Kristen Miller
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Kristen Miller


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"Vance Gilbert's Praise for Kristen's New CD "Walk""

"If I had really known who and what I had playing and arranging cello on my album, I’d have been in intimidated awe, told everyone about her and worked her to death singing.

I can now only lay claim to the first two of these.

Inventive, brave, moody, intensely musical - please make space in your brain for Kristen Miller’s redefinition of what someone does when they sit with a cello at their knees."
-- Vance Gilbert, Singer/Songwriter - Vance Gilbert

"Praise for "Later That Day""

"...obvious quicksilver intelligence of ensemble and arranging. Thanks to Ms. Miller for putting this together."
-- Sr. Music Director for AOL Entertainment - AOL Entertainment

"Feature Article"

"To get a grip on Miller's music, try to imagine a musical conference call between, say, Bela Bartok and Brian Eno, or Mstislav Rostropovich and Jimmy Page... cranking it out with a rock-n-roll attitude."
-- J.C. Lockwood, Newburyport Current, Newburyport, MA - The Current (Newburyport, MA)

""An endlessly talented artist worthy of some national attention.""

author: Jamie Perkins (Spotlight)
"Miller lulls you to sleep beneath the trees, and then takes you across India with a backpack. She even turns Johnny Cash's immortal Ring of Fire" into a slinky, snaky alternative rock arrangement, simultaneously highlighting the song's dark thematic undercurrent and showing Miller's vast potential should she ever choose to go a more conventional pop route. As Miller grows and comes into her own as a composer and arranger, she also emerges as an endlessly talented artist worthy of some national attention." - The Spotlight

"Don't miss Kristen Miller's new album"

Kristen Miller's latest album, "Walk," is a body of work that temporarily transports you back in time to the baroque era when dark orchestral chamber music was the overwhelming "hip" cultural happening.

Miller wields the cello as her instrument (weapon) of choice, and wastes no time weaving you in and out of tempered emotive imagery with brisk, unrepentant runs that leave you shaking your head in sheer disbelief. Her sultry voice is pervasive — permeating out of your headphones, into your ears and slowly taking over your brain. It's powerful, and is the perfect complement to her tranquil cello playing.

Miller's music beguilingly exudes and playfully explores the sides of jazz, folk, and world music that you're not going to find anywhere else in contemporary music. There's a smattering of electronics at work here as well that allows Miller to incorporate some interesting looping effects to the cello, adding a unique and undeniable stamp to her playing.

Of the 10 songs that make up "Walk," eight of them are originals penned by Miller, while the other two are choice covers that she puts her own spin on — the Eurythmics, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," and "Deep Waters," by Boston's own, "What Time is it, Mr. Fox?"

Vance Gilbert said it best when he asked, "please make space in your brain for Kristen Miller's redefinition of what someone does when they sit with a cello at their knees."

Open your mind and let Miller's playing spiral in: you'll be captivated by the splendor.

Check out for information. - Seacoast Spotlight

"Run, don't 'Walk' for Miller's latest"

This strange dissociative thing comes over me when I listen to "Walk," Byfield cellist Kristen Miller's new album. It's like she's whispering in my ear, reminding me of things we have always known, hard-learned lessons that have been all but lost in the maddening rush the present, the incessant tedium of life's details. It's like catching up with an old friend in a way. But, somehow, it feels wrong, like I'm somewhere I'm not supposed to be — lurking in the shadows, ear cocked toward the confessional, eavesdropping. Not that any great secrets are being betrayed. The stories are lyrical studies in contrast and paradox, seemingly small, but significant situations that are closely observed, unfolding in front of you, the details emerging in relief. It's poetry that feels like prose. Songs about longing, love, and loss. Urgent fictions, mostly, situations that ring true, that have a terrible sense of immediacy, familiarity. You know these people, even if you've never met them, even though their stories are not completely drawn. Miller sketches, drops a few hints and lets the listeners fill in the details. All of the stories are layered over music that defies easy categorization, that mixes world beat rhythms and Eastern melodies with rock attitude, vocabulary and a beat, or performance art, sensibility — an amazingly evocative sonic landscape that somehow, impossibly, is done with a light, understated touch. It's easy to lose your way in a world like this.The new album, which will be released next month at the Firehouse, is very different from her last, 2006's "Strange Little Valentine," which included a unique cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," which seems to have been the inspiration for pretty boy Adam Lambert's rendition on American Idol — and startlingly different from what the album was supposed to be in the first place. Which was supposed to be mostly instrumental and mostly classical. She walked into the first sessions last August with four songs ready to go and was expecting to bang 'em out and have close to half an album in the bag. It didn't work out that way. In fact, none of them even made it onto the disc, the thrill of the musical chase, plus an intuitive sense that there was more to be had winning out over practical efficiencies. Or, to quote Miller on the title track, talking about something else entirely, “I didn't look before I crossed, and I crashed straight into you."

