nedjelja, 24. studenoga 2013.

R Millis- Relief (2013)

Izvrstan solo projekt člana bendova Climax Golden Twin i AFCGT te priređivača mnogih antologija za Sublime Frequencies
Gramofonske pčele drže hipnotičku elektroničku misu za valove koji su poginuli na sprudovima neonskog otoka naroda Murung.

Our man Millis is a Climax Golden Twin and a noted curator of globe trotting / time traveling esoterica, amongst other accolades. In the former category, Millis and Jeffery Taylor steadily release some of the most headscratching amalgamations of avant-rock, decontextualized temple music, heightened-state minimalism, and collaged field recordings this side of the Sun City Girls (including the soundtrack to the cult film Session Nine); and in the latter, Millis has published a number of acclaimed anthologies for Sublime Frequencies (Scattered Melodies, This World is Unreal Like a Snake in a Rope, Phi Ta Khon, The Crying Princess, etc.) and Dust-To-Digital (our personal favorite, aptly titled Victrola Favorites). With his fingers in so many jars of jam, it can seem like an uncommon occurrence for Millis to release solo work although he is one to smear his sticky hands all over himself in performance, installation, and collaboration. Thus, The Helen Scarsdale Agency is delighted in presenting his latest opus, Relief.
      A fever dream of blurred harmonics and ethnomusicological spelunking, Relief repeatedly returns to variations on a peculiar yet beautifully serpentine drone, whose twinkling acoustic properties meld the hallucinatory mouth-music of the Bangladeshi Murung people and the curved air hypnosis of Terry Riley. Millis bookends and interrupts his mysterious miasma with comedic interludes snatched from his lauded collection of antique 78s, maudlin piano tone-clusters, and teleported crescendos of spectral ballroom waltzes. More Nurse With Wound than The Caretaker, this polyglot raga-drone of daytime somnambulism and psychedelic slipperiness speaks to the uneasy borders at psychological, cultural, and geophysical states of being. Oh, to be a human on this planet. -

Gorgeous collection of soundscapes and field recordings from Sublime Frequencies' Robert Millis* Sublime Frequencies and Parlotone contributor and former Climax Golden Twin Robert Millis presents a cryptic episode for the excellent Helen Scarsdale Agency. 'Relief' was composed between 2010-2012 and surveys esoteric, itinerant soundscapes segueing between mercurial tones, drones and crackling textures imbued with the sort of unique feel for timbre that you might expect from a head involved in far-reaching compilations such as the amazing 'Folk & Pop Sounds Of Sumatra Volume 1' or 'Scattered Melodies: Korean Kayagum Sanjo from 78RPM Records' and much more beside. Processed recordings of guitar, organ and acousmatic sources swell in strange shapes and tantalising harmonic hues rich in queered overtones, transporting us from the shimmering, piquant dissonance of 'Secret Sentence' to ghostly, Philip Jeck-like atmospheres in 'Second Lord of the Auspicious Conjunction' via singing gospel church organ and droning overtones in 'Enjoyment Machine' and onwards, inwards to rippling gamelan and chanting field recordings reminding of Loren Nerrell or Kink Gong on 'Awaj Arepo' and one expansive finale 'Relief'. It feels as though the whole LP is setting us up to this final piece, where any of the record's more distinct signifiers melt into an even more impressionistic ether of lush, listing overtones and pensile percussion counting time like an ancient water clock before gently returning us to waking life with soft keys and denser drones. It's genuinely enchanting music... - boomkat

