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Red Contributor


Philip Dadson

Composer

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Born: 1946

Biography

Phil Dadson is a sound and intermedia artist with an interdisciplinary practice including solo performances and exhibitions, building experimental instruments and sonic objects, video/sound installation; music composition, graphic scores and improvisations on invented instruments. He is the founder of the sound-performance group, From Scratch, (1974 – 2002), known widely for its rhythmic and distinctive performances on original instruments. In 2005 he was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Born in Napier, New Zealand 1946, he later studied at Elam School of Fine Arts, and played piano in University Jazz Workshop. Before completing the course he travelled to London and from 1968 -9 was a member of the foundation group for a scratch orchestra, London, with Cornelius Cardew, Michael Parsons and others.

Returning to New Zealand mid 1969 he continued study at Elam, graduating Dip FA Hons in sculpture and performance, 1971. In 1970 he founded scratch orchestra (NZ) and later in 1974, From Scratch. Until 1976 he worked as a moving image maker (SeeHear films), co-founded Alternative Cinema (Auckland) and was a lecturer in intermedia at Elam from 1977 – 2001. A co-author of the ‘From Scratch Rhythm Workbook’, he has also collaborated on two international award-winning performance films of From Scratch with director Gregor Nicholas, has released numerous LPs and CDs of FS over its nearly three decade history, and is a co-author with Bart Hopkin of ‘Plosive Aerophones’ a book on the design and construction of slaptube instruments (see www.windworld.com/emi).

FROM SCRATCH (1974 – 2002) developed an international reputation for an innovative sound/performance style that included sculptural, ritual and theatrical elements. Large custom-built instruments of extruded plastics, industrial and natural materials were used to create a variety of strictly non-electronic sounds and energetic rhythms. In 1998, ‘Global Hockets’, a collaborative project with Frankfurt based group Supreme Particles was toured in Europe. Following the final group work Pacific Plate, Dadson has continued with a more solo-based practice, under the name sonicsfromscratch.

In 2013 Dadson exhibited and performed with the Kermadec exhibition in Santiago Chile; devised and curated ‘Sounding Tiritiri Matangi’ a collaborative event with twenty plus musicians creating sonic interventions on the island’s walking tracks (repeated in 2014), devised Sonic Cycles, a bicycle-choir for the Teza site-occupation in New Brighton, Christchurch, and exhibited Bodytok Quintet as part of Scape 7 Biennale. In 2014 he toured with Taonga Puoro player Rob Thorne and Chilean musician Enrique Siques in X-Current, culminating in a performance at Audio Foundation (Auckland) as part of the S3D Invented Instrument minifest.

[As a recipient of an Arts Foundation Laureate Award more information about Philip Dadson can be found on the Arts Foundation website.]

In terms of pure sound, I am attracted to intricate texture; the microscopic, the unexpected, the naturally rhythmic and the adventurous; to sound atmospheres and layered perspectives, to sounds that conjure mood and imagination, that convey ideas and express the human heart and soul.


Works (71)

273 Moons

scored work for saxophone quartet and 6 vocalists, 8m


6's + 7's

for soprano saxophone, piano horns, vocals, 8m


7 Airports: solos, duets, chorus

electroacoustic work, 12m


After Half Life

for guitar, piano, percussion and electronics, co-composed with Tetuzi Akiyama and Andrew McMillan


After Half Life

for guitar, piano, percussion and electronics, co-composed with Tetuzi Akiyama and Andrew McMillan


Airborne

improvisation for zitherum, 2m


An Archaeology of Stones

a sound/performance with 'song stones' and sound stories, 14m


Anzart

in Hobart, Tasmania International Radio Solstice Celebration


Blood And Bone

parts 1-4 (for any instruments)


BODYTOK

a three screen interactive video installation


Breath of Wind

a sound and video work featuring 17 hot air balloons and the Levin Brass Band


Coloured Purple

for guitar, piano, percussion and electronics, co-composed with Tetuzi Akiyama and Andrew McMillan