And, on this album, that means crashing into listeners from any number of directions — from the frenetic, insistent ”Standing,” an instrumental with soaring, swelling cello lines, to the now-trademark "cellobrew," a style that formed the backbone of her last two albums, in “Don’t Speak,” to the heartbreakingly sad “Lilacs,” with a mournful melody that demands some sort of human response. The album also includes two covers, both pretty dark — “Deep Waters," the old Brian King/What Time is It, Mr. Fox? tune about attraction and obsession, and the Eurythmics' “Sweet Dreams,” a still-vibrant warning. The songs may be about longing, love and loss, but they're also about illumination and acceptance, ultimately, letting go. The album is about transitions and movement, from the opener, "Walk Don't Walk," to "Away," which closes the album. A diverse palette of musical colors serves as a springboard for crisp, vivid writing, often using sensory details to paint a picture without giving away the store: A boat that reeks “of salt, of sweat, of yesterday's smoke, this morning's coffee, stone cold, half drunk, likely bitter.” Or lilacs “that hang low on their branches, damp with dew, heavy in bloom, their leaves whisper your name, it's all that's left of you here.” A crisp, nuanced production by Tom Eaton, whose recording roster includes Vance Gilbert, Ellis Paul and Melissa Ferrick, at Universal Noise Storage in Newburyport.

The album closes with two instrumentals — “November,” as mournful as the month, and the beautiful, engaging “Away,” which somehow reminds me of Joyce, the closing lines of “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: “Away. Away. The spell of arms and voice: the white arms of roads, their promise of close embraces and the black arms of tall ships that stand against the moon, their tale of distant nations.” It seems a punctuation point at the end of a journey. It lifts you up, carries you away, leaves you in a better spot. It makes you want to run, not walk, to next show.
- Newburyport Arts; Artthrob; artshub

"The contemporary cellist"

Old meets new with Georgetown cellist Kristen Miller's performance and album release tomorrow night at Newburyport's Firehouse Center for the Arts.

While the cello often is associated with the classical genre, the singer-songwriter's innovative technique of the instrument creates a sound uniquely contemporary.

The performer's mixture of cello, voice, poetry and loop box that records sounds and allows for layered effects transcends musical categorization. The final product blends adult alternative, classical and folk-rock, Miller says.

"My music walks the line between genres," she says.

Though her sound may be inventive, Miller largely credits her artistic inspirations. Classical composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Dmitri Shostakovich and Bé©la Bartók paired with more the mainstream figureheads of Led Zeppelin, Dead Can Dance and White Stripes all fostered the sound Miller has become known for.

"I might not sound like my inspirations, but they all do inspire me," she says.

With the upcoming release of her third solo album "Walk," Miller's musical career has been long in the making.

At the young age of 8, Miller realized an immediate fascination with the cello at Norwalk Public School in New York. Soon after joining the school's orchestra, she found her choice in instruments was unquestionable.

"When they demonstrated them all to us, the cello shook the floor," she says. "I was immediately hooked."

The young cellist continued her musical career through high school and eventually obtained a dual degree in cello performance and music education from the University of Connecticut. A summer program at New York University's Kodaly Institute supplemented her teaching of world music.

The next chapter in Miller's musical career landed her a seat in a local Boston orchestra. However, the strict rules and creative inflexibility forced her to leave.

"The classical repertoire is beautiful, and I'm grateful for it. But I felt limited," she says. "I started creating and never looked back."

With the release of now three full-length solo albums, Miller's creativity is in full swing. Her artistic aim: to capture individual moments throughout her own experiences.

"I'm not trying to make some great revelation with my music," she says. "We're all so busy these days; I try to capture things we might have missed."

The cellist's most recent album required more than a year of writing, editing, splicing and designing.

"It's like archaeology. You have to uncover it slowly, piece by piece," she says.

While Miller is first and foremost a singer and songwriter, her real passion is in performing. Her interactive shows are frequently crafted by the mood, reaction or direct input of audience members.

Pre-written set lists are barely concrete and frequently change depending on the feel of the crowd.

"It's spiritual when I perform," she says. "I try to take the pulse of the audience. My favorite part is connecting with them."

Miller's full-time performing career was put on hold with the birth of her son almost five years ago. Primarily focused on being a mother, Miller replaced late-night club shows with casual writing, brief studio work and a part-time job as the director of the orchestra and jazz band at The Governor's Academy in Byfield.

Now ready to return to her performance career, Miller recently resigned from the teaching position.

"I love teaching. It feels spiritual in a way to help a child learn to love music," she says. "It was bittersweet to leave but, I feel I'm on the right path."

Coincidentally, the Firehouse Center was also the site for the cellist's debut album release. She fondly looks forward to her performance tomorrow as a homecoming.

"I love the Firehouse. The world would be a better place if more establishments had its same goals," she says.

Following her CD release tomorrow in Newburyport, Miller has several performances scheduled throughout the summer, including shows in Maine and radio airplay on Portland's 106.1 WSCA also July 18.

