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The best kept secret in music


"Feel Flows"

The thing you should know about Mileece is that she makes electronic music like nobody else. The melodic exercise in mood and understatement of her debut album Formations has spellbound jaded reviewers worldwide. The secret is in the audible yearning to return to a time where "people who were considered musicians would be able to think or feel what the next notes would be".

That her life history at the age of 24 could fill the pages of several biographies is a mere sideline. Her parents used to run a studio in Holborn where the Sex Pistols and Thin Lizzy recorded. Dad now builds emissions-free energy and mum the Hollywood ambassador to the UN. Though such an upbringing doesn't necessarily provide the link to her conception as a musician.

"Maybe I just felt I didn't have to be so much in the normal consensus of what you should be thinking about and experimenting with," she explains, "I just know that when I sat down at a piano I felt energy around me".

Mileece's full life story is for another time, and understanding how she computes her music is for the pages of a different magazine. Just keep your ears on the self-generated, algorithmic alchemy of her music and for now you'll know all you need.
- Dazed and Confused

"The Musical Equivalent of Cell Division"

24-year-old Mileece has had a remarkable life. When she was growing up, her parents ran a recording studio in Covent Garden, and started an early music video company. Later her father became a director of television programmes such as Fraggle Rock and Countdown, whilst her mum ran a record label.

In early life she lived in various parts of the world including "The crystal garden" where she encountered counter-culture figures such as Timothy Leary and Charles Lucy - the inventor of the Lucytune microtonal scale.

After this, she moved to a large house full of animals in rural France to escape and learn about classical music. On top of this, her grandfather Roger Abson programmed the first computer generated song, "Daisy, Daisy" which was cynically referenced in Kubricks "2001, A Space Odyssey", sung by the Hal computer as it loses control of its senses.

Well that's her life so far, and Formations is her stunning debut album, a charming suite of gentle tones that manages to sound natural, intimate and sunny despite utilising the rigorous theories and practice of up-to-the minute electronic composition. There are no hooks, choruses and sometimes little in the way of melody, but it's an example of an album that I could imagine anyone enjoying.

This music was composed using generative musical computer languages, something that in Mileece's words "allows for structures to generate autonomously, the same as a plant or any living thing would". This is beautifully illustrated in track one, "aube" which actually sounds like the musical equivalent of cell division, as delicate tones chime out at seemingly random intervals but constantly keep an internal form and harmonic relationship.

The title track sounds more like the familiar music of modern minimalist composition. Repetitive motifs grow out of seemingly random clusters of notes, building up then dropping down in order to regroup, just as it seems the music is getting cluttered. In this track, Mileece's strong grasp of psycho-acoustics is evident as her sparse music sometimes creates difference-tones (two notes together simultaneously creating another audible tone).

With the addition of a simple bass guitar accompaniment and a melody that sounds like a traditional fiddle reel trying to work itself out, "fern" creates a sound reminiscent of a more advanced, stripped down Tortoise, whilst "nightfall" adds simple cello and voice to the sine tones to create a warm lullaby.

If you are looking for an album of astonishing paradoxes; artificial yet natural, simple yet advanced, harmonic and ordered but random, then look no further than this outstanding release. Beautiful, real musical science.


At the tender age of six months, Mileece made her video debut in Lena Lovich’s ‘Lucky Number’. Back then her parents ran a pioneering music video production company called ‘Rock Flicks’, as well as the ‘Free Range’ recording studio in London. Some 288 months later, after teenage years spent on a Californian crystal farm and elsewhere obtaining a BA in Sonic Arts, she is now based in Montreal where she is still infatuated with lucky numbers – but this time as the interface between computer generated music and the theory of organic systems in nature. Her music aspires to ‘the rotating progression of sparse then condensed spouts of growth in plants’, or the micro-structures of snow flakes. Despite the new age psychoacoustics, however, she is committed to evolving her pieces through digital procedures. Aube has a remarkably captivating simplicity. Delicate woody chimes fall in simple tonal pairs that repeat and echo each other, separating focally into attractive patterns that never quite repeat, like raindrops falling in water.

