Saturday, June 07, 2014
Seven questions with ... ambient musician Craig Miller aka Chelytherium
Word-of-mouth is a wonderful thing ... connections are made through conversation ... shared interests are identified and supported. We are all stronger together rather than alone.
Ambient musician Craig Miller aka Chelytherium contacted me after speaking with Andy from A Day For Strange Birds ... he thought we should connect and I am so grateful to Andy that he did. Miller's music is my kind of ambient and I look forward to featuring his music on circumambient and here on the ol' nanolog in the near future.
Anyway, as is my want these days, I asked Miller if he'd like to answer a few questions ... I'm glad he said 'yes'.
1) Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Craig Miller, I make ambient/experimental/drone music as Chelytherium.
2) What are you working on at the moment?
Mostly I'm working on promoting the new album, and looking for more gig opportunities. And as ever, I've got a few demos of songs that I'm working on. I'm also in a couple of other bands, writing very different styles of music.
3) Who inspires you?
- Name an artist who has inspired you.
Whenever I hear new music that I enjoy, without even thinking about it I'll try to learn from it, and find techniques and ideas that I can apply in my own ways. Quite a recent major inspiration for me is Tim Hecker. The way his music feels quite formless, and expansive, and the way different layers drift over one another has been a big influence on some of the sounds I've made with Chelytherium.
- Name place that has inspired you.
The area I live in has some beautiful scenery, and wooded areas, that always manage to get my creativity going. Also taking trips to Scotland, and visiting the Peak District, and seeing the scenery in those places gave me plenty of ideas. Being in nature in general has been a big influence on the album, which I guess is obvious given some of the titles.
- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
Travel always seems to inspire me, whether it's just going for a walk, or a drive, or a long train journey. It gives you time to let your mind wander, and get glimpses of different places.
4) What drives you to do what you do?
Initially, it was just wanting to try something new, to play the guitar in different ways, and to do music entirely by myself just as a learning experience. Then when I was going through tough times, I got into ambient music, and wanted to play songs that would calm me down, get out some emotion, and take my mind somewhere else. Since then, I've loved making this style of music, and I love seeing where the inspiration for a song will come from.
5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
I don't tend to have any sort of underlying message I'm trying to convey, but I do hope that people can take different things away from my music and apply it to their own experiences. It always seems to come from the simplest idea or emotion, and then take on a life of its own.
6) What role does community play in what you do?
I'm actually really impressed, and really grateful, that I've found a community of musicians that are willing to offer advice and help each other out. It's inspiring to follow their work and see them trying out new ideas, and to be able to chat to musicians with a bit more experience than yourself. I hope I can return the favour at some point.
7) What is next for what you do?
Ideally, playing live a lot more. Continuing to write, and take my music in new directions. I've already got some ideas for another thematic collection of songs, so I'll be working on those.
'Natural Light' is the debut album from Chelytherium and is based on the theme of peacefulness and power found in nature. It features five utterly compelling soundscapes and is recommended for all ambient lovers. Have a listen below: