Circa news app profiled me on the foley work I do at This is Sound Design. It's a one-man-band-type freelance operation I perform over there, so it probably fit in nicely with the casual millennial/gig economy narrative that Circa focuses on. I also managed to give just the right interview to warrant the chyron "THIS GUY DOESN'T HAVE SEX FOR A LIVING," which is impressive even to myself.
Love this article for a number of reasons--it's an article that wasn't published originally because The Village Voice thought David Lynch was receiving too much praise at the time (when Twin Peaks was airing). Now, 25-or-so years later, it's a great time capsule. The era was peak postmodernism in my judgment. The author is certainly channeling this cultural mood--like critics of all eras. To me, the voice is vintage "adult." I was about eight or nine at this point, so my appreciation of speech and conversation patterns of adults in society had really come a long way in a short time. I was finally able to consciously interpret the "cultural mainstream" as such. But I digress.
The article is also a great insight into the relationships between artistic craftsmen. Sometimes people just click--personality-wise and creative craft-wise. These relationships often lead to great collaborations, but, like marriages, can drift apart. In this article, I perceive Alan Splet to be David Lynch's sonic spirit guide. My understanding is that following Alan Splet's death and the coincident rise of the digital sound workflow, Lynch became more DIY about sound design. My reading of the subtext here is that Lynch probably wanted to be doing more sound work himself the whole time--it is an incredibly addictive, powerful storytelling medium. I bet Lynch's raw, sensual genius found a great ally in Splet's raw, sensual appreciation of sound and electronics technology. At the outset of their relationship, the learning curve to be able to engineer and produce what Lynch's subconscious demanded was probably too steep, probably too time-consuming. Alan Splet was the shortcut man--the electric spark between the two live wires held by David Lynch.
These kinds of relationships occur everywhere in art and industry. In the face of a gulf, human beings will metaphorically knit their bodies together to form a rope bridge. As technology changes however, these ingenious workarounds unfortunately begin to resemble something lesser--something hackneyed or rushed or inefficient. This is probably related to 20/20 hindsight, also the ceaseless drive toward whatever's on the horizon. But it is the fool who forgets his spirit guides, who forgets the shapes he learned while grasping in the dark.
Educed audio composites. Reminiscent of the thought experiment wherein a person is able to transduce from pieces of ancient pottery the audio of conversations being held by their creators seated at their potters' wheels.
I've been working on a handful of projects in intermittent, overlapping waves; I tried to visualize the way it went over the last month or so, in terms of scheduling and stuff:
Anyway, I've been finishing final touches to Sam "onionman" Zvibleman's short film, "The Rwanda Blend," which is a haunting little gem of a coffee house ghost fable. We kinda let this one develop, simmer, develop over some good few months, Sammy Z, Jake Blunt the composer/producer, and I, the sound designer/mixer. I believe Bobby Lam was working the visuo-spectral end of the post process-process. Film will make its festival debut and world premiere in J___ at ___________ in HOLLYWOOooood, so keep an eye peeled.
I just finished sound design and final mix for Collin Blair's "The Drain," another spooky short that veers solidly into the realismo mágico. A lonely old codger descends into paranoia when he begins hearing a voice emanating from his bathtub drain. Is this madness? Or is it, perhaps, the beginning of a beautiful friendship? This captivating film will be wowing the judges at its ___________ Festival premiere in J___.
On the music production side, I'm fortunate to have been chosen to produce L.O.'s new EP. She kinda strikes me as a neo-Nancy Sinatra (pardon the auditory effect of that, but I can't, I won't destroy it now). L.O. writes really cool, well-structured songs--she's got the skills to pay the bills. So far we've knocked down one tune to about 85% complete, I'd say. Which probably means 65% if I'm being honest, which is what my girlfriend-manager tells me I'm supposed to be. Or just more forthright. This is your professional blog, dammit! Tell the clients what you're doing, how you're doing it! Don't hide!
Anyway, I whipped up a demo from a vimeo link L.O. sent me of the song we had decided to tackle. It was a vid of a live show. I chopped it up and used it as a guide for a nifty sunny synthpop-n-dirtybass arrangement immediately and sent her an .mp3 ... We scheduled, she came to my studio, told me she liked what I'd done, but that she was looking for something completely different. Much more guitar-drenched and reverby, more Smiths, more Velvet Underground. She came armed with YouTube links to help guide me toward her vision, which was very very helpful and smart.
It was fairly easy to adapt the framework of what I'd already produced to accomodate L.O.'s revisions. Although she hadn't had too much experience working on track production, she could give very direct signals about what sounds she liked, what sounds she wanted to try--using articulate command of abstract language & association. My task was to surrender all preconception, all expectation, and listen to the meanings of the metaphors she was laying down. This is a skill I have far from mastered, but it's basically the whole game right there in a nutshell.
In other músico related news: my ongoing kids' music project with M.S. from one of Television's Biggest TV Shows is still on hiatus, in anticipation of bigtime contract renegotiations. Could be a turning point for our zany musical multimedia joint--a turning point that could put it on firmer footing with an eye on a path toward the runway to the launchpad for countdown, T-minus-we'll-see-when-we-get-there-n-keep-your-fingers-crossed... Heh, I always wondered when I'd get to really own a tired rant like that one. Should've guessed it'd be when I was 30.
Some of my blogs will just be refreshers, like this one, giving you a quick snap of what I've got going. I will pepper the feed with more in-depth, technical posts that talk a little more plainly about a specific technique or strategy I've used or am currently using to attack SOuND DeSIgN and MuSIC production challenges. Or anything else that might come to mind suddenly. World Peace.
I'm Mike Miller. Welcome to my site for SOUND SERVICES, glad to have ya.
What I have is a very particular set of skills, in the area of sound manipulation, that make me an indispensable creative asset on any production, large or small, from music production to feature film sound design to experimental installation.
In this UPDATES section, I will let you know "what is up." So check back in an event that coincides with your interest!