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Music: Makmed the Miller

Auto-didactic musician, sound recorder, arranger, composer, video artist and multi-discipline experimentalist.  As a musician plays theremin, one string fiddle, bazouki, guitar, cello, saz, percussion, yayli divan, three string pipa, and circuit bent toys.

As a producer/arranger/engineer/musician has produced the following albums of music:

  • Camp Chaos ‘Je Vous dis Merde’  Vinyl
  • Camp Chaos/Kingdom Scum  Vinyl
  • King Cannibal and the Headhunter  CD
  • Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra  ‘Iron Shoes’  CD
  • ‘Our Tin Tribe’  Vinyl
  • Makmed the Miller

    ‘The Bicycle Lesson’  CD

  • ‘Forgotten fish Memory Orchestra w/ Saouiri Fugitive’  CD/Vinyl
  • ‘If I Had a Hifi’  CD
  • The Bewitched ‘The Bewitched’ CD
  • Makmed the Miller  ’14 Smash Hits for Theremin’  CD

 

In the 1980s active mostly in Germany, U.K., Netherlands and south of France.

  • A very diverse range of activities of varying quality as I ascended, (stumbled along), my learning curve.
  • Played Saxophone and guitar in the International Reggae Band ‘Positive Radio'(Germany)
  • Played Saxophone in the funk band ‘Rescue Party’ (Germany)
  • Guitar and vocals in the artcabaret group ’20th Century Vox’ (Germany)
  • Played Drums and Saxophone in the artpunk ‘Fat Bankers’ (London)
  • Played Guitar with roots reggae band ‘Sojourner Truth’ (London)
  • Worked with dub mixer Dennis Bovell
  • Musical Director for Amsterdam Balloon Company (Psychedelic Theatre Project) (Netherlands)
  • Musical arranger for Amsterdam Poetry Circus (Netherlands)
  • Worked as a fakir in oriental mystery show.
  • Played with Arkadi Len in the experimental performance group Swej Snaissur International
  • During this time I played all over Europe including eastern Europe, and toured in Soviet Union and Ukraine.

 

1990s

  • Played bass with Gylan Kain, the originator of the radical poetry group ‘The Last Poets.’
  • Played bazouki in Berber/Moroccan trance group ‘Thirly’
  • Played guitar with Ewan Cameron in the art-punk performance group ‘Mutant Horns’
  • Performed as a Fakir in Gargoyle Mechanique on the lower East Side
  • Played bass and cello in Valeri Scheppers group ‘HaHaHa’
  • Founded the duo ‘King Cannibal and the Headhunter’ with extreme vocalist Vilbjorg Broch
  • Played Cello in live breakbeat group ‘3-1’

 

2000 till present

My main body of work was conceiving of and founding the group ‘Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra’. For this project all orchestra members took on fake names or ID, some random, some anagrams of their real names. For this project and for subsequent spin-off projects I have used the name Makmed the Miller.

 

What is Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra?……

Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra is a musical ‘art performance’ group which draws upon elements from a very wide spectrum of artistic disciplines, integrating them in a unified vision of  music, theatre, performance art, installation, ritual and cultural crossover.

They were formed in 2001 in the Netherlands, although the orchestra members are from different parts of the world. Their music is a hybrid of original tunes , traditional folk melodies and experimental improvisations. Their instrumentation covers a whole gamut from European classical instruments such as cello, violin, contrabass, but also exotic instruments from around the globe…pipa, saz, bouzouki, qanun, bowed divan etc.They also utilise more left field types of instruments like theremin, singing saw and phono fiddle as well as unique instruments which they build themselves.

 

 

Not easily pigeonholed it has been called ‘post-modernist traditional’.

They have released five albums. Their first album ‘Iron Shoes’ (http://www.kindamuzik.net/recensie/forgotten-fish-memory-orchestra/iron-shoes) was featured on the acclaimed but now extinct BBC avant-garde flagship programme Mixing It. Their second album Our Tin Tribe, a radical remix of the first, was released on vinyl only, by Toolbox Records in Paris.

In 2002 Forgotten Fish played at the Rotterdam Film Festival.  In 2003 they released a mini album of Arabic Hip Hop recorded in Essaouira with the Moroccan rapper Saouiri Fugitive.

 

The same year the orchestra appeared in the film RoboSapiens by Bastian Lips,and their music ‘E Ma Ri Khrod’ was used in the carbon trading documentary Green Gold.  In 2004 they played at the international theatre festival in Pula, Croatia, where they won the first prize with their performance ‘ The Philosophical Egg.

2006/7 saw the band produce their album ‘If I had a HiFi’.  This album was featured on the BBC 3  eclectic music show Late Junction showcasing their piece ‘Gnossienne in Asia Minor’ after Eric Satie’s original. They were also featured at the Transmedia Film Festival in Berlin where they appeared in Peter Charlton’s film short ‘The Dome of Shang’.  In 2007 the orchestra was taken up by california based music label URCK records and the Fish Memory track ‘Iron Shoes’ as the opening track on their compilation CD ‘Post Asiatic Lost War Music

During the lifespan of Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra their have been several spinoff or side projects. The Bewitched was an album of ambient electro-acoustic music put out by orchestra members Astral Gonad and Makmed the Miller in 2005.

 

Founder member Makmed the Miller produced a solo album in 2009 called ‘14 Smash Hits for Theremin‘ featuring a wide range of tunes for the theremin from Puccini’s ‘Madame Butterfly’ to Augustus Pablo’s ‘King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown’, and several original compositions.

The career of Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra has been well documented on film by the Portuguese film maker Paula  Albuquerque (OneShot) who had unique access to the band and their performances.

 

Discography

 

  • Iron Shoes – 2001
  • Our Tin Tribe – 2002
  • The Bicycle Lesson – 2003
  • Forgotten Fish Memory Orchestra with Saouiri Fugitive – 2003
  • The Bewitched – 2005
  • Post Asiatic Lost War Music – 2007
  • If I Had a Hi-fi – 2007
  • 14 Smash Hits for Theremin – 2009

 

Makmed has appeared on TV and /or radio in Germany, Netherlands, U.S.A., France, U.K., India, Soviet Union, China.  He has spent relatively little time in U.K. but have been featured several times on BBC 3s ‘Mixing It’ and ‘Late Junction’.

 

Currently

 

  • Newly moved to Edinburgh and trying to familiarise myself with and discover the ‘scene’ here.
  • Currently working on double album of songs, circuit bent material and theremin ballads.

 

That’s All Folks!

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