Dr Dave Payling

Associate Professor

Digital, Tech, Innovation & Business

Dave is an audio-visual artist and associate professor, based in Staffordshire UK. His formative research centred on sonification and auditory display and his composition ‘Listen (Awakening)’ was performed at the Sydney Opera House as part of the ICAD conference in 2004.

His more recent work focuses on composition for Electronic Visual Music fusing digital animation with electronic music. His book on this subject is available through Routledge. Dave’s compositions have been performed at the Soundings Festival Edinburgh, MANTIS Festival University of Manchester, flEXiff Experimental Film Festival Sydney Australia, Seeing Sound Bath Spa, ICMC Shanghai, NoiseFloor Staffordshire and the Understanding Visual Music Conference in Brasilia, Brazil.

Dave also produces more mainstream Electronic music and is From the Floor section editor for Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Academic qualifications

  • PhD (Film, Media and Music) Staffordshire University.
  • Visual Music Composition with Electronic Sound and Video MSc (Music Technology) York University.
  • PGCE (Design and Technology) Sheffield Hallam University.
  • BEng (Hons) First Class Honours in Electronic Systems and Control Engineering. Sheffield Hallam University.


  • Visual music
  • audio-visual composition
  • electronic music composition
  • sound synthesis
  • music software

Research interests

Visual Music Electronic Dance Music Audio-visuals I supervise PhD research projects and invite applications for those interested in:

  • Visual music
  • Electronic music
  • Audio-visual composition and performance and related disciplines.


  • Heatwork is an Arts Council UK funded project bringing together experimental music and video composers alongside local and international musicians. The project aims to widen participation in experimental music and audio-visual artforms, engage with the local community, musicians and industrial partners and foster collaboration, and celebrate and disseminate the cultural heritage of the potteries industry.



  • Audio mastering
  • Experimental music composition
  • Individual Projects


  • Research methods
  • Audio visual composition and performance
  • Mastering and surround Masters projects 


  • PAYLING, Dave. 2023. Electronic Visual Music: The Element of Audiovisual Creativity. 1st Edition. London: Focal Press
  • PAYLING, Dave.2022. Explosions in the Mind: Composing Psychedelic Sounds and Visualisations (Jon Weinel) Book Review. Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture 14 (1). ISSN 1947-5403
  • PAYLING, Dave and St John, Graham. 2020. Dance Culture in the Time of Corona. Editor's Introduction. Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture 12 (1). pp. 1-2. ISSN: 1947-5403
  • PAYLING, Dave. 2019. Approaches to Composition in Visual Music: An Artist’s Reflection on Three Original Pieces. Leonardo Music Journal 29. ISSN 0961-1215
  • PAYLING, Dave. 2017. Lumia and Visual Music: Using Thomas Wilfred’s Lumia factors to inform audiovisual composition. eContact! Online Journal for Electroacoustic Practices 19 (2).
  • PAYLING, Dave. 2016. The DiY Free Party Collective. Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture 8 (1). ISSN 1947-5403
  • PAYLING, Dave. 2007. Hue Music – Creating Timbral Soundscapes from Coloured Pictures. International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD) McGill University, Montreal Quebec Canada

External profiles

Heatwork - Video and Music Electronics

Heatwork - Video and Music Electronics


The video and electronic elements from Heatwork 2019

Sorry, this video requires the use of functional cookies which you have not consented to use. Change your cookie settings or watch the video on the provider's website

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021