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Frank Millward explores the intersection between fine art, music and theatre making, and how technology is turning the arts into a fertile ground for innovative research.

An accomplished composer, multimedia artist, teacher and academic, Frank Millward makes visual art and connects it with sound. His research focuses on the way technology has transformed possibilities for interactive performance, and how an interdisciplinary approach leads to new knowledge and innovation.

The connections between scientific and artistic visualisation processes have fascinated Dr Millward since he was studying computer music composition at the City University of New York as part of his MA in the early eighties, with the likes of Myron Fink and Charles Dodge.

From the moment technology began transforming the music industry with file sharing, online user experience and computer-generated composition, the lines blurred between the technical and the artistic.

“There was a shift toward an understanding of the importance of the role of technology in the research process in music that can be adapted to other circumstances,” he says. “It is about interactive engagement, about the relationships between technology, science and art and the way these can work together.”

Dr Millward has worked in the performing arts industry throughout his career, with each of his research projects being realised as major works.

In 1982 he became composer-in-residence with the Lumiere and Son Theatre Company, where he wrote numerous scores and directed a number of works, winning the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1986 for his electroacoustic experimental dance/theatre piece, Brightside.

He returned to his native Australia for the Expo in 1988 and worked as a musical director, composer and producer for, among others, the Queensland Symphony, Melbourne Theatre Company, ABC TV and the Queensland Theatre Company. He taught popular music and composition at Southern Cross University and ran the jazz course at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music while pursuing his professional career as a performer and producing records for a number of high profile performers including Michael Hutchence, Grace Knight, Ollie Olsen and Noiseworks.

He became the first person to be awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award Industry (APAI) scholarship for music, which he used to complete his PhD in music and applied technologies from the University of Queensland in 2001.

It was at this time that Dr Millward developed his enduring interest in the relationship between sound and image. Digital editing processes meant there were great similarities between the production of video and music. He began to explore how we interpret the complex interactions between the acoustic and the visual.

A theme through many of his recent projects has been the expression of sound as moving image, and how moving images can inform our perception of sound. This interest led to a series of innovative works such as the DVD Uneasy Dreams, in which he developed abstract three dimensional spectrographic moving images to represent the attributes of sound, and then tested these for their emotive impact.

Dr Millward was Professor of Music in the School of Fine Art at Kingston University in London, where he continued to create works for film, television, theatre and site specific performance. These included Dining With Alice, where performance merged with an interactive dining experience, A Perfect Day, an outdoor mixed media event including music performance, multimedia projections, fireworks and pageant, and London Memories, which used mobile technologies to foster community creative interaction.

As Professor and Head of the School of Creative Arts in Newcastle, he sees a unique opportunity to foster inter-disciplinarity between theatre making, fine art and music, particularly in relation to technology and creating interactive performance.

His practice-led approach seeks to define the complex nature of arts research and its place in the broader Australian research landscape.


  • PhD (Music), University of Queensland, 13/03/2001
  • Bachelor of Arts, Griffith University, 04/08/1999
  • Master of Arts, Hunter College - City University of New York - USA, 03/06/1981


Research keywords

  • Compositional approaches in time based art
  • Computer based audio-visual recording and production
  • Improvisation and creative process
  • Information technology and multimedia design
  • Interactive multimedia performance
  • Internet-based media design and production
  • Site specific art and mobile technologies
  • Sound design and moving image production
  • Technology-based learning environments
  • Voice studies focusing on affect utterance

Research expertise

Sound design and moving image production

Audio art, information technology and multimedia production

Internet-based media design and production

Computer based audio-visual recording and production

Site specific time based work involving mobile technologies

Technology-based learning environments


  • English
  • Italian

Fields of Research

130201Creative Arts, Media And Communication Curriculum And Pedagogy35
130309Learning Sciences35
080305Multimedia Programming30


Body relevant to professional practice.

  • Member - The Australian Music Centre (AMC)
  • Member - The Musician's Union – Australian and U.K.
  • Member - The Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA) / (PRS)
  • Member - Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS) AMCOS
  • Member - Institute of Contemporary Art (London)

Committee/Associations (relevant to research).

  • Member - Association of Computing Machining (ACM)


  • Member - University and College Union (UK)


Visiting Research Fellow
Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University (Australia)
01/01/1995 - 01/12/1996


External Examiner
Queensland University, Griffith University and Southern Cross University, Australia (PHD Examiner.)
External Examiner
Goldsmiths Foundation, Middlesex University, Academy of Contemporary Music, Guildford , United Kingdom (External Examiner.)
Contemporary Popular Music (CPM) Consultant
Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB), Australia (External Examiner.)
Invited Presenter
Music Teachers Assn , Australia (Invited Presenter)
Invited Presenter
AusMusic, Australia (Invited Presenter)
Lecturer/Workshop Presenter
Birmingham Arts Lab, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Albany Empire Arts Centre, Deptford. E15 Acting School. Wimbledon School of Art and Design. Warwick University. Institute of Contemporary Art, London, United Kingdom (Invited Presenter)


Dr Millward's Current Research Projects include:

"London Memories" - A knowledge exchange collaboration between STROMATOLITE and Kingston University - funded through Creativeworks London (AHRC). This project uses London’s locations and mobile technologies to bring communities together and celebrate narratives about where they live and work. Initiated through a series of curated “Son et Lumiere” events, it aims to engage communities in creative interaction, and stimulate memories with the aid of existing and created, visual and sonic, tangible and intangible mnemnic triggers.