Published CDs, LPs and books as a solo artist, composer, producer or with ensembles.
rmillis relief (LP Helen Scarsdale Agency, 2013).
rmillis: reforms (cassette, Alterity 101, 2013)
The Crying Princess: 78rpm Records from Burma (LP, Sublime Frequencies, 2013).
Scattered Melodies: Korean Kayagum Sanjo from 78rpm Records (LP, Sublime Frequencies, 2013)
…i listen to the wind that obliterates my traces (Book/double CD, Dust-to-Digital, 2011)  Produced, edited, and assisted with design on vernacular photo/music book by artist Steve Roden.
AFCGT (LP with bonus 7 inch, Subpop Records, Seattle, 2010)
Messenger Girls Trio: Excelsior Salon Trio (LP with bonus 7 inch, Uzu Audio, Canada, 2010) collaboration between Sir Richard Bishop, Climax Golden Twins and David Knott.
Chinese (track on Wire Tapper 22, The Wire 308, UK, 2009) as Climax Golden Twins.
EF (LP, Etude Records, Toronto, 2009) as Climax Golden Twins-reissue of cassette from 1993.
120 (CD, Etude Records, Toronto, 2009)
Decomposer (Puget Power 5, 7 inch, Regal Select, 2009) Compilation track as AFCGT.
Marefumi Komura: Early Works 1993-1996 (Hamlet Publishing, Tokyo, Japan, 2009) Mastering and editing.
AFCGT (LP, Uzu Audio, Canada, 2008)
AFCGT (10 inch LP, Dirty Knobby Recordings, Seattle, 2008)
Journal of Popular Noise (EP, NY, 2008) as Climax Golden Twins
Victrola Favorites (Book/double CD, Dust to Digital, Atlanta, GA, 2008).
Five Cents A Piece (LP, Abduction Records, Seattle, WA, 2007) as Climax Golden Twins.
Climax Golden Twins (LP, Conspiracy Records, Belgium, 2006) as Climax Golden Twins
Harmika Yab Yum: Folk Sounds from Nepal (CD, Sublime Frequencies, 2005) Recording, editing and production on compilation of music and ambiance from the top of the world.
B Side (three inch CD, Testing Ground, Spain, 2005) as Climax Golden Twins
Leaf Music Drunks Distant Drums: Recordings from Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar (CD, Anomalous Records/Sublime Frequencies, 2004) Recording, editing, production on compilation of music and ambiance from SE Asia.
Highly Bred and Sweetly Tempered as Climax Golden Twins (CD, NEI Recordings, 2004)
The Phonographer’s Union: Live on Sonarchy Radio (CD, Accretions, 2004)
Relinquish (Xing Wu Records, Singapore, 2004) Compilation track as Climax Golden Twins
Climax Golden Twins Live in the 21st Century (CDR, Kabukikore Records, UK, 2004)
RMillis/JTaylor (Cassette, Since 1972 Recordings, 2003)
Victrola Favorites (series of ten cassettes, Fire Breathing Turtle, 1996-2001).
Lovely (CD, Anomalous Records, 2002) as Climax Golden Twins
Messenger Girls Trio (LP, Anomalous Records, 2002) collaboration between Sir Richard Bishop, Climax Golden Twins and David Knott.
Session 9 (CD, Milan International/USA Films, 2001) as Climax Golden Twins
Climax Golden Twins (CD and LP, Fire Breathing Turtle Records, Since 1972, 2001)
Dream Cut Short in the Mysterious Clouds (CD/LP, Meme, Japan, 2000)
Victrola Favorites (series of ten cassettes, Fire Breathing Turtle, 1996-2001).
Climax Golden Twins Live 4 LP set, volumes I-IV (LPs, Anomalous Records 1999-2000)
Climax Golden Twins (Locations) (CD, Fire Breathing Turtle Records, 1998)
Jesse Paul Miller: Secret Records (7 inch, Fire Breathing Turtle Records, 1997) Produced and assisted with design on special edition or artist records.
Climax Golden Twins (7 inch, RoadCone Records, 1996)
Imperial Household Orchestra (CD, Scratch Records, 1996) as Climax Golden Twins
Climax Golden Twins (three inch CD, Fire Breathing Turtle Records, 1995)
Climax Golden Twins (2 x 7 inch, Fire Breathing Turtle Records, 1994)