Crossings

for two pianos


Depth Soundings

scripted work for sound/ performance, 30m


Devil's Incognito

for guitar, piano, percussion and electronics, co-composed with Tetuzi Akiyama and Andrew McMillan


Drum-Head

for hand-drum, voice, pin-spot, microphone


Drum/Sing

group composition tuned percussion, voices and drones , 'From Scratch', 26m


Echo-Loop

Video installation


Ecliptic

improvisation for voice and looping pedal, 5m


Existential Dilemma

for guitar, piano, percussion and electronics, co-composed with Tetuzi Akiyama and Andrew McMillan


Eye/Drum

For tuned PVC pipes, soprano saxophone and percussion. Players also use their voices., 29m


Fait Accompli

for guitar, piano, percussion and electronics, co-composed with Tetuzi Akiyama and Andrew McMillan


Fax To Paris

nuclear protest, 8m


Finger Pot Rag

scored work for From Scratch ensemble, 15m


Global Hockets

Performed by From Scratch with Supreme Particles (Germany), 1h


Gloop

improvisation for Gloopdrum, 1m


Gloop 2

improvisation for Gloopdrum, 1m


Ground Plans/soundtracks

Sonic Circus, Wellington, Artspace, Auckland


Gung Ho 1,2,3,d

for pitched percussion, PVC pipes, dulcett chimes, drums and drones, 1h


Laced cool

improvisation for long-stringed zitherum, 1m


Let's Dance Jack

for aeolia and voice


March Piece

any instrument(s)


MAYA

a counter-millennial fanfare for orchestra, 6m


Mirage

for guitar, piano, percussion and electronics, co-composed with Tetuzi Akiyama and Andrew McMillan


Naturanotation I

a digital print


Naturanotation II

a digital print


No Turning Back

for guitar, piano, percussion and electronics, co-composed with Tetuzi Akiyama and Andrew McMillan


Novaya Zemlya

for guitar, piano, percussion and electronics, co-composed with Tetuzi Akiyama and Andrew McMillan


Obliquely

improvisation for nundrum, 15m


On a Theme

for orchestra, chorus and drummers


Out-In

for pitched percussion and reeds, 25m


Pacific 3,2,1, Zero

for voices percussion and invented instruments, 25m


Pagodadagap

for gamelan orchestra, 12m


Parabola

outdoor drumming event


Peace Rites

for mixed chamber sextet comprised of winds and strings, 14m


Peel the unseen

improvisation for zitherum and ostifans, 12m


Perfect Imperfect

for guitar, piano, percussion and electronics, co-composed with Tetuzi Akiyama and Andrew McMillan


Plate Tectonics

for song-stones, water, sampling pedal and microphone


Play

a graphic score for scratch orchestra


Polar Projects

Seven video/sound works


Prayerwheel

solo work for long string zitherum and toy drum, 7m


Resonance 2

a scripted and improvised work for video/ performance, 25m


Sister's Dance

for solo piano, 13m


Solar Plexus

a collective event for the initiation of the annual Solstice drumming event


Solo

an improvisation for sprongs and voice, 8m 14s


Solo to Trio

an improvisation for gloopdrum, sprong families, naiolin and voice, 16m 12s


Songs for Heroes

for tuned percussion, 50m


TENANTENNAE

a sound-sculpture installed at Connells Bay Sculpture Park, Waiheke Island


Three Short Films

animated plays on the piano (some inner piano sounds), 14m


To a circular mirror

improvisation for song stones, l/p, zitherum, nundrum, and ostifans, 21m


Torque

for three long-string Zitherum, 12m


Triad 1

for piano and drone, 20m


Vom 5

loop music


Vom 6

for 3 or 4 drummers


Vom 7

for 'waxing and waning influences' (drumming)


Vom Variations 1-4

random pitched percussion


Waipiro

improvisation using song stones, 1m


Zitherum Voice

electroacoustic, 8m



Resources (3)