Milton grew up in Africa, Canada and Great Britain. He published some early poems in magazines like Paris Review and Brian Patten‘s Underdog. In 1969 his poetry was published in the anthology Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain. In the mid-sixties he began performing as a puppeteer, participating in numerous international festivals and appearing on So It Goes, the TV show hosted by Tony Wilson. He contributed a short scene for Terry Gilliam‘s film Jabberwocky.
In Eric Clapton‘s autobiography he describes hanging out with Ted at Milton’s girlfriend Clarissa’s apartment often in the summer of 1965. “Ted was the most extraordinary man. A poet and a visionary … he was the first person I ever saw physically interpreting music … to enact it with his entire being, dancing and employing facial expressions to interpret what he was hearing. Watching him, I understood for the first time how you could really live music, how you could listen to it and completely make it come alive, so that it was part of your life. It was a real awakening.”
In the late 1970s, he began to play alto saxophone and founded the group Blurt. The first single “My Mother Was a Friend of an Enemy of the People” was soon followed by the live album In Berlin (1981). Since then Blurt have released more than 20 records. They continue to tour and the new album Beneath Discordant Skies will be out in the autumn of 2015. While living in Brussels in the mid-1990s, Milton started making book-objects with found materials. These were shown at several exhibitions and have been taken up in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris as well as in the British Library.
Ted Milton also makes art objects and installations, having had shows at Nadine in Brussels and at the bookstore Tropisme, also in Brussels,
In 2001, Milton staged an homage to the Russian author of the absurd Daniil Kharms, “In Kharm’s Way”, a mixture of music, puppeteering and spoken word, with the electronic musician Sam Britton. In 2007 he collaborated again with Sam Britton in the “ODES”-project; an overview of 25 years solo work outside Blurt. Also Milton has recently completed “Elegiac” – a collaboration with Graham Lewis from the band Wire and Sam Britton (Icarus).
Plans are currently afoot to publish The Milton Text Book, a selection of his lyrics funded through kickstarter.
- Mungo (publ.: Jovane – 1963)
- LOVE, LOVE, LOVE : The New Love Poetry (including 4 poems by Ted Milton, edited by Pete Roche, publ.: Corgi Books, London 1967)
- Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain (publ.: Penguin 1969)
- The Old Pals’ Act (editor; Allison & Busby, London,
- He Also Serves Who Only Incubates (self-published 1977)
- Longes de Louanges (publ.: Tak Tak Tak – 1988)
- Pagan Strings vol.1 (self-publ. 1990, Book-object with found materials)
- Pagan Strings vol.2 (self-publ. 1990, Book-object with found materials)
- Pagan Strings vol.3 (self-publ. 1991, Book-object with found materials)
- Pagan Strings vol.4 (self-publ. 1991, Book-object with found materials)
- Treize (Pagans Strings vol.13 (self-publ. 1993, Book-object with found materials)
- Odes (publ. Nadine Brussels 2007, Book with CD and 7″ vinyl)