"Donald Miller, best known for his work with Borbetomagus, whose
creativity and emotional resonance reflects the broad spectrum of aesthetics---all
manner of avant garde art, radical philosophies, and indeed, rock 'n'
roll---which color his expression ... his is a sustained ... and defiant
examination of the noise particles inherent in a magnetic field."
Born in 1958 in Washington, DC, Miller began formal guitar training at
age 13, already possessing a strong background in avant garde music. Moving
to New York City in 1976, he entered the then-budding American free-improvisation
scene with a sense of vengeance. In 1979, he co-founded the volume-obsessed
live electronic ensemble Borbetomagus with saxophonists Jim Sauter and
Don Dietrich, the context in which his unique guitar approach is best
known. Since 1980, Borbetomagus has released over 20 critically acclaimed
recordings, mostly on their own Agaric Records label, and has performed
many tours of the USA, Canada, Europe, and Japan. This itinerary includes
such festivals as Actual Music in London, New Music America in Philadelphia
and Cleveland, Musique Action in Nancy, and Festival Musique Actuelle
in Victoriaville. They were recently dubbed "amongst the most powerful
musical units ever to have rent our planet's surface" by critic Byron
Coley in the Spin Alternative Record Guide.
Miller was first introduced to the established team
of pianist/composer Michael Schumacher and cellist Charles Curtis in 1988
at a memorial tape concert for Angus MacLise hosted by La Monte Young.
They immediately embarked on a series of musical projects, including The
Donald Miller Trio. This all-guitar group has released an LP, Here,
below, on Klaang Industries, and has performed around New York City
and the East Coast since 1995. Miller also has toured and recorded since
1984 with free jazz drummer William Hooker and saxophonist Blaise Siwula
in various groups. Other side projects have included Lhasa Cement Plant,
which has produced recordings on Warpodisc, Apraxia, and Flydaddy; and
Generica, an avant garde cabaret act providing off-beat musical environments
for the spoken word rantings of former Bay area saxist and poet 99 Hooker.
He has been referred to by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore as "the most
crack'd guitarist in the known universe."