Occasionally a note will pick out a more insistent pulse, but others soon start to double and feint around it as the autonomous structures unfold. The emphasis on a Zen-like accidentalism, even if, or perhaps precisely because the music is systematically generated. The nearest equivalent for these ears is Terry Riley’s live improvisations with piano loops. If Mileece’s music isn’t overly concerned with just intonation, she is interested in microtonality, and her CD has microtonality’s cotton wool and soap bubble feel for floating points of sound. There’s the same hypnotic playing with particular tonal intervals, too, not to mention the ability to weave a gently rippling band of plaintive harmonic detail without straying too far from minimalist parameters. Formations is a busier merry-go-round of muted notes, calling up the tumbling arabesques of Riley’s ‘In C’ or the haunting ‘Shri Camel’. The silvery sounds wheel giddily by, narrowing down to a single oscillating pair like a Marcel Duchamp Rotorrelief. Fern is more arpeggiated and Orb-like, a lilting Ambient track. And the concluding Nightfall reins the music back to a more stately processional pace, of a gong ritual in a Zen temple, perhaps, over which Mileece croons in a breathy, abstract half-voice. Restfully restless, and intelligently, uncommonly beautiful.
- The Wire

"Sparse Elegy to Mathematically Perfect Music"

"Mileece‚s debut album, sounds like a stroll through a prism-strewn garden, all twinkling electronica, low-level frequency hum and music-box melody. Ambient music may happily be filed in the Where Is It Now box, but for Mileece’s beauty-soaked take on the form it’s worth blowing away the dust."
- Q Magazine

"Unusually Fragrant Glitch Business"

When you've been brought up in recording studios, frequented by the Sex Pistols, crystal gardens in LA owned by counterculture mathematicians and, of course, remote french farms, there are two routes to take through your
life. One, become a jet trash hippy smelling the flowers on a different
continent each week. Or do like Mileece, and make complicated, pretty electronic music inspired by structures in nature.

"Succeeds in Rewriting the Blueprint for 21st Century Ambient Composition"

A precocious 24-year old ingenue from Montreal, has decided to rethink electronic listening music for a new generation. Unlike her predecessors, *Formations is neither as cold and unapproachable as Norway's Biosphere nor as academic as the recordings on Germany's Rater-Noton or America's 12K, yet she somehow incorporates traces of those worlds adding her own organic sweetness. *Formations is not a record for people with short attention spans. Each gentle plink, dreamy chime and soft burble is carefully nestled among other similarly muted instrumentation, creating a finely textured blanket of sound.

As is the case with most debut releases there are moments where song themes tend to meander down mysterious, damp forest paths, like on speaker-rattling, sub-bass-inflected "Fern". But Mileece's elusive use of organic instruments including cello and m'bira, reconfigured gently via computer software, recalls Nobuzaku Takemura and Oval while stripping away any of the harsher glitchy elements that have been cropping up in minimalist electronic music recently.

*Formations is arranged with great diligence and care and succeeds in rewriting the blueprint for 21st century ambient composition while maintaining a relaxed, thoughtful approach to music. Slow down and have a listen.


"A Shimming and Balanced Album of Simplicity and Sheer Innocent Beauty"

One Album that always finds itself on repeat in my CD player late at night is a debut effort from Mileece. According to her elegant and beautifully designed website ( Formations (Lo Recordings) is an album inspired by nature. This makes sense, as Mileece’s delicate tonal compositions (written using a self generating music program on Super-Collider software) bubble and trickle with vibrant life. The seemingly random cascading tones collide as quickly as they split forming fragile melody and complex harmonies that in the end make beautiful sense. Never too dense or too sparse, Mileece has created a shimming and balanced album of simplicity and sheer innocent beauty. Absolutely brilliant and a must have for quiet times at home. - Vice

