Mr. Robert D. Millis
Specialization: Music
Home institution in US: Sound Artist, Seattle, Washington
Host Institution in India: American Institute of Indian Studies, Gurgaon, Haryana   
Start date/Month in India: October 2012
Duration of grant: 9 months

Brief Bio:
Mr. Robert Millis has been involved in the practice and development of experimental music and sound art in Seattle, Washington for nearly twenty years. He has released over 20 CDs and LPs, composed music for film, theatre and choreography, created and curated audio installations, performed in the U.S. and Europe, and collaborated with visual artists and book designers. His approach has always been syncretic and inclusive: trying to erase boundaries between disciplines, between the old and the new, through collaboration. Traditional Asian music and the era of early recording (cylinders and 78 rpm records) are of particular interest and inspiration for him. He is the author of Victrola Favorites: Artifacts from Bygone Days (Dust-to-Digital 2008), a book of historic early recording documentation, ephemera and music drawn from Millis' 78rpm collection. In 2011, he produced and helped design …i listen to the wind that obliterates my traces (Dust-to-Digital), a similar book drawn from the collection of artist Steve Roden. In addition to composition, sound art practice and design, he has filmed and produced experimental documentaries on Asian music: Phi Ta Khon: Ghosts of Isan and This World is Unreal like a Snake in a Rope.

Mr. Millis’ Fulbright project, “Talking Machine: The Continuing Impact of the Gramophone,” will examine the early Indian 78rpm "gramophone" industry and its place in world music history by working with Indian music collectors, archives, musicians and new media sound artists. He aims to realize collaborative musical compositions based on this research as well as documentary projects highlighting the work of specific Indian collectors and artists.