Since we published the last OPUS page we have added two new videos. These have come from the Phil Miller Prize competition winners. On the Phrygian Blues page you will find the version performed by Leo Marland and on the Eastern Region page which we are publishing today you will find the version performed by Oliver Canham and Adam Roberts.
The prize of £1000 is offered to students of the RBC for a solo or duo performance of a composition by Phil Miller to demonstrate their understanding of his oeuvre.
On Thursday 19th May the Phil Miller Guitar Prize took place in the Eastside Jazz Club at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. This event has been postponed for the last two years because of the disruption caused by the Covid pandemic. It was in danger of being postponed for a third year when at the last minute we were offered this date. We were unprepared for it as we had been hoping to stage the event later in June but decided to accept this date and put on a pared-down version rather than missing out until 2023.
In spite of the short notice we had a good response resulting in six performances: three duos and three solos.
Fred Baker provided additional entertainment with his trio: our special guest of the evening Mark Fletcher on drums, Mickey O’Brien on Bass and himself on guitar playing some of Phil’s pieces.
The First Prize was won by Leo Morland on guitar with a fabulous performance of Phrygian Blues and the Second Prize was won by a duo performance from Oliver Canham on guitar and Adam Roberts on electric bass with a great rendition of Eastern Region.
We are posting all the performances of the evening starting with the first and second prize winners.
This week we are showing episode one of Aymeric’s interview of Simon Picard. Simon joined in Phil’s band In Cahoots in July 2005. You can watch him playing in the Phil Miller Tribute Concert on this site on Miserable Man, Fool’s Meeting, Nowadays a Silhouette, Second Sight and Nan True’s Hole.
I recently came across this photo of Hugh that I took when Hugh brought his wife and their new daughter Rose to visit us many years ago. Today in fond memory of Hugh, we are showing a video of highlights from the benefit concert for him which was held at London’s 100 Club on 14th December 2008.
This week we are showing the concluding episode of Aymeric Leroy’s interview with Fred Baker: the erstwhile bass player with Phil Miller’s band In Cahoots and now the new bass player with Soft Machine. This photo was taken on 5th January this year on the eve of the Soft Machine concert in New Cross Gate, London the next day. Look out for a surprise video of Fred next week giving an update on his work with Phil’s music at Birmingham University’s Royal Conservatoire.
One of the spin-offs from the Phil Miller Tribute Concert that we arranged after Phil died, was Aymeric Leroy’s idea of a series of interviews of the musicians performing at the concert. I bought three Sony Camcorders and we organised an interviewing suite at Colvestone Crescent using Phil’s Edirol recorder and two tripods that I borrowed, with myself operating the hand-held camera for close-ups. Aymeric made many trips from France to do these interviews which we conducted over several days interviewing two or three musicians on each visit. You will have seen the short excerpts that Aymeric made from this series. What we are presenting here are the full-length versions. They can be found under the new MENU heading: NO HOLDS BARRED.