"Visiosonics" – Digital Media and Art – (working title of book-in-progress) - This writing explores the practical, theoretical and conceptual aspects that have informed, influenced and supported the evolution of the term ‘music’ through its digital adaptations into the worlds of ‘sonic art’ or ‘audio art’. This shifting perception can be observed in audio-visual, abstracted, conceptual and / or site-specific contemporary art practices. The narrative traces the effect and impact of the transition from analogue to digital and the ways in which developments in media technologies have accompanied changes in art practices.

"Conversations With My Voice" - This collaborative performance research project combines multimedia, theatre and music for audiences to witness the surreal, sonic experience of a singer in conversation with her voice. Represented as a pre-recorded nasendoscopy projection of soprano Heather Keens’ vocal folds, her ‘inner voice’ becomes a virtual screen character in an interactive engagement with her as she sings.

"Music in perpetual beta" - collaborative research project with Professor Paul Draper, Griffith University, Australia. The project examines disruptive processes (time-space compression) arising from network engagement as a means of creative exchange across three primary foci: improvisation, composition and closure.

"BoldAs" – A series of works for brass trio (Tuba, Trombone, Saxophone/s) and electronics - commissioned by CONFLUX. Each player is prepared with on-body speaker dissemination systems to facilitate interactive electro-acoustic works in site-specific situations. Recorded materials are stored and played back using on-body mp3 players. Video On Vimeo.

"The Visual Voice" (ongoing project) - in collaboration with ENT consultant Mr John Rubin and team - investigating software usage of programs like - MAX/MSP Jitter, Ableton Live, ArKaos GrandVJ - interactive applications for exploring ideas about affect utterance, the voice and its live interactive abstract representation in performance. Works produced include - Conversations With My Voice, From Anger To Sadness #1, #2, #3, #4.


Administrative expertise

Tour Manager - Arts Council of Queensland, Queensland Theatre Company(1973)

Assistant Accountant - JS Watts & Co, Brisbane (1971-72)

Recording Studio Owner/ Manager - Moore Park Records, Sydney (1987-90)

Company Director, Freelance Producer / Composer / Musician - Millward Music Pty Ltd (1986-90)


Teaching keywords

  • Multimedia and information technology
  • Performance theory and practice
  • Postgraduate research supervision MA & PhD
  • Practice-based research
  • Sound design & moving image

Teaching expertise

Sound design & moving image

Multimedia and information technology

Postgraduate research supervision MA & PhD

Performance theory and practice

Practice-based research



For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Chapter (1 outputs)

2009Millward F, 'Developing Moving Images for the Multimedia Performance 'From Anger to Sadness'', Performing Technology, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne 72-86 (2009) [B1]

Journal article (3 outputs)

2013Millward F, 'The practice-led Fine Art Ph.D. - At the frontier of what there is - An outlook on what might be', Journal of Visual Art Practice, 12 121-133 (2013) [C1]
2011Millward RF, 'Visiosonics - Developing moving images in direct response to sound - Improving with Technology', International Journal of Preformance Arts and Digital Media, 7 171-188 (2011) [C1]
2010Millward RF, 'Emotions Constrained - Voicing the Sounds of Sighs', Resonate Magazine, (2010) [O1]

Conference (4 outputs)

2011Trupp R, Millward F, Hunter G, 'Driving a wedge - Through sound', Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics (2011) [E2]
2010Millward RF, 'Visiosonics: the creation of sounds/image works: re-evaluating the idea of composer as 'sonic designer'', Forum for Innovation in Music Production and Composition (FIMPaC), Leeds (2010) [E3]
2009Millward RF, 'Emotive utterance as moving image: representation, interpretation and perception', Theatre Noise, London, UK (2009) [E3]
2006Millward RF, 'From Anger To Sadness #2 - #1', Goldsmith University Intimacy Conference, York University Netvotech (2006) [J2]
Show 1 more

Creative Work (37 outputs)

