COMPOSOR + CO-CREATOR
Mikel Rouse: "MAL OSBORNE"
Zoe Lister-Jones: "MOLLY HOWE"
Cort Garretson: "JOHNNY MILO"
and Doug Kastilahn as "THE ANNOUNCER"
Ben Neill is a performer, composer, and inventor of the mutantrumpet, a hybrid electro-acoustic instrument. Through his use of interactive computer technologies, Neill creates a unique musical and visual universe, melding the worlds of electronic music, jazz, pop culture and visual media.
Neill has recorded seven CDs of his music on the Six Degrees, Universal/Verve, Astralwerks, New Tone and Ear-Rational labels. In 2002 Ben Neill 'made music industry history' (MSNBC News) by releasing Automotive, an album entirely comprised of extended versions of music he originally wrote for Volkswagen TV and Internet commercials. He supported the release of the album by performing an 18 city tour of the House of Blues and other major music venues in the US and Canada. Recent TV appearances include CNBC Power Lunch, Tech TV Screensavers, Wall Street Journal Report and Media Television Canada. Neill's video remixes created with Bill Jones were presented at Sundance 2004 and have been aired on Fox TV Network.
He has performed music extensively in a wide variety of international settings, including the Cite de la Musique France, Berlin Love Parade Germany, Spoleto Festival Italy, Bang on a Can festivals 1993 and 1997 New York, ICA London, Istanbul Jazz Festival Turkey, and the Edinburgh Flux Festival UK to name a few. He has received grants from the Mary Flager Cary Charitable Trust, Harvestworks, Meet the Composer, and the Steim Foundation, Amsterdam. The Sci-fi Lounge, his collaboration with DJ Spooky and video sampling pioneer Gardner Post of Emergency Broadcast Network, toured America and Europe in 1997.
In Neill's performance, four linked computers form a "Powerbook band" that merges his three-belled, computer interfaced mutantrumpet with live MIDI controlled digital video. Neill literally plays the moving pictures to create "video remixes"; he blows life into real-time and recorded video, making the images an extension of his electrified horn.
Neill is also active as a digital installation artist. His collaborative works have been exhibited in museums and major galleries including Sandra Gering Gallery New York, Paula Cooper Gallery New York, Wellcome Gallery London and the Hayden Planetarium New York. His 2003 exhibition, Nite Nite, a collaboration with visual artist Bill Jones at Sandra Gering Gallery, featured a video remix of a track from Automotive played live by three networked computers.
A native of North Carolina, Neill studied at Manhattan School of Music, where he earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in 1987. He studied composition with minimalist composer La Monte Young, and has collaborated with numerous other composers and musicians including rock band Helmet's Page Hamilton, Nicolas Collins, David Behrman, John Cale and DJ Spooky. Neill was the Music Curator of The Kitchen in New York City from 1992-1998.
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