Paul D. Miller to sync music, climate change in ‘Arctic Rhythms’ March 23

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Paul D. Miller -- better known in hip-hop music, literary and art circles as DJ Spooky -- has traveled to the ends of the Earth to collect data representing climate change for use in his sonic soundscapes. The 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer will host his resulting “Arctic Rhythms” multimedia presentation at 7:30 p.m. March 23 in Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium on the University Park campus.

A Penn State School of Music graduate student quartet (violinists Gabriella Stout and Michael Divino, violist John Roxburgh and cellist Liu Pai) will accompany Miller. The program will feature climate change-related data juxtaposed with hip-hop, classical and electronic music plus digital video and photographs from Miller’s travels throughout the Polar regions.

In 2007, 2008 and 2014, Miller traveled to the North and South poles to record the changing climate conditions. His expeditions resulted in “The Book of Ice,” a 2013 album “Of Water and Ice” and his most recent volume of music, “Arctic Rhythms”—the inspiration for the Penn State performance.

Miller is a groundbreaking DJ turntablist, experimental filmmaker, composer, author, artist, lecturer and cultural pioneer. He is the executive editor of Origin Magazine, a humanitarian lifestyle publication, and has written best-selling titles for MIT Press. His DJ Mixer iPad app has been downloaded more than 12 million times. His digital works have been featured in galleries and art events worldwide, including The Andy Warhol Museum, the Venice Biennial for Architecture and the Whitney Biennial. In 2012–13, he was the first artist-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

He has produced and composed work for Yoko Ono, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and a variety of award-winning films. The multimedia artist also has collaborated with avant-garde composer Iannis Xenakis, minimalist musician Steve Reich, Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, rapper Chuck D and Ballet Austin Artistic Director Stephen Mills.

In 2015, Miller worked with Kronos Quartet to record a soundtrack for “Rebirth of a Nation.” The film, commissioned in 2004 by Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Wiener Festwochen and The Paris Autumn Festival, is Miller’s revised and remixed take on D. W. Griffith’s divisive 1915 silent film “The Birth of a Nation.”

“No one is more responsible for propagating and embodying the idea of the DJ as ‘artist’ than DJ Spooky, whose ambitious, elaborate, often hypnotic soundscapes have been notable as much for their eclectic imagination as for their postmodern intellectualism,” wrote a Chicago Tribune reviewer.

Arctic Rhythms

Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky, is a 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer and a hip-hop legend. In “Arctic Rhythms,” Miller weaves together an evocative multimedia trip to the Arctic landscape.

National Geographic

Watch a preview of the presentation.

To learn more about the presentation and for ticketing information, visit “Arctic Rhythms” or call 814-863-0255.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the concert and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Sandra Zaremba and Richard Brown sponsor the performance. Sidney and Helen S. Friedman Endowment and William E. McTurk Endowment provide additional support.

The Polar Center at Penn State—which fosters understanding, awareness and appreciation of the Polar Regions through outreach, education and research—is a program partner.

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Last Updated February 25, 2016