The Sensorium Saxophone Orchestra formed in 2008 as NYC's first full-on saxophone orchestra with live performances commencing the following year. In 2012, this single-timbre orchestra released it's first sonic splash on Living Records with their unique take on Terry Riley's minimalist classic "In C". This CD is distributed through this website and through Cuneiform Records.
"...(In C) a highly dissonant posse of 11 alto, bass, baritone and c-tenor saxophones that bark and snort like hungry dogs and pigs, looping around in an atonal Alice in Wonderland acid dream...the bleats and noise of the honking horns insinuating Sun Ra, Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman too on their way to apogee." -- The Big Take Over, Jack Rabbid Dec. 2012
This year, The Sensorium Saxophone Orchestra recorded Miller's Symphony of Suspicious Activity at Brookln's KENNEL Studios. The ensemble recorded the compositions' six movements with 11 saxophones from bass to soprano and the varied approaches of 3 very different drummers (2 at a time). Mixing and Mastering is expected by fall 2013. Label interest is in the works.
Current roster of orchestra members
Benjamin Miller; composer, conductor, alto, c-tenor.
Gerald Thomas; soprano, alto, tenor, c-tenor.
Kevin Gosa; soprano, alto.
David Schnug; alto, tenor.
Justin Wood; alto, tenor.
James Elmore III; alto, tenor.
Briggan Kraus; alto.
A.J. Kluth; alto, tenor, soprano.
Ryan Weisheit: alto.
Daniel Dorrance; alto, soprano.
Chris Diasparra; tenor, baritone.
Chris Bacas; tenor, soprano.
Bryan Beninghove; tenor, soprano.
Jonathan Mortiz; tenor, soprano.
Josh Sinton; baritone.
Kristin Olson; baritone.
Kyle Saulnier; baritone, soprano.
Brian Landrus; bass, baritone.
Stephan Zeniuk; bass, baritone.
Jay Rattman; Bass.
Drums/Percussion: Hiroyuki Matsuura, Jarrod Ruby, John O'Brien
In regards to through-composed music, Miller is influenced by a number of 20th Century composers; Oliver Messiaen, Arnold Shoenberg, and Edgar Varese with many other inspirations bleeding into his work; Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd, John Cage, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, The Art Bears and Glenn Branca to name a few.
At 10, Miller began alto saxophone followed by guitar the next year. At 14, he formed his first group of seven electric guitars. By the end of 9th grade he was exploring spontaneous Improvisation and Pyschedelic songwriting with brothers Laurence and Roger in Sproton Layer. Miller composed numerous pantonal scores for small ensembles in College (MI/MA) including Graphic Scores designed for Improvisation. He continues to use scores that were written at that time.
In the mid-70's, Miller relied heavily on MXR foot pedals in Twin brother Laurence's art damaged EMPOOL. This group eventually morphed with Destroy All Monsters in D.A.M.'s 2nd art punk incarnation releasing two 45rpms.
Miller left the rock circuit in the mid-80's playing soley with one of Ann Arbor's most disliked bands; GKW. While attending Columbia College Chicago the following decade, he returned to fully notated composition again reviving his interest in intervallic relationships. There he began developing an "all-interval" method of composition (no relation to the Harmonic Series) with The Eleven Mirrors Ensemble. This unique method came to fruition in 2007 and is now the primary technique used in his compositions.
Abaton Book Company released Miller's "Every Room" (2007) as a 45rpm lathe-cut. This 12-tone composition was recorded soley by Miller overdubbing 16 saxophones before forming The Sensorium Saxophone Orchestra. Abaton has plans pending to release SSO's versions of "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Are You Experienced?" with Marianna Nowaotnny as vocalist.
Contact Ben Miller at email@example.com