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Album Review

Kristen Miltner, composer, programmer, musician, and videographer — and one half of the duo Miba — is responsible for Music for Dreaming and Playing, the eighth volume in Asthmatic Kitty's Library Catalog Music Series. Miltner's brand of electronic music, while gentle, usually quiet, and inviting, is performed via a software system of her own design that scans sound files and live input, thus allowing her to instantly restructure sounds into sequenced units of varying lengths and musical groupings. This is done while creating a rhythmic component comprising a seemingly endless series of sonic textures, spaces, and ambiences. She also often employs her singing voice, broken into single syllables and nonsensical utterances (as on the opener "Melody from Dream") to deepen the proceedings. These pieces are "easy" to listen to because of the considerable restraint that goes into their presentation. Miltner's soundworlds are ambitious; they change quickly but seamlessly, moving from idea to idea with alacrity and an expert sense of control. The remarkable thing is that it's all live, on-the-spot recording. Clocking it at just under 40 minutes, Music for Dreaming and Playing comes across as a series of electronic "songs," more than it does soundscapes. Their rhythmic components aside, there are melodies at work inside these (mostly) brief pieces — check "Altamont Pass," "Space Shooter: Boy Avatar," "Space Shooter: Girl Avatar," and the closer, "Firefly's Flight Game Music." The element of surprise inherent in each track still leaves something lyrically retentive in the listener's ear. Music for Dreaming and Playing is one of the most successful volumes the Library Catalog Sound Series thus far.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Half of the electronic duo Miba (with Mark Bartscher), composer and videographer Kristin Miltner is a graduate of Mills College, where she studied and developed a compositional method for music employing direct contact with video images. She also designs software used for performing her music live. Though she makes music primarily with computers, she also sings and plays piano. Miltner has performed solo and with Miba, and her video works have been shown at the Rencontres International Film and Video...
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Library Catalog Music Series: Music For Dreaming and Playing, Kristin Miltner
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