"Debut Album of Sonic Explorer Who Once Appeared in the Video for Lene Lovich's Lucky Number Video Aged Six Months"

If the sight of one more furrow-browed, goateed guy hunched over a laptop is likely to make you scream, Mileece could well be the antidote. This 24 year old London-born, Montreal-based musician has produced a debut of striking freshness and originality. Inspired by forms and processes in nature, Formations is a repetitive beat-free zone, the rhythms produced by chiming melodic patterns which overlap each other before changing shape. This spartan sound shares a kinship with Oval, Harold Budd, even Erik Satie, while the flickering title track evokes the systems of Steve Reich spun out to the strands of the utmost delicacy. OK, it’s all produced by voice, cello and programming generative software, but from a synaesthetic point of view it sounds like crystals, snowflakes and the stars. - Mojo

"Disk of the Week 10/10"

I was given explicit instructions to listen to this album before going to
bed because it would give me "sweet dreams". I did, and as I lay mesmerized listening to it, I slowly realized that no dream could rival the delicate and complex beauty found on Formations. Inspired by nature, Mileece's melodies grow and spiral to life like blossoms on a cherry tree, forming rich, undulating and unexpected harmonies. Partially composed using a self-generating music program (written with the experimental music software Super Collider), Formations is a wonderfully balanced album that adds a gentle humanity to the cold calculations of minimal composition. For a quiet listen alone curled up by the fire. For best results, just add camomile or ginger tea. Bliss on disc.
- Montreal Mirror


Formations, Lo Recordings 2006
TBA, Planet Mu 2006
TBA, Fat-Cat Records 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Mileece* was born in 1978, London. Her family, running a pioneering recording studio, Freerange and video promo company RockFlicks, exposed Mileece to artists and a/v production from the get-go, certainly playing a pivotal role in the development of her interests and talent as an artist.

Mileece’s early involvement in sound continued evolving from childhood violin lessons and Casio workstation compositions to improvised piano, hosting a jazz radio show and DJ’ing at clubs by her teens.

But her peripatetic life that took her from rural French farms, to crystal gardens in Los Angeles, prompted her awareness to the many forms of man’s impact on the natural world. Hence, congruent to her pursuits in music, Mileece completed A-Levels in environmental science and economics, an A.A. in documentary filmmaking and worked for several environmental agencies.

Just before turning twenty, intrigued by the notion of developing an artful exploitation of new media formats for the promotion of ecology, Mileece returned to the UK where she undertook courses in sound engineering and received a B.A. in Sonic Art.

At 24, using Super Collider, an object-oriented music programming language, Mileece released a series of compositions inspired by cycles and formations in nature as her critically acclaimed debut album “Formations”. Shortly thereafter, she toured with bands Múm, Mice Parade and HIM, playing live generative compositions via her custom made interactive instruments.

In 2004, Mileece was commissioned by BOX, the EDS Innovation Centre at the London School of Economics, to create a participatory-based interactive generative harmonic sonic art composition and interface. The success of this project led to her invitation as BOX artist in residence during which Mileece designed and installed the first prototype of her plant biofeedback system that enables plant bio-emissions to be transformed into a lush and complex harmonic soundscape. In tandem with the original people oriented interface design, these two systems combine to form an aesthetically oriented interspecies sound improvisation installation.

Mileece currently resides in London where she is further developing the complexity, resolution and scope of this system to include planets and particles, live visual elements, and generally an ever-increasing articulacy of plant/man/environment interaction, within the P* project series (People, Plants, Planets & Particles). She is also currently producing her second album, “until we reach blue skies” which combines her generative musical works with classical and acoustic elements and has forthcoming releases on Planet Mu and Fat Cat Records.

So far this year, her installations have been exhibited at the Migros Museum, Zurich as well as the Hayward gallery, London.