Ted Milton [ United Kingdom ]
Ted Milton was born in 1943 in Bedford, England and grew up in Africa, Canada and Great Britain. Following his reluctant attendance at several different secondary schools he attended the School of Art in Cambridge for a few weeks. He first emerged as a poet, publishing some of his earlier poems in magazines such as »The Paris Review«. In the mid-sixties he began to work in puppetry, took part in numerous international festivals, and contributed a short sequence to Terry Gilliam's film »Jabberwocky«.
At the beginning of the 1980s he learned to play the alto saxophone and founded the music group Blurt. The music of the »psycho-funk, afro-punk, fake no-wave, pogo-jazz« trio influenced the style of various artists and bands of the time. The band continues to cultivate its unique sound, a fusion of the energy and irreverence of punk combined with the intelligence and spontaneity of jazz. The first single »My mother was a friend of the enemy of the people« (1980) was soon followed by the live album »In Berlin« (1981). Since that time Blurt has released more than twenty records and CDs, which not only defy any obvious categorisation, but also avoid commercial exploitation. In May 2006 they played 23 shows throughout Europe, and will feature at the Nancy Festival of Jazz in October.
Over the years Milton has also released many recordings in his own name, and a compilation of this work, »Odes«, will soon be released. He lived in Brussels in the mid-eighties, where he worked with the »Back to Normal Big Band« from Liège, and it was at that time that he began to utilise materials he had found in the street to make books. These have been displayed in various exhibitions, and have entered the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale and the British Library.
In 2000 Milton and the electronic musician Andreas Gerth (»Loopspool«) from Munich – now living in Berlin – released the CD »Sublime«, a particularly melancholic piece of work. Milton’s most recent project was a homage to the Russian writer Daniil Kharms. »In Kharm’s Way« is a mix of music, puppetry and spoken word, which was performed in 2001 for the first time at the Rotozaza Connexions Festival in Paris, with the laptop musician Sam Britton. In 2002 they successfully toured this production throughout Europe. Milton now lives in Deptford, south-east London.
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