Robert Millis

Robert Millis

Fellow: Awarded 2020
Field of Study: Music Composition

Competition: US & Canada

“Some people can sum up their lives on a business card; Robert Millis needs a whole deck, full sized, both faces of each playing card, and you’re still liable to miss something while he shuffles. Filmmaker, photographer, guerrilla ethnographer, collector and sharer of 78 RPM records, weaver of multi-layered ambiences, improviser, annotator, jokester, traveler…” (Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine)

I once found an elderly wind-up gramophone seated royally atop a jumbled pile of books in a forgotten attic. I was seven or eight. The attic, in a summer house my family rented, was silent and suffused with sunlight, antique smells and dust. To this day, old books, scratchy 78rpm shellac recordings and talking machines all seem to hold ghosts and secrets for which I continually search.  A sound artist, Fulbright scholar and musician, I’ve also authored books (Indian Talking Machine and Victrola Favorites) and produced compilations and documentaries about traditional world music, the most recent being the book Paris to Calcutta: Men and Music on the Desert Road for Sublime Frequencies. More information is on my website or Instagram account.

From New York, I now live in Seattle.

Photo Credit: Christine Foye

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