11 gennaio 2019

Phil Howitt di Facelift racconta in minuto dettaglio lo svolgimento del concerto pomeridiano di domenica scorsa dedicato a Phil Miller. Comincia così: "This January would have seen the 70th birthday of Phil Miller, who sadly died in October 2017. Since Phil’s death his widow Herm, her son Kyle and fellow guitarist Doug Boyle have connected very personally with Phil’s many fans through the Phil Miller legacy website, which has developed as a truly altruistic project – with a genuine desire to reunite Phil’s fans with his music through a myriad of freely available official and unofficial releases – a true legacy from Herm to us all. But whilst a collection of musicians assembled at his funeral, and performed an impromptu series of Phil’s pieces at his wake, there had been rumblings for some of something more formal: a commemorative concert taking place in London as a memorial to his musical footprint. News emerged in the autumn of musicians from Phil’s immediate and distant path coming together to perform pieces from his songwriting repertoire, be it Delivery, Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, National Health, Short Wave and a considerable body of solo work with and without his own band In Cahoots.The genuine warmth towards Phil as a person felt by his fellow musicians, as well as a recognition of his wonderful talents as a guitarist and composer had all led to this major undertaking, with no less than 21 musicians appearing, stretching from the final Relatives and In Cahoots collaborations all the way back to surviving members of Delivery, assembled to give tribute to Phil’s extensive body of work."

Ne scrive anche Jonathan Coe, riportando le parole del ritrovato Benjamin Trotter in Middle England: "In my novel Middle England, the main character Benjamin Trotter, a Canterbury music fan, explains to an interviewer how Phil Miller’s methods inspired his own practice as a writer: he loves the fact that “there was this combination of freshness – originality – complete rethinking of form – while the music was very easy to listen to, it really invited the listener in”. The pieces performed on Sunday night demonstrated this: never more so than in Miller’s masterpiece Above and Below from the early 1980s. It begins with a marching rhythm over which another of his epic, seemingly never-ending melodies unrolls, but just as it appears to have reached its climax, eerie guitar chords announce a gentle middle section which creates space for a lyrical guitar solo in 5/4. (For these musicians, improvisation in 5/4 is as simple as playing If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands.) The contrast is exquisitely judged."

Herm Mew, vedova di Phil, ringrazia e rilancia: "There was hardly room to breathe but that didn’t stop the cheering! All the musicians played magnificently and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all 21 of them from the bottom of my heart. It was a stunning performance all round and enthusiastically received by the audience. We have had a bagful of enthusiastic emails from musicians and audience members alike. It was a night I shall never forget. We filmed and recorded the entire event and will eventually post a good selection of pieces up on this site. It will take some time to edit the footage and mix the recording and I will only be posting numbers one at a time as they are finished and approved by all concerned. We would love to hear from anyone who was there and would love to post your photos and comments on this site, so please send them in."