2014Millward RF, London Sinfonietta¿s CoCurate (2014)
2014Millward RF, London Sinfonietta¿s CoCurate (2014)
2013Millward RF, LONDON MEMORIES,, Online (2013) [J1]
2012Millward RF, Conversations with my Voice, The Block, QUT, Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia, Brisbane, Australia (2012) [J2]
2012Millward RF, James A, Draper P, Williams C, The Mudhead Dance (2012)
2011Millward RF, Used To Be Slime, Wollongong, NSW (2011) [J1]
2011Millward RF, The Jazz Cat Miaou, Wollongong, Australia (2011) [J1]
2011Millward RF, Gasteen L, Song Book 2, Wollongong, NSW (2011) [J1]
2011Millward RF, Song Book 1, Wollongong, NSW (2011) [J1]
2011Millward RF, Dining with Alice, ELSING HALL, NORFOLK, Norfolk, United Kingdom (2011) [J2]
2011Millward RF, BoldAs, Merchant City Festival, Glasgow, Glasgow (2011) [J2]
2011Millward RF, Stilt Dance, Wollongong, NSW (2011) [J2]
2011Millward RF, The Breeze and You, Wollongong, NSW (2011) [J2]
2011Millward RF, Bring Back Da Babadoah Bada : For Brass Quintet, Wollongong, NSW (2011) [J2]
2010Millward RF, Solo Piano 3, Wollongong, NSW (2010) [J1]
2010Millward RF, Used to be Slime, Glasgow, United Kingdom (2010) [J2]
2010Millward RF, Uneasy Dreams ¿ The Delta Saxophone Quartet (2010)
2009Millward RF, From Anger to Sadness #3, Glasgow (2009) [J2]
2008Millward RF, Solo Piano 2, Wollongong, NSW (2008) [J1]
2007Millward RF, The Lament of Lucy Vaughn-Harding, Kingston (2007) [J2]
2006Millward RF, Misterioso (2006) [J2]
2006Millward RF, U-238 Work in Progress (2006) [J2]
2006Millward RF, Solo Piano, Wollongong, NSW (2006)
2005Millward RF, Vulture Culture - The Songs, Albert Hall (2005) [J2]
2002Millward RF, The 50 Year Parade - Queen's Golden Jubilee Parade - London, London (2002) [J2]
2001Millward RF, A Perfect Day, Salisbury (2001) [J2]
2001Millward RF, Gale D, Dining with Alice, Grosvenor Place, NSW (2001)
1996Millward RF, Supermarket Pavane, Brisbane (1996) [J2]
1993Millward RF, And Now Freedom (1993) [J2]
1989Millward RF, Heart for the Future, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne (1989) [J2]
1989Millward RF, The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Albury/Wodonga NSW (1989) [J2]
1988Millward RF, Tip Top Condition (1988) [J2]
1986Millward RF, Entertaining Strangers (1986) [J2]
1985Millward RF, Brightside (1985) [J2]
1983Millward RF, Senseless (1983) [J2]
1982Millward RF, Slips (1982) [J2]
1982Millward RF, Circus Lumiere - The Australian Production (1982) [J2]
Show 34 more

Other (1 outputs)

2008Millward RF, 'Music, Sound and Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Digital Arts', ( pp.Online Recording): Griffith University Radio IMERSD (2008) [O1]

Grants and Funding


Number of grants11
Total funding$129,700

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2014 (1 grants)

London Sinfonietta’s CoCurate$25,000
Funding Body: CreativeWorks London - Creative Voucher Scheme

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research CouncilChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2013 (1 grants)

London Memories -$26,000
Funding Body: CreativeWorks London - Creative Voucher Scheme

CreativeWorks London (2013) Chief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2012 (1 grants)

Conversations With My Voice $3,000
Funding Body: Brisbane Festival 2012

CommissionChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2011 (2 grants)

Dining with Alice$6,000
Funding Body: Norfolk & Norwich

Commission by Artichoke Trust for the Norfolk & Norwich FestivalInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

Funding Body: Conflux Glasgow

Commissioned by Conflux Merchant City Festival Glasgow Chief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2010 (1 grants)

Used to be Slime$10,000
Funding Body: Conflux Merchant City Festival Glasgow

Festival CommissionInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2009 (2 grants)

From Anger To Sadness #3$8,000
Funding Body: National Review of Live Art - Glasgow

Scottish Arts CouncilChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

The Visual Voice (Kingston Performances)$3,000
Funding Body: LondonArts Council

Kingston Council - Festival of the Voice 2009Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2007 (2 grants)

The Lament of Lucy Vaughn-Harding$3,000
Funding Body: London Arts Council Kingston branch

CommissionChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

From Anger To Sadness #1$1,200
Funding Body: NetVoTech

AHRC Project by Prof David HowardChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

2000 (1 grants)

Various works prior to 2007$40,000
Funding Body: Various - as named

CommissionsChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions0

No Supervisions.


Professor Roderick (Frank) Millward

Work Phone(02) 4921 7422
Cell / Mobile Phone0417115062
PositionHead of School
School of Creative Arts
School of Creative Arts
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Level 3, Social Science Building,