Ben Miller music  
       
Third Border

Broken Mirrors

Blackout in the City

Intercom

Unearthing

One Full Turn

 

Kerrytown, Ann Arbor, MI 2010
2010
2000
Sonic Circuits Festival, DC 2008
2010
 
 

Ben Miller / degeneration

Miller's degeneration explores "prepared guitar" as a form of sonic degeneration. His self-modified Guitar is equiped with several pickups. 1 humbucker in standard placement panned right, 1 humbucker suspended above the 1st fret panned left, and 2 piezo contact pickups (headstock/body panned L/R) supply the Sonic foundation. Note: the humbucker at the nut faces down to pick up the sound from the opposite side of the fretted/manipulated string. A Hexaphonic pickup outputs each string separately with each string run through a different chain of electronic effects - hence the blanket statement "mulitphonic guitar w/treatment".

Strings are excited by metal slides, springs, combs, chains, bows, eBows, etc. and "prepared" with binder clips, bolts, screws, and other found objects. String-sounds also occur below the bridge, above the nut, and from the guitar body itself. Its 6 strings are strung below standard tuning. The bridge is not "saddled" instead completely smooth so that the strings are mobile and free to slide across it enhancing the instrument's erratic microtonal sound. Sometimes a special Tuning is set up, but more often than not Pitch and Intonation are quite arbitrary. The use of a guitar pick and the traditional approach of playing a "guitar neck with frets" is rare. Retaining this unique mulitphonic output, Miller adds a score of FX pedals, Casio SK1 8-bit sampling, analog tapes, transistor radio, and the liberal use of a Bixby tailpiece. Manipulated vinyl and Analog synth sometimes accompany the mood. First altered in 1982, "The Zoo" (a deconstructed Gibson Kalamazoo) was one of many oddities integral to the sound of Ann Arbor Michigan's willfully obscure GKW.

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Miller honed his prepared guitar approach with Chicago's DIRTY OLD MAN RIVER. Songwriter Julian Mills gave him free reign over the sound.
"...Miller's chainsaw hum sputters almost subliminally, lurking in the shadows of the mix." _ THE SADDEST MOVIE SCREEN, CMJ 1998
"...it's been a long time since anyone has done Wisconsin Death Trip gothic on this level...bloodcurdling prepared-guitar breaks and squeals make the nightmare stick."
_ AGELESS, Chicago Reader 2000
"...this mad scientist claws at a modified, tabletop Gibson...It's squeaks, croaks, frequency disruptions and energy fields assassinate DOMR's compositions, knocking them sideways and diluting their cabaretish flair."
_ AGELESS, Jordan N. Mamone, NY Press 2000

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At the turn of the century, under the moniker ben Miller/degeneration, Miller began solo performance releasing INTERCOM.

"If new expressionists closed their eyes and painted what they saw then Ben Miller must be taping shut his ears and playing what he hears; blood thrashing through arteries, nerves popping, synapses burning,..doors knocking, feet bounding up echoed stairways...Formerly a part of the 'anti-rock band' Destroy All Monsters, Miller takes the 'anti' idea a step further." Melissa Giannini, Detroit Metro Times 2001.

The following year, Miller expanded his ideas into a quartet aptly named Regeneration with Pete Ayars on laptop, Kotaro Seki on upright bass & viola, and Steve Hess on percussion.

Miller resided in the NYC-metro area 2003-14 touring the east coast and Europe collaborating with numerous musicians and visual artists.

SOUND TRACK / DESIGN:
RaphaŽl Maze's Film for music #11 / Ben Miller, 2013
Ofer MizraChi's Blurrer, 2012
Laurence Miller's Color of Water, 2011
Orin Buck's Light Dreams 5, 2009

LIVE PERFORMANCE:
Raymonds' Bar in Claremont-Ferrand, FR 2013
Moviate in Harrisburg PA, 2012
Kerrytown Concert Hall in Ann Arbor MI, 2010
Highwire Gallery in Philadelphia PA, 2010
Electric Possible in Washington DC, 2009
Dream Theatre in Ypsilanti MI, 2004

available releases; INTERCOM, OVER AND OUT, LAYER, SIRENS OF PHOBOS, LIVE PERFORMANCES & RADIO BROADCASTS, EYELANDS UNDER EYELID, POLAR SHIFTS, and COLOR OF SOUND distributed in Japan via ART INTO LIFE, Downtown Music Gallery and on this website.

Contact Ben Miller at info@benmiller.info

 

© 2011 Ben Miller

Website by Orin Buck