Robert Miller had a big month in April. The 39-year-old music meister, who has a busy commercials career at Sacred Noise in New York, premiered The Inventor with the Jupiter Symphony, where he's composer in residence. He calls it "a romantic tone poem about the process of creating," and it also marked his conducting debut. Just as exciting was the premiere last month of the independent feature Pants On Fire at the Los Angeles Film Festival, for which he wrote his first movie score. Miller is accessible; he describes his musical self as "a warm, romantic American, a tonalist, not a serialist." In fact, he's is the consummate crossover guy. On the one hand, he studied with Aaron Copland and his works have been performed by the Toronto and Minnesota Symphonies, among others. On the other hand, he was George in Beatlemania on Broadway from 1978-82. He also did a five-year stint at New York music house JSM, where he was the resident orchestrator, before he took up the same baton at Sacred Noise in '95.
Miller's forte, of course, is the lush, Coplandesque fanfare for the common client heard so frequently in spots that are otherwise totally forgettable. "Some of the best scores I've done have been for very mediocre commercials," he admits, but "we have to accept the fact that a good portion of the music people hear comes from TV and commercials, so this is the only way they may hear orchestral music at all."
And in an age of cookie cutter world beat/techno retreads, Miller stands out. "I do between 50 and 60 spots a year, all for orchestra, all live." And people said