Video and film projects including scores, documentaries I have filmed, and production work.
Chained (feature film Myriad Picutres/Envision Media, 2012, directed by Jennifer Lynch). Score.
This World Is Unreal Like A Snake In A Rope (feature documentary, 2011) Camera, editing and production. Impressionistic journey through South India.
Drift Away (short film, 2010) Score for short film by Jean-Julien Pous.
My Friend Rain (feature documentary, DVD on Sublime Frequencies, 2010) Camera, editing, production, sound design on documentary collage about Southeast Asian music.
Requiem (My Brother’s Keeper) (short film, Nevermore Productions, 2010) score for horror short
Take Me To The Water (Dust-to-Digital, 2009) Short advertisement for the book Take Me To The Water.
Stealing Rich (feature, Stephen Goodlad, 2008) feature film that used numerous Climax Golden Twins pieces for its soundtrack.
Musical Brotherhoods of the Trans-Saharan Highway (feature documentary, DVD on Sublime Frequencies 2007) Editing, post-production, sound design on feature length documentary.
Phi Ta Khon: Ghosts of Isan (feature documentary, DVD on Sublime Frequencies, 2006) Director, camera, editing, sound design and production for Thai festival documentary.
Spirit House (short, Sublime Frequencies, 2006) Director, camera, editing and production on experimental film detailing Thai Spirit Houses.
The Mangler Reborn (feature film, Lionsgate, 2005). Score for terrible slasher flick.
Nat Pwe: Burma’s Carnival of Spirit Soul (feature documentary, Sublime Frequencies 2003) Camera and editing for feature length documentary on Burmese religious festival.
A Relative Thing (feature film, Hat Factory Productions 2003) Dialog and sound editing. Screenings include Seattle International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival.
Session 9 (feature film USA Films/Focus Features 2001) Score. OST released on Milan International.
Grass: A Nation Battles for Life (feature documentary from 1927) New score for old masterpiece of early ethnography.


Little Hunger (acornDance, choreography by Aiko Kinoshita, Seattle, WA 2010)
Installment 6 (Here/Now, Seattle, WA 2010)
Kent Parks/Sweet Gum Pods (Cyrus Khambatta Dance Company, Seattle, WA 2010)
What We Are No Longer Here (Tradewinds Dance Project, Seattle/Tokyo/Chicago, 2001)
Shades of Parkland: Widow Bride Policeman  (Vodvil Theatre, Seattle, 2001)
And It Was (Maureen Whiting Company, Seattle, 2000)
The Long and Short of Alice (Dappin Butoh, Seattle Fringe Festival, 1995)


From The Household of HH The Maharajah Sir Jotendro Mohan Tagore (Fundacion Botin, Villa Iris, Santander, Spain, 2013).  10 channel audio installation.

Within/Without (artXchange gallery, Seattle, WA, 2012). Sound for site specific installation.
A site specific sound, sculpture and light installation created for the artXchange Gallery in Seattle, WA in 2012. A collaboration with visual artist June Sekiguchi after an invitation from Prince Nithakong Somsanith for an artist residency in Laos. Composed from hours of recordings made in Laos of natural ambiance, music, Buddhist worship, and traditional bamboo instruments.

Red Earth, Gold Gate, Shadow Sky (University of Washington, 4culture, 2011). Sound design for theatre production.

Fragments of the Story  (Jack Straw Productions New Media Gallery, Seattle, WA, 2011)

