See what people have said about Miller’s work:
Eight Dream Interpretations for Solo Electric Guitar Ensemble:
Premier Guitar, Jan. 2023: “The post-punk 6-string hero takes a deep dive into sonic surrealism with his new album, a loop-driven collection of riveting soundscapes.”
Pop Matters, Jan. 2023: “His skills as a guitar player and his bottomless imagination have collided in a perfect encapsulation of the two traits, bringing forth a third strand that just can’t be imitated by anyone else, no matter how hard anyone should try.”
All About Jazz, Nov.2022: “Dream Interpretation #16” opens the program with a mysterious low rumble, heavy on the reverb. Rock guitar riffs appear on top, then a locomotive rhythm drives a guitar solo (more than a bit reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix at his most experimental). “Dream Interpretation #20″ is awash with echo and backward loops, recalling Pink Floyd at their most psychedelic, before building to a massive multi-guitar climax.”
Also, “Best of 2022”.
The Best Experimental Music on Bandcamp, Sept.2022: “The sonic twists and turns on these eight tracks do indeed follow a dream-like logic, as Miller jumps from drones to abstraction to heavy riffs that could fit into raging rock songs. Most impressive is the guitarist’s tonal control – this music may emerge from the fog of sleep, but Miller’s deft handling is crystal clear.”
Transmuting the Prosaic
“Things to do this weekend around Boston and beyond”: The Boston Globe, Jan. 2023: “Roger Clark Miller, who in 1979 cofounded the art-punk band Mission of Burma, has for years made sound-and-artworks with vinyl records exploring the randomness and patterns of ordinary phenomena. He expands on lyrics listed in alphabetical order on the lyric sheet for Mission of Burma’s 1981 EP “Signals, Calls and Marches” with a sound component, and orchestrates a film of Somerville traffic by syncing instruments to the movement of cars, pedestrians and cyclists.” Through Jan.22, 3S Artspace,
Mission of Burma (guitarist, singer, song-writer):
“I guess we’re at a point where Mission of Burma’s post-reunion accomplishments shouldn’t be met by shock and amazement. But, considering how fantastic The Obliterati sounds, I’m tempted to offer the sort of breathless hyperbole that press agents would love to quote, something along the lines of ‘every band in the world would die to make this record.'” Pitchfork Magazine, 2009.
“Mission of Burma sound as electrifying, as curious, and as awake as they ever have.” Mojo Magazine, 2012, regarding their 2012 album UNSOUND.
“This exuberant fifth album (Unsound) again shows they’re still a force to be reckoned with, while stretching their tuneful, time-signature-shifting style ever further.” The Guardian, 2012
The Mission of Burma documentary “NOT A PHOTOGRAPH” was included in Huffington Post’s 2017 article “18 Documentaries You Need To Watch On Hulu Right Now.” (Also included: Bob Dylan. Rolling Stones. Banksy. Etc.)
“Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991”, Little Brown and Company, by Michael Azzerad.
Mission of Burma is chapter three of 13 bands, each with their own chapter, in this acclaimed book on the history of indie rock. Their chapter in the audio-book version is being read by author Johnathan Franzen.
As a Guest Lecturer:
“Not only is Roger Miller a tantalizingly eclectic performer and composer, the Mission of Burma founder and Alloy Orchestra member is a captivating, knowledgeable presenter on music history, much of which he had a hand in. In a recent talk at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, Miller reconciled the classical avant-garde with punk, Bartók with the Ramones. As a decided musical influence on Nirvana, the Pixies, and R.E.M., Miller also shared personal anecdotes and insights about one of the most amazing chapters in rock and roll history. A true American original.” William L. Ellis, Assistant Professor of Music, Saint Michael’s College
“Roger Clark Miller is an engaging speaker who has much to share and say about not only his own work, but also other idioms from visual art to literature. Coming from what some would say are two disparate parts of the music world, post-punk and concert chamber music, Miller shows us that the two are not so far apart. And both experiences are valued in creating the ultimate goal of an artist, making music that poetically describes and speaks to the human condition. He was an inspiration to our students and teachers at Tufts university as well as the talented musicians that performed his music.” Michael McLaughlin D.M.A., Tufts University.
Art New England (notes on sound art, 1986):
“POP Record/evolving” is a recording of the props and scratches that constitute the same ‘patina’ Christian Marclay’s record exploits. Miller’s record, however, contains ONLY these pops and scratches.”
“POP Record/evolving” was shown in NYC in “Extended Play” (curated by Christian Marclay and Ursula Black, 1988), and in “The Needle and the Damage Done” in Toronto (2008). In 2018 it was being taught in a class at “Sound Studies and Sonic Arts (Master of Arts)” at Universitat der Kunste, Berlin.
Alloy Orchestra (keyboard, composer):
“The best in the world at accompanying silent film” Roger Ebert.
“Stoking the excitement (of the video release of Strike) is the Alloy Orchestra… For Strike the tempo is kept tightly coiled and pounding, which …consistently adds fun to the deepening pandemonium. ” Peter M. Nichols, New York Times
“The IT List” – 100 Most Creative People in Entertainment…
“Telluride Film Festival faves, these Boston-based musicians have rejuvenated the art of silent film with thrillingly quirky, percussive scores.” Entertainment Weekly
“The Alloy Orchestra’s second stunning performance found the threesome playing the score to The Man with the Movie Camera, and the result left the audience reeling, ecstatic, and utterly gobsmacked. ” Bruce Sterling, The Dominion (New Zealand)
“When the film (Metropolis) ended and the musicians took a bow the packed house of 1,100 festival goers was on its feet applauding and screaming. ” Pop Culture World News
“The always compelling Alloy Orchestra.” Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
April 2010 NPR interview with the Alloy Orchestra here:
A Night of Surrealist Games (host):
I.C.A., Boston, MA:
” ‘A Night of Surrealist Games’ was a first for us and an overwhelming patron favorite. His knowledge of Surrealism and skill in getting strangers to play together was a smashing success!” John Andress, Associate Director of Performing Arts.
Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT:
“At Real Art Ways, we always encourage people to be creative and expand their horizons and the surrealist games truly allowed us all to do this.” Jess Martel, House Manager.
First Night, Boston, MA:
“First Night Boston is designed for families to have fun and to celebrate creativity; these aims were more than met in Roger’s ‘A Night of Surrealist Games.’ At the end of the evening, the wall was covered with new creations made by people who don’t think of themselves as artists.” Tom Johnson, Director of Programs.
Boston Globe, 2010:
“Q. What’s the appeal for you of Exquisite Corpse games?
A. I love seeing things being created, and it’s guaranteed that at the end of the night you’ll have a bunch of things that never would have existed by planning them.”
New Hampshire Public Radio interview with Miller on his Surrealist Games at 3S Artspace, Portsmouth, NH here.
From SICPP Festival, 2013, at the New England Conservatory:
“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.” NewMusicBox Review, July 2013.
“…. I found the piece (Vines for Music) really beautiful.” Stephen Drury, New England Conservatory, director of The Callithumpian Consort.
Trinary System (guitarist, singer, songwriter):
“Trinary System continues the elegant, abstract, agitated firestorm tradition of Miller’s Burma songs, with an unmistakable swagger… ‘Infinity in a Box’ is a Rubik’s Cube of a song, full of sharp, shiny, colorful edges that align in abrupt, unexpected ways and then, just as suddenly, go out of joint… As Miller sings in the opening song, “I love chaos cos you get to see what new forms show up when the dust settles.” Lights in the Center of Your Head is a surprising amount of fun, intricate when it needs to be, but solidly anchored in rock-hard foundations of rock, funk and blues.”
Dusted Magazine, Aug. 2019
“Trinary System invades Store 54 and history rewinds to a new beginning.”
“Single of the Month!”
“Can you turn that up? That’s a good sound, it’s got a sort of swagger to it. It had me from the intro to be honest.”
The Skinny, Glasgow, Scotland.
“A very strong outing from one of rock music’s most rewarding and enduring experimental minds, worth the full attention of any Mission of Burma fan.”
The Vinyl District, USA.
Maximum Electric Piano (Electric Piano, voice, electronic devices. 1983-1988):
“Roger Miller has been fighting musical typecasting… Asking one’s audience to accept a broader range of styles and more sophisticated structures is an admirable and rare thing.” NY Times, 1987.
“… Mr. Miller’s songs have jolts in all the right places.” NY Times, 1988.
“…a man in constant motion, a one-man symphony… possesses one of the keenest avant-garde rock sensibilities in town.” Boston Globe, 1986.
“The man’s obviously some manic, crazy genius… a 21st Century mind trapped in a 20th Century body, an imagination on fast-forward.” LA Weekly, 1988.
“Miller drew a long ovation for the title cut from THE BIG INDUSTRY. If the new album comes close to capturing his live energy and approach, then THE BIG INDUSTRY will be not only a record, but a tool for forging a fresh outlook on the art of electrified music.”
Spectator Magazine, Raleigh, NC. 1987.
“Miller has the vision to twist those tones into music, instead of hollow android howlings, and he has a sense of humor to go with his sense of melody.” SPIN, 1987.
“Roger Miller is probably the most talented musician to come out of Boston since Arthur Fiedler.” City Paper, Washington DC, 1986.
Miller has scored four films that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival:
2016: “500 Years”
2012: “Granito – How to Nail a Dictator”
2009: The Reckoning
2007: Traces of the Trade
Frottage Drawing Shows (graphite rubbing/collages and scrawls):
March: Group (3 artists) show: Meat for Tea/Sonelab Gallery, Easthampton, MA.
Six drawings printed in the literary magazine Meat for Tea.
August: Solo show upcoming in Kingston, NY.
September: Group show. Saugerties Performing Arts Factory, Saugerties, N.Y.
October: Solo show: Geno’s, Portland, ME.
June: Solo show: Milton Art Center, MIlton, MA.
Miller’s Non-fiction writing has appeared in:
Slate (Slate Journalist); Two book reviews in The Wall Street Journal; Numerous music reviews for The Talk House; The Huffington Post (blogger).
Miller’s Fiction writing has appeared in:
Button; Penny Ante III.
Only this, sir. At one point I had opportunity to ask you how to secure a copy of your song “Firehead”, which you, at that moment, could not much recollect. Here it is on YouTube:
I still could not, otherwise, obtain it, but just in case you can still not remember . . . you may now listen!
Thanks. Listened to the intro. at the SF Airport (Alloy time). Forgot about that part of the song, some clanky preparations.
Hey Roger. I posted ‘Portrait of a Mechanical Dog’ on my YouTube channel. The Big Industry was such a phenomenal album, I wanted to share a piece of it with anyone who will find it. I will remove it immediately if this is a problem for you. Just say the word.
Any progress on getting it remastered and released on cd?
Sure – that can stay up. But maybe no more. I haven’t gotten to remastering yet due to so many other things demanding my time. But it’s one of the first of my albums I want to revisit… Thanks for telling me!
No problem. Thank you for allowing it. I’ve been a fan since ’81 so, it’s an honor. Take care.