Artist Profile - Robert Millis
Robert Millis is a founding member of Climax Golden Twins, who have long been at the forefront of Seattle’s vanguard music scene, creating a diverse and often uncategorizable array of record releases, new media installations, performances, and works for film and choreography. Featured among these is Lovely, released in 2002 and originally created as an immersive gallery installation, as well as the score for the feature film Session Nine.
Robert has released two recent solo CDs documenting music from Asia (Leaf Drunks, Distant Drums on Anomalous Records and Harmika Yab Yum: Folk Sounds from Nepal on the Seattle-based Sublime Frequencies label). A frequent collaborator, he has played, composed for, and improvised with numerous artists in a variety of settings, including Jesse Paul Miller, Jeph Jerman, Dave Knott, the Messenger Girl’s Trio, Mary Simpson, the Phonographer’s Union, Bill Horist, Jeffery Taylor, the Sea Donkeys, Scott Colburn, Don Fels, and Richard Bishop. In addition to his work as an instrumentalist, he also works with field recordings, electronics, collage, found sounds, and whatever else comes to hand. Additionally, he recently co-curated In Resonance, a sound-based art exhibit at this year’s Bumbershoot Arts festival which featured national and international artists working with sound and video.
Robert received 2008 GAP Award funding for a new video camera. His work varies from gallery installations to documentation of early recordings. Among other projects, he will take a trip to India to meet with record collectors and musicians and research the possibility of a film on early Indian music. He also has a number of upcoming installations and performances with Climax Golden Twins and other artists.
As part of his Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Robert screened his documentary film, Phil Ta Khon: Ghosts of Isan, at the University of Washington’s Southeast Asia Center/Jackson School of International Studies. The film documents a traditional Buddhist “ghost festival” held yearly in Thailand’s Isan province that features beautiful handmade masks, ceremony, dancing, and endless live Thai mo lam music. Students and professors attended the free screening and stayed for questions and answers afterwards.