Fragments (of the Story) was installed at Jack Straw Productions New Media Gallery from February to April 2011. It is in part an audio rendering of a novel by Allen Frost called The Mermaid Translation (Bird Dog Publishing, 2010). All the sounds and words of this installation are derived from this book. Actually it is less a precise rendering and more a remembering of the events this novel recounts and as such the novel provides the framework on which to hang the ideas explored in the installation. I would hazard that most of us do not simply remember things verbatim from start to finish, as a story. Memories are abstracted by how we remember, by the addition of new memories, by time. There are fragments: snatches of dialog, sounds, interpretations, improvisations, smells, tastes, emotions, memories on top of memories, that our brains put together to form some sort of whole. This process can and often does go partially or fully awry.
I collect very old 78rpm records. To play them I have an old wind-up Victrola. To adjust the “volume” on this purely acoustic sound reproducer you must pull a knob which literally opens and shuts a door to block or muffle the sound. 78rpm records are, in a way, old memories. Victrolas store and replay these memories. This installation has almost nothing to do with Victrolas and 78rpm records but that was the starting point. From there, somehow, the leap to filing cabinets—each with their own potential resonant qualities—and to the idea of filing away memories and to the thought that viewers could open and close drawers full of auditory memories to create their own narrative or soundscape.
“What is human memory?” Manning asked. He gazed at the air as he spoke, as if lecturing an invisible audience – as perhaps he was. “It certainly is not a passive recording mechanism, like a digital disc or a tape. It is more like a story-telling machine. Sensory information is broken down into shards of perception, which are broken down again to be stored as memory fragments. And at night, as the body rests, these fragments are brought out from storage, reassembled and replayed. Each run-through etches them deeper into the brain’s neural structure. And each time a memory is rehearsed or recalled it is elaborated. We may add a little, lose a little, tinker with the logic, fill in sections that have faded, perhaps even conflate disparate events. In extreme cases, we refer to this as confabulation. The brain creates and recreates the past, producing, in the end, a version of events that may bear little resemblance to what actually occurred. To first order, I believe it’s true to say that everything I remember is false.”
–Arthur C. Clarke
It’s surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.
–Barbara Kingsolver
We live in the mind, in ideas, in fragments. We no longer drink in the wild outer music of the streets – we remember only.
–Henry Miller

First Words (Sprocket Society, NW Film Forum, Seattle, WA, 2010)
Drawing on the River (St. Johns, Cathedral Park, Oregon, 2008) Collaboration with artist Donald Fels.
Geo Phono Box: Sonic Surveys of Place (Around the Coyote Gallery, Chicago, IL, 2007)
Talking Machine: Victrola Favorites(Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA, 2007)
Billy in the Low Ground (Punch Gallery, Seattle, WA, 2006) Collaboration with artists Mary Simpson and Fionn Meade.
Take One (Glassell Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2006)
Sonic Alchemy: Harry Smith Connections and Transformations (Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, 2006).

Talking Machine  (One Reel/Bumbershoot, Seattle, WA, 2005)
Talking Machine from 2005, installed at the In Resonance show for One Reel/Bumbershoot in Seattle, WA. Designed as a conversation between two vintage wind-up Victrolas (the earliest sound reproduction devices were called “talking machines”), Talking Machine explored the resonance of these old wooden acoustic “record players” while creating a collage of voices from the past. All audio was derived from old 78rpm records—including comedy routines, presidential speeches, minstrel shows, stories and music.

Hello Central, Give Me Heaven, Hello Central, Give Me No Man’s Land (Tollbooth Gallery, Tacoma Contemporary, Tacoma, WA, 2004) Collaboration with artists Mary Simpson and Fionn Meade.
Ten Years of Music and Design (Priceless Works Gallery, Seattle, WA, 2004 Climax Golden Twins retrospective installation.
Festival International de Muzica de Computer si Alternativa  (Experimental music festival, Romania, organized by Iancu Dumitrescu, 2002)
Voluntary Observers (Bellevue Art Museum, 2001) Collaboration with artist Donald Fels, as artists-in-residence.
Bryan Ohno Gallery: Lovely (Bryan Ohno Gallery, Seattle, WA 1999)
Le Tonnare (Foster/White Gallery, Seattle, WA, 1998) Collaboration with artist Donald Fels.
Ear as Eye: Drawings by Sound Artists (LA Contemporary Exhibitions, LA, 1997)
Seven Ply: Plywood and Memory (Bellevue Art Museum, 1997) Collaboration with artist Donald Fels.


A New Note in the Melody, or the Sidewalk Blues La presencia del sonido (Fundacion Botin, exhibition catalog, 2013) essay
…i listen to the wind that obliterates my traces (Book/double CD, Dust-to-Digital, 2011) editor, producer
VAK Ranga Rao: Touched in the Head  (Yeti Publishing, 2010) interview
Marefumi Komura: End Loop (Hamlet Publishing, Tokyo, Japan, 2010) liner notes.
Victrola Favorites (Book/double CD, Dust to Digital, Atlanta, GA, 2008)  essay
Indian Record Collectors: Suresh Chandvankar (Perfect Sound Forever, 2008) interview
Regular columns on 78rpm history for Bixobal:
Talking Machine: Korean Kayagum Sanjo (Bixobal 1, 2007)
Talking Machine: Musings on the Phonograph (Bixobal 2, 2008)
Talking Machine: Record Hunting in India: Sub Continent Fab (Bixobal 3, 2008)
Talking Machine: Farewell Blues (Bixobal 5, 2008)
In Resonance (exhibition catalog, 2005) Catalog from new media/sound art show.
Calling Doctor Bombay: A Condensed Travelogue (Bananafish 12, 1998) Essay

