Winter 2016-2017. What’s up w/Miller?


Miller completed the documentary “500 Years”, his fourth film for Skylight.  It will premier at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan.24, 2017.  The music was produced by long-standing associate, Michael Bierylo.  This is the third film Miller has done with Skylight that has premiered at Sundance, and it is the third film that he has done with Skylight regarding the genocide in Guatemala in the early ’80’s (supported by the Reagan administration).  Click HERE for more information on this film.

During the genocide trial of Rios Montt.

At the genocide trial of Guatemalan Dictator Rios Montt.



Miller began his “Solar System Sonata” for piano and string quartet late summer 2016, and worked on it during Alloy’s relentless fall touring.  He will complete the score by the end of 2016.


“Solar System Sonata” for piano and string quartet, pg.2

Here is a recording of the first movement to Miller’s composition “Scream, Gilgamesh, Scream”, from the premier on Feb. 2016 in Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory.  Miller played the guitar part with the Callithumpian Consort conducted by Stephen Drury.  Miller was pleasantly surprised to feel that even though the musicians were all reading music, it felt like he was in a band, just a different type.  The score blends his interest in Varese and Messiaen with his interest in rock music.
——–Clinton Conley: “(the musicians) were clearly diggin’ in!”



The band is working on new songs (the epic “Press the Button” and the more pop/rock “When the Dust Settles”), aiming to get enough material for a full album in 2017.  Trinary System couldn’t play shows this fall due to Alloy Orchestra’s dense touring schedule, but will be back in action in 2017:
Feb.11:  Plough and Stars, Cambridge, MA. With Audrey Harrer, harp and vocals with loops, electronics.
Mar.8:  Midway Cafe, Jamaica Plain, MA.  With Fully Celebrated Orchestra.

You can buy our 7″ 45 (with 5-song EP download card) at shows or on Bandcamp.



Alloy’s fall touring was relentless, but even films they hadn’t played in a long time came off remarkably well.  Even they were surprised!  And now there is not a single gig until the Spring.  That’s kind of a relief…


Somewhere out west flying home.



Mission of Burma contributed one of Miller’s unrecorded songs, “Panic is No Option”, to the “30 songs in 30 days: A playlist of Songs that Trump will Hate.
Miller was interviewed by The Guardian for an article about protest music in the age of Reagan and potentially the age of Trump (god help us…)

And the band made it in at #36 for POP MATTERS top-50 best post-punk albums ever.

Playing with the Obliterati Cards.

Trying to make sense of “The Obliterati Cards.”  Clint and Bob just plain gave up!  Photo:  Kelly Davidson Savage




“Super-Moon”, Nov.14, 2016, over our backyard.  Photo: Debra McLaughlin.


Here are my three claims to fame:

1.  I played drums in Destroy All Monsters (with my brothers Laurence and Benjamin) in Ann Arbor spring/summer 1977 until they got a full-time drummer.  After Ron Ashton joined the band, Scott “Rock” Action came to see us rehearse.  He told the Monsters’ manager, DB Keeps, that they should keep the drummer because “he’s rock solid.”

2.  Alloy Orchestra was playing Buster Keaton’s great film “The General” at Washington University in St. Louis.  Because there was no stage, I was in the aisle by the wall.  The promoter’s daughter was at her very first movie (3 years old?), and her seat seat was at the end of the row.  When the film was over and we were taking our bows, I saw this little girl point at me (a few feet away) and heard her say “Is that Buster Keaton?”

3.  My son’s name is Chance, and he was born the night after one of John Cage’s Norton Poetry lectures at Harvard in 1989.  At the next lecture, 2 months later, we brought him backstage.  I was introduced to John Cage, by the gentleman who put on the event, as “The Father of Chance.”


Lilly, Billy, Chance and Me     Photo: Wayne Valdez.