Well aware of the turbulence in performing arts, Miller eagerly looks forward to the future of her career.

"You never know where the path is taking you," Miller says. - Newburyport News

"Rock cellist Kristen Miller is covering Eurythmics Sweet Dreams on her new album"

Rock cellist Kristen Miller is releasing her third CD “Walk” today, June 12, 2010, including rocking acoustic songs alongside captivating instrumentals as well as a compelling cover version of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams”. Kristen Miller about the album:

“The record is infused with a folk-rock feel and African/Middle Eastern elements. Although I play an antique instrument, I am actually trying to push the boundaries when I compose and when I play. I plug the cello into a looping pedal to create complex cello arrangements in real time on stage. I try to use the cello in many ways: percussively, as a bass, and to create harmony and melody, I top it off with vocals in the form of spoken word and singing.”

The record, which was recorded and produced by Tom Eaton (Vance Gilbert, Ellis Paul, Melissa Ferrick). Miller was named 2004 Female Artist of the Year by Jam Magazine. Her first two solo CDs charted on college and community radio across North America, with “Later That Day” (2003) spending a year at No. 2 on AOL/Netscape Radio’s New Acoustic Top 25.

Listen to an excerpt of Kristin Miller’s version of “Sweet Dreams” here on her official website.

- Ethrill

"Cello is my New Favorite Instrument"

Of course, it already was mine.

But producer Mike Null is a new convert. "Cello is my new favorite instrument," he writes after his recent work with the wonderful and versatile cellist, Kristen Miller.

Now, not to knock classical musicians, I myself grew up classically trained… but when I’ve dealt with many trained string players in the past, there is generally a lack of flexibility. It’s not their fault, they are bred from a young age to be reading machines and are often not required to do anything but. So, if you ask them to improvise, or to change the way they play something, or to just play something “out” or weird, they give you a blank stare that reads “can not compute”.

[That's spot-on in my opinion and experience, and why I'm committed to getting everyone to do as much improv as possible in music school.--EE]

Kristin is more than your average classical player. Not only does she have the technique and intonation of a first chair cellist, she also has the intuition and the ear of a jazz musician. She’s the kind of player you can let loose on a track. With little direction, she played some of the most beautifully articulated lines on par with any professional recording. In addition, she was able to turn right around and play noise. She created sounds that sounded like she was channeling Jimi Hendrix himself and it was all done with utmost taste and sensitivity to the song.

There are audio clips from Kristen's albums on the music page of her site. Hmm . . .on my Christmas list. (Which means I'll probably buy an album today, oh me of little sales resistance.) - Eric Edberg


Kristen Miller-- Later That Day (2003)
Kristen Miller-- Strange Little Valentine (2006)
Kristen Miller-- Walk (2010)
The first two discs received a lot of college airplay, and the most recent is going to radio next month.
Discography includes work for Irma Thomas' Grammy Nominated Simply Grand, and Vance Gilbert's Up On Rockfield.



"Inventive, brave, moody, intensely musical - please make space in your brain for Kristen Miller’s redefinition of what someone does when they sit with a cello at their knees."
--Vance Gilbert

Cellist/Singer/Songwriter Kristen Miller is a one-woman ensemble. She connects her antique cello to a live digital recorder to stack hypnotic layers of lush cello, spoken word and ardent singing. With a voice like Beth Gibbons (Portishead) and a layered cello sound like Zoe Keating, Kristen has created a style that Billboard writer Bobby Borg calls “romantically, hauntingly, charmingly, brilliant.” In live performance, her ability to connect with her audience and draw them in to her musical world makes her concerts intimate and memorable.

Kristen’s latest CD, Walk (2010), delivers impassioned, rocking songs alongside captivating instrumentals, and is woven with lyrics of longing, love, and loss. The record, which was recorded and produced by Tom Eaton (Vance Gilbert, Ellis Paul, Melissa Ferrick), is infused with a folk-rock feel and African/Middle Eastern elements, and features a compelling cover of The Eurhythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).

Named 2004 Female Artist of the Year by Jam Magazine, Kristen's newest CD, Walk, is enjoying radio play nation wide and is charting on several stations. Her first two solo-CDs charted on college and community radio across North America, with Later That Day (2003) spending a year at #2 on AOL/Netscape Radio’s New Acoustic Top 25. The song Kilim from her second CD, Strange Little Valentine (2006) was nominated for a 2009 Just Plain Folks Award. Kristen is the recipient of several awards and scholarships, including the Zara Nelsova Cellist Award for excellence in performance.

Her discography includes work for Vance Gilbert, Assembly of Dust, and for Irma Thomas' Grammy nominated Simply Grand (Rounder, 2008.) Kristen has opened for numerous acts including Anais Mitchell and Turtle Island String Quartet. She can be found on itunes, CD baby, Facebook, and her official website,