REBIRTH OF A NATION


Probably most well-known under his "constructed persona" as DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, Miller has recorded a huge volume of music and collaborated with a wide variety of musicians and composers, among them Iannis Xenakis, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Kronos Quartet, Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore and many others. He also composed and recorded the score for the Cannes and Sundance Award-winning film Slam, starring acclaimed poet Saul Williams, and produced material on Yoko Ono's recent album Yes, I'm a Witch.

Conceived as a reimagining of director D.W. Griffith’s infamously racist 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation, DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation is a controversial and culturally significant project that examines how “…exploitation and political corruption still haunt the world to this day, but in radically different forms.” Originally commissioned in 2004 by the Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Wiener Festwochen, and the Festival d'Automne a Paris, the project was Miller’s first large-scale multimedia performance piece, and has been performed around the world, from the Sydney Festival to the Herod Atticus Amphitheater, more than fifty times.  The project’s live musical score by DJ Spooky, originally recorded by Kronos Quartet, was made available for the first time on CD from Cantaloupe Records, in 2015.

Today, after more than one hundred years since the release of The Birth of a Nation, the project continues to be presented internationally, engaging audiences in themes of civil rights and freedom, seen through the lens of DJ Spooky’s unique art of remixing.  Rebirth of a Nation can be done as a film screening with a personal introduction by DJ Spooky; performed live by DJ Spooky with three video screens; or performed live with DJ Spooky, three video screens, and a string quartet.

Silent film scores were grandiloquent, meant to heighten what we saw on screen. Mr. Miller’s score, by contrast, deflects our responses, then alters them. A hip-hop drum beat pulses. A wash of industrial sound is joined by bells and cymbals; a dissonant violin; blues fragments. These are the sounds of history and racial complexity that Griffith tried to suppress.
— The New York Times
Rebirth Live

ABOUT PAUL D. MILLER AKA DJ SPOOKY

Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky is a composer, multimedia artist and writer whose work immerses audiences in a blend of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. His written work has been published by The Village Voice, The Source, and Artforum, among others, and he is the Editor of Origin Magazine. Miller’s work has appeared in the Whitney Biennial; The Venice Biennial for Architecture; the Ludwig Museum in Cologne; Kunsthalle, Vienna; The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the Miami/Art Basel fair, and many other museums and galleries. Miller’s award-winning book “Rhythm Science” was published by MIT Press 2004, and was followed by “Sound Unbound,” an anthology about electronic music and digital media, in 2008. “The Book of Ice”, an experiential visual and acoustic portrait of the Antarctic, was published in 2011 by Random House.

Miller has collaborated with a vast array of recording artists, ranging from Metallica to Chuck D; Steve Reich to Yoko Ono. His large scale, multimedia performance pieces include “Rebirth of a Nation,” “Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica,” which was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the Next Wave Festival 2009, and “Seoul Counterpoint”, written during his residency at Seoul Institute of the Arts in 2014. Miller was the first Artist in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he premiered his work “A Civil War Symphony” in 2013. In 2014, Miller was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, an honor recognizing visionaries at the forefront of global problem solving.  Recent projects include “Peace Symphony,” commissioned by UN Peace Boat, “Hidden Code,” a new planetarium show commissioned by Dartmouth College in collaboration with Museum of Science Boston, “Forest Symphony” commissioned by Oregon State University, the CD/DVD of “Rebirth of a Nation” on Cantaloupe Music, and the publication of his fourth book “The Imaginary App” from MIT Press.

Miller is the 2017-2018 recipient of the The Hewlett 50 Arts Commission Award which will support the creation of "Quantopia," a multimedia performance and an installation based on the history and evolution of the internet, which will premiere in San Francisco in January 2019. Latest album releases include "Phantom Dancehall" with premier reggae label VP Records and his first blockchain album "The Invisible Hand" commissioned by SingularDTV.

For more information about DJ Spooky, please click here.