Cape Town. 141019. Philip Miller in his home studio speaks to Cape Times. Reporter Rebecca. Pic COURTNEY AFRICA

Rebecca Jackman

CAPE TOWN-born composer Philip Miller has achieved a lifelong dream of his work being performed at New York’s famous Carnegie Hall.

“As a composer you dream of performing at Carnegie Hall,” he said. “It’s very special to have my music performed there.”

Paper Music, another in a long line of collaborations between Miller and artist William Kentridge, is being shown for the first time as part of the Ubuntu: Music and Arts of South Africa showcase at the prestigious venue. The performance on October 27 is sold out.

Paper Music is a series of works, some “old favourites” and some new, exploring the relationship between music, sound and image.

Miller says it is part of a continuing search into how people see things differently with sound, and hear things differently when faced with an image.

It’s also a celebration of many years of collaboration with Kentridge. The pair have been working together since the mid-nineties.

Miller said he felt fortunate his music had been performed in places he could not have dreamed of, but two venues had been missing from his extensive list of accomplishments.

These two venues had been of equal importance in his having grown up to become a musician. One was the Carnegie Hall – which he heard of first in a record he grew up listening to, Sparky and the Magic Piano.

“I always remember this place called Carnegie Hall as this amazing place you could go to,” he said.

And the other was the Cape Town City Hall, where his parents took him to concerts when he was a child – not always willingly.

After six months of touring, Ubuntu Paper Music will return to Cape Town and be shown at the city hall as part of the Design Indaba in February. Alongside it will be shown Miller and Kentridge’s highly acclaimed theatrical work The Refusal of Time.

“Both venues have very strong connections to my musical background as a child,” said Miller, who is based in Cape Town after spending many years in Johannesburg.

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