Milton

Bio

I'm a composer, guitarist and sound artist from London, England and a Lecturer in Music - and PhD Graduate - of the University of Surrey. I adore a wide range of styles, digital technology, jazz improvisation, the science of sound and music perception and have collaborated with diverse artists, scientists and institutions including John Williams, Brian Eno, Paco Peña, Pat Martino, Tod Machover, Michael Nyman, Apple, Royal Academy of Music, British Library, Smithsonian Institute, South Bank Festival and the Science Museum. My music is performed and broadcast internationally appearing in films, TV, radio, podcasts, planetaria, galleries and museums. I lecture and present at international conferences, have a PhD in electronic composition, a BMus from the Berklee College of Music, a BSc from the London School of Economics and am currently Professor of Guitar at the Royal College of Music. I've won awards for education, composition, services to cancer charities and writing but am essentially very lazy. http://miltonmermikides.com

It’s tempting to think that it’s only the domain of modernist composers, theorists and ethnomusicologists to talk of anything but 12 notes in an octave. After all if it was good enough for Mozart and Beethoven it should be good for everyone, right? Well, as it happens, Mozart and Beethoven understood F# and G-flat as different notes. A manuscript survives for example of Mozart’s teaching notes to his English student Thomas Attwood showing the difference between a major semitone (e.g. E to F) and a minor semitone (Fb to F). Almost universally considered as identical today, in his they were pitched slightly differently.

Very few musicians are aware that even into the 19th century fingerboard diagrams and scale exercises existed with two types of accidental (e.g. g# as distinct from a-flat) as well as keyboards with split keys so that the player could choose between accidental types.

It’s remarkable how efficiently this has been filtered out of the system so that even professional classical musicians and teachers – let alone students – are unaware of our microtonal recent history.

 

Screen Shot 2012-03-01 at 15.56.11.png

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Today’s musical legends had their fair share of criticism. Match the composer to their bad review, and in the process don’t take any criticism of your own work too seriously, you’ll only avoid negative feedback if you don’t write anything.

Critics

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The first 10 episodes of MiltOnNotes – an open-eared, stylistically wide compositional exploration – combined in one 537-slide tome, complete with multiple exercises and embedded Spotify playlists.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Piecing a piece.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Everything about what it means to be in tune, how to understand the theory and application of tuning systems from Indian Classical, Valotti,Werckmeister, 12-TET, 24-TET, 48-TET, Blues microtones and so on.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

All manners of compositional systems from Reich to Xenakis.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Delegation of compositional responsibility. The variegated use of randomness, indeterminacy, monogram, millimetrisation and data sonification.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

How large-scale melodies are formed from phrases, motifs and contour.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Melody from Beethoven to Satie to Schoenberg and beyond. The motif as a musical lego brick.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment