GUILFORD — Rescheduled twice due to the coronavirus pandemic and the technical challenges of livestreaming a one-person "electric guitar ensemble" from the Vermont woods, "Roger Clark Miller: Four Dream Interpretations" will take place at 7:30 p.m. Oct 1 via Zoom and Facebook Live.
Presented by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, the performance will be followed by question-and-answer session with musician and artist Roger Clark Miller. The link to the livestream will be available at brattleboromuseum.org. The concert is offered in conjunction with the multimedia installation "Roger Clark Miller: Transmuting the Prosaic," on view in museum's Mary Sommer Room through Oct. 12.
Miller, of Guilford, is a cofounder and frontman of the art-punk band Mission of Burma and a member of Alloy Orchestra, a three-person ensemble that Roger Ebert called "the best in the world at accompanying silent films."
"Four Dream Interpretations" is an updated version of Miller's Elemental Guitar work from the 1990s. It features Miller on a customized Stratocaster six-string, three altered/prepared lap-steel guitars, a looping device, and sound-altering tools. Miller describes his performance as a "solo electric guitar ensemble," because the looping device means that there are often three or more guitar parts heard simultaneously. Like much of Miller's work, "Four Dream Interpretations" blends rock, classical new music, psychedelia, electronic composition and ambient sound.
The structure of the music is based on Miller's dreams and a Dream Interpretation technique he developed in 1975 as a student at Thomas Jefferson College. Forty years later, he said a suggestion from Brattleboro Museum & Art Center Director Danny Lichtenfeld to try ambient guitar "laid the seed" for his upcoming performance.
"I started thinking, what can I do in a solo guitar setting, that wouldn't rely on a full band, that I could do on my own time?" Miller told the Reformer in a previous interview. "That led directly to the Dream Interpretation concerts, and it's fitting that the first concert will be, in fact, affiliated with the Brattleboro art museum — that's how I got into it."
Lichtenfeld has said he is intrigued by artists whose work expands his idea of what their art form can be.
"I just really have a lot of respect for artists who blur boundaries and who are really open to a wide range of influences, including sources that, in the case of a musician, aren't even necessarily considered musical," Lichtenfeld said. "That kind of creativity and open-mindedness is really inspiring to me and I think Roger really embodies that."
The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is on a pay-as-you-wish basis. The museum is at the historic Union Station in downtown Brattleboro, at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142, and is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit the museum website.