Richard Miller

Richard-Miller-Headshot.jpg

My journey as an artist has followed a unique path, one that has unfolded in its own way and in its own time. The current body of work is at once, a reflection of who I am today as an artist, while at the same time, is part of a continuum that stretches back to my youth. Rather than being a culmination, the imagery is the resulting coexistence of two worlds, two paths, two main interests in my life, Visual Art and Music. A natural ability and sensibility toward the visual, when at the age of 10, collided with an equally passionate and already well developed interest in music. I wanted to learn to play an instrument, because I wanted further access into this world of sound that I so loved. My parents did not say no, but instead presented me with a dilemma, “You have to make a choice between the two, as you can’t do both.” Although I never learned to read or play a note of music, this body of work is a testament to my answer. “I will somehow, in my own way, do both!”

 

As a freshman in college, I discovered the works and words of Wassily Kandinsky, and his treatise, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1911). Kandinsky felt that music was the only pure and abstract art form. As a graduate student, I became aware of artists, such as Jackson Pollock (who was an avid jazz collector) with his large drip paintings which, “had no beginning or end”, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie with their Be-Bop improvisation, and Jack Kerouac with his non-stop spontaneous form of writing, Between the images I was creating, the works I was viewing, the words of artists and musicians that I was reading, and the music I was listening to, my art went through a metamorphosis from representation to abstraction. In the act of creating, I was able to experience in a real and tangible form, what artists like Kandinsky, Pollock and Parker had explored before me.

 

The breakthrough would come for me when my interest in music, particularly vintage music coincided with the “digital age”. I would discover and master the “art” of digital audio restoration, and in doing so, found not only an incredible new world open up to my ears, but to my eyes as well. Digital restoration is as much visual as it is audible. For the first time, I could “see” the music I had come to be so familiar with over the many years. The spectral, rather than the standard wave view of sound, revealed a world of color, texture and space that had always been there, waiting to be discovered. Seeing the differences between a human voice and an instrument. Just as with positive and negative space in art, here there was sound and silence. It is in this current body of work that the two worlds have become naturally and inseparably, one. Neither is subordinate to the other, but instead, are two distinct characteristics of a common, deeper experience. These are my Audio-Scapes.

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