Essay and images in La presencia del sonido, catalog published through the Fundacio Botin, Santander, Spain.

DSC08403 DSC08404
Victrola Favorites (through Dust to Digital), published in 2008.

Victrola Favorites is a 144 page clothbound art book with two CDs I designed and produced in collaboration with Jeffery Taylor and John Hubbard, released by Dust-to-Digital in 2008. The book documents my collection of 78rpm records and printed ephemera from the early days of recording. Victrola favorites began life as a series of cassettes released in the late 90s. Information is available HERE also HERE.
Similarly, in 2011, Dust-to-Digital released a book called …i listen to the wind that obliterates my traces which I produced along with artist Steve Roden. …i listen to the wind documents Steve’s collections of music related photographs and 78rpm records. More information on Steve and his work is available HERE.
Further, I have done design work for a variety of labels and artists. More information is available HERE.
Not sure who put this video together, but…thanks:


Baladeers (Palais de Tokio, Paris, France, 2009) Curated two evenings of music and film for InFamous Carousel Festival, Paris.
In Resonance (One Reel/Bumbershoot Arts Festival 2005) Published exhibition catalog. New media, sound and video exhibition featuring Steve Roden, Thurston Moore, Stephen Vitiello, Marina Rosenfeld, included installations and performances, a catalog, and a series of “on the spot” CD documents.
Volume: Bed of Sound  (Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA, 2001) Performance curator


Graphic design for LPs, CDs and books more information can be found here.
Sublime Frequencies–numerous LP, CD and DVD designs including Group Doueh, Group Inerane, Princess Nicotine, Music of the Nat Pwe, Minority Music from Xinjiang, Palace of the Winds.
Secret Museum of Mankind (Yazoo Records, Outernational Media). Design for gatefold LPs of seminal ethnic music compilations.
Excavated Shellac: Strings (Dust to Digital, Atlanta, GA 2009). Designed and assisted with production on LP devoted to 78rpm recordings of string music from around the world.
Au Claire de la Lune (7 inch single Dust to Digital/First Sounds, Atlanta, GA 2009) Design and production assistance on 7 inch documentation of the earliest recording of the human voice (from 1860).
Take Me to the Water (Book/CD, Dust to Digital, Atlanta, GA, 2009-nominated for a Grammy Award, 2009) Design and production assistance on Grammy-nominated compilation of historic photographs and music.
Victrola Favorites (Book/double CD, Dust to Digital, Atlanta, GA, 2008)


Excerpts of documentary videos I filmed, edited and produced for the Sublime Frequencies label. These documentaries are designed to create a “you are there” or “stranger in a strange land” experience. Narration-less, they rely on sound (music, ambiance, etc) and abstraction as their primary focus. All have been released on DVD and have received numerous screenings in the US and Europe.  In addition to video documentary work for Sublime I have released several CD compilations of field recordings (from Nepal and SE Asia) on the label and created many of the label’s LP and CD cover designs.
SUBLIME FREQUENCIES is a collective of explorers dedicated to acquiring and exposing obscure sights and sounds from modern and traditional urban and rural frontiers via film and video, field recordings, radio and short wave transmissions, international folk and pop music, sound anomalies, and other forms of human and natural expression not documented sufficiently…



Climax Golden Twin:


Kochi, Kerala.

Fulbright research in India: 78 rpm records, music, the early Indian gramophone industry, sound art…there will be a book and some records released soon enough.
All photos copyright Robert Millis. 

For more information on my work and to register complaints with the authorities, go here:

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