Cepia aka Huntley Miller is a Minneapolis-based musician who started out in a traditional band that combined downtempo, hip-hop, IDM, drum n’ bass thing with 5 live musicians with releases on the Merck label before moving to Ghostly.
What is your background with music? What brought you to where you are now?
My music background and how got where I am now is a long story, but I
will do my best to condense it. I got an electric bass when I was 13
and taught myself to play. I played funk, rock, jazz, R&B, and all
kinds of other stuff in bands from age 13-20. When I was 20 I went to a
music college to study upright bass with Anthony Cox. I did that for a
couple of years, my upright broke and I couldn’t afford to fix it, so I
started playing alot of electric again. I was playing in an indie rock
band called tugboat. The guitar player had an insane custom made
effects pedal board that he let me mess around with. I just fell in
love with the sounds you could get out of it. I was really liberated
because my bass didn’t sound like bass anymore, it sounded like some
alien violin shit. The drummer in the band played me some Autechre
stuff and I was totally floored.
I co-founded a 5-piece band called Suki Takahashi. It was sort of like
a downtempo, hip-hop, IDM, drum n’ bass thing with 5 live musicians. We
had a track on the Merck dosage compilation. Then, I started playing
bass in a 3-piece band that was like Photek / Source Direct /
Squarepusher with a live band. After that I started an all-electronic
thing with one of the guys from Suki called Grid. Then I got a
Powerbook and started working on my own just under a year ago. A couple
of months later I started learning Max/MSP and I’ve used it for almost
everything ever since.
So what’s your latest project? What will you be
playing at Dannys as?
My latest project and what I’m touring as is Cepia.
Cepia is my own music, all digital, composed and
performed on my laptop.
What’s your gear / software situation now?
Just an iBook running Max/MSP, EMI 2|6, Doepfer pocket
control, and I’ve recently picked up a couple of
analog synths- a Roland MC202 and Juno 106. I have
been doing everything with Max. I don’t use samples,
so I synthesize sounds, sequence, process, and arrange
them all with my own programs.
Have you always lived in Minneapolis? How is the scene there conducive
(or not) to what you do?
I grew up in a Minneapolis suburb. After high school, I moved to Kansas City, then I
moved back, then I lived on a sailboat in Florida for a year, then I moved back
here to go to school.
I think there is a great scene here. I have been hosting weekly or bi-monthly
electronic music events for well over a year and people always come out and support
what you’re doing. My
event that I do is called Parse. It’s 2 Fridays a month
at the Kitty Cat Klub. The local artists are myself,
Tiki Obmar (Merck), Eric Skogen (Surgery), Adam
Johnson (Merck), Dave Olson (Parotic), Mr. Projectile
(Toytronic), DJ Pat Morita, Dosh (Anticon). I’ve had
Greg Davis play a couple of times, Miles Tilmann is
playing this Friday, and I’m playing with the whole
Schematic crew here in October.
Do you have a day job or does music support you?
Yes, I have a day job. I do archive work at Minnesota public radio. I
do transfers from DAT and analog tape into Pro Tools. It is a great
job. I used to support myself playing and teaching bass, but I was
pretty unhappy and just barely getting by.
What other musicians do you admire?
I love Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, Steve Reich,
Johnny Cash, Eric Satie, The Meters, Bjork. As far as
electronic music- Autechre was the first artist who
really grabbed me. Also, Phonecia, Fennesz, Arovane,
Funckarma, Farben, Merck folks, Lexauncuplt.
What’s the best technological invention (in your
opinion) related to music
creation / production / inspiration?
Definitely Max/MSP. If you choose to learn the
environment and have a concept or vision of what you’re
after, you can do anything with it. It’s extremely
Cepia has releases scheduled with Ghostly International and Six
Records and will play at Dannys on Monday, Oct 20 with Tiki Obmar and
Kra[n]k. Check out Http://www.driver2165.com/cepia/ for more details.
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