Robert Miles, creator of dance music classic Children, has died aged 47
DJ Robert Miles, who created one of the most recognisable songs of the Nineties in club classic Children, has died aged 47.
The Italian music producer, who was born Robert Concina, was reported dead by DJ Mag Italia, who said that he had died from an unspecified illness in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
His friend, Joe T Vannelli, said in a statement: "The tragic news of the death of a very talented artist of our time, makes me incredulous and upset. I will miss the fights, brawls, criticism, judgements but especially your talent in finding sounds and melodies unparalleled."
The instantly recognisable Children was released in 1995, first with little impact in Italy, then, months later, in the clubs of Miami. When British trance artist Simon Berry released it as the lead single from his album Dreamland in November 1995, Children became an international sensation, topping charts in 12 countries and spending 17 weeks in the UK Top 40.
The song had more cerebral beginnings than those who have danced to it may imagine. Miles was moved to create the track after seeing photographs of children who had been victims of the war in the former Yugoslavia, brought home by his father on a humanitarian mission.
There was also a practical element to Miles's composition: in the early Nineties there was a spate of car crashes in Italy after ravers fell asleep at the wheel, often under the influence of drugs, alcohol and club-induced weariness. Known as strage del sabato sera, or Saturday night slaughter, DJs started to play slower music towards the end of the night to calm attendees down. Children, a pioneering dream house track, was one of the most pivotal for this purpose.
Members of the dance and electronic music community have been sharing their thoughts and tributes to Miles on social media.
My fav #RobertMiles song. Loved the groove + the piano riff on a heaving dance floor in Bangalore in the mid 90s. https://t.co/0DX196mb8I
— Nikhil Chinapa (@nikhilchinapa) May 10, 2017
RIP Robert Miles ��I'll never forget the 1st time playing this on Pulse FM around 1996. Goosebumps then & ever since https://t.co/2CYWvsNz76
— Declan Pierce (@DecPierce) May 10, 2017
Really in shock to hear the news of the passing of Robert Miles... R.I.P.
— Armin van Buuren (@arminvanbuuren) May 10, 2017
R.I.P Robert Miles. Very sad news! https://t.co/AU3knJDeDV
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) May 10, 2017
#RIP Robert Miles. 'Children' was the first dance song I fell in love with in 1996. I will forever be grateful for your music, thank you.
— Chris Lake (@chrislake) May 10, 2017
Had the pleasure of meeting Robert Miles at a charity do once. He was surprisingly down to earth, and VERY funny.
— Limmy (@DaftLimmy) May 10, 2017
Sad to hear Robert Miles passing r.i.p thanks for the music ��#deconstruction#classichouse pic.twitter.com/f7xsvLTBF6
— Pete Tong mbe (@petetong) May 10, 2017
Shocking news about the passing of Robert Miles. #Children will forever be in the lexicon of dance music. RIP
— Sharam (@DJSHARAM) May 10, 2017
RIP Robert Miles. You blessed the World with your Melodies. #Children
— Tritonal (@Tritonal) May 10, 2017
#RIP Robert Miles. Thank you for the inspiration, direction & courage! https://t.co/v0k2r2Hufn
— Darude (@Darudevil) May 10, 2017
Sad news in #dancemusic today... RIP #RobertMiles thank you for sharing ur gift of music & being an inspiration to many ���� #restinparadisepic.twitter.com/QMI1GTiDGC
— RON REESER (@ronreeser) May 10, 2017
RIP Robert Miles.Will never forget that night in Sydney (1996) when I first heard CHILDREN.Felt reborn. https://t.co/YvhWg2db3h via @YouTube
— Pooja Bhatt (@PoojaB1972) May 10, 2017
Culture stars who have died in 2017