Sonics From Scratch - Phil Dadson installations, performances, expt'l instruments/sculptures and compositions
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Dadsonics .: sonics .: Bio brief

Bio brief

Phil Dadson: sound & intermedia artist with a transdisciplinary practice including solo performances and exhibitions; building experimental musical instruments & sonic objects, digital video/audio & installation, music composition, graphic scores & drawing, sound sculptures and improvisations with invented instruments etc;
Founder of New Zealand's most original rhythm/performance group, From Scratch. Following membership of the foundation group for Scratch Orchestra (London 1969 with Cornelius Cardew, Michael Parsons & others), founded Scratch Orchestra (NZ), and later From Scratch (1974) – known internationally for its funky rhythms & intermedia performances on original instruments. Co-authored The From Scratch Rhythm Workbook with Don McGlashan, published by Heineman USA – a hands-on manual of rhythm exercises & invented instruments,derived via the from scratch experience; later, 'Slap Tubes and Other Plosive Aerophones', co-authored with Bart Hopkin, EMI, USA.

Highlights through the last decade-plus include: 2016Fulbright/HEADLANDS residency, San Francisco, (Wallace Arts Trust/NZ), SOUNDSMITHS. Centre for New Music, San Fran', NZIFF short film selection. 2015, SOUND ANATOMY / February Music: solo show, Trish Clark Gallery, Ak,NZ; 'JUMP into the Unknown' 56th Venice Biennale 9DragonHeads Collateral exhibition: WERK/KUNST/WERK exhibition, Kassel, Germany. SonicsFromScratch documentary by Simon Ogston & Orlando Stewart, NZIFF premiere 2014, PARALLEL HARMONIES . solo exhibition, Trish Clark Gallery, Ak/NZ. 2013, Home Economics, Aro Valley; CrossCurrents, Santiago, Chile; SCAPE 7, Christchurch; Peeling the Silence, Engine Room gallery Wn; Gongathong, Wilson Trust for disabled children. SONIC CYCLES, Teza site occupation, New Brighton, Christchurch. 2012, VitaminS Improvisers Festival. Ak. (Nov). THINGAMAJIGS invented instrument festival, Berkeley, San Francisco. (Oct). EARSHOT jazz festival, Seattle.US (Oct). Streaming Museum Tribute to John Cage. go to; PEELING THE UNSEEN, V Art Centre, Shanghai; BODYTOK QUINTET, TeManawa Art Gallery, Pataka Gallery, Porirua, Otago Museum, Dunedin. 2011, DEEP WATER exhibition, Starkwhite. BETWEEN WORLDS, NZ FilmFestival. HEADSTAMPS 11, Jury Prize, Wallace Art Awards. 3PAW, 9DHBiel/Bienne, Switzerland. Invented Instruments Orchestra festival, Ak. PAX, RAOUL ROCK RECORDS; Kermadec exhibition, Tauranga Art Gallery. OSMOSIS; Old Genes (homage to Len Lye) Govett Brewster gallery, New Plymouth. 2010, Nine DragonHeads, Korea & China: Sydney Biennale, Superdeluxe@Artspace performance: AKAU TANGI, wind sculpture, Wn. URBAN DEVAS, Ak. 2009, EARS, Nine DragonHeads in Sarajevo. TONGUES OF THE RELICS Sonic Museum. 2008, SUR POLAR, Buenos Aires. FIRESTARTERS (NZ Trio). 2007, Peace Rites, 175 East premiere, Sanskriti Residency, Delhi. 2006, nominee, WALTERS PRIZE; LICA visiting scholar, Lancaster UK; CONCERTINA, St Pauls St Gallery. 2005, TENANTENNAE, Connells Bay Sculpture Park; TAPPING THE PULSE. film&video survey show, Mediaplex, Wellington; REV @ Small Black Box, Brisbane; POLAR PROJECTS, Bowen Gallery & Physics Room. 2004, Solo performance, Physics Room; POLAR PROJECTS installation, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Starkwhite and Gus Fisher Galleries, Auckland; ECHO LOGO at World Wide Video Festival, Amsterdam; N8 : Night Festival of Sound, HFG/ZKM, Karlsruhe, in collaboration with Michael Saup and friends; Performance with Johannes Bauer (Berlin) and Rod Cooper (Melbourne); Stark Audio #3 : Solo at Stark White Gallery, Ak; 2003, VOCAL ACROBATS with Koichi Makigami, Mark van Tongeren and Clayton Thomas (AK03 Festival); Video Actions, Performance Space, Sydney; Solo, Impermanent.Audio, Sydney; Solo tour to Vienna, Prague, Tokyo. 2002, REV Festival of Experimental Musical Instruments, Brisbane; Adelaide Spotlight Festival. 2001, Solo performances in Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Seishin University & Tama Hall, Tokyo and Zeitflus Festival, Salzburg. 2000, Piano/Forte installation, Contemporary Art Annex, Christchurch NZ. 1999, Global Conceptualism, New York. 1998, GLOBAL HOCKETS, NZ Festival of Arts, Ars Electronica and World Wide Video Festival, Amsterdam.

Collaborations with Neil Feather, Michael Saup, Keiji Haino, Carl Stone, Bart Hopkin, Maruta Miki, Koichi Makigami, Mark van Tongeren, Johannes Bauer, Clayton Thomas, James Charlton, Amanda Newall, Pauline Oliveros, Rosy Parlane, Richard Francis, Eugene Chadborne,Tetuzi Akiyama, Tomomi Adachi, Akio Suzuki, Tom Nunn, Walter Kitundu, Ernie Althoff, Mark Sadgrove, IanJohn Hutchinson, John Bell, Paul Winstanley, Darryn Harkness, Richard Nunns, Jeff Henderson, Bonehead, Michael Morley, Eugene Hansen, Paul Buckton, Enrique Sique. Exhibited and performed in Sound Cultures; Tokyo, San Francisco & Auckland.
Awarded NZ ArtsFoundation Artist Laureate 2001.(, Antarctic Artist Fellowship 2003. NZOM 2004; Sanskriti artist residency, India 2007; Pew Trust / Kermadec commission 2010; Wallace/Fulbright Headlands residency 2016;
(full CV/bio' available on request),

film and videography: 1971 –

EARTHWORKS 1971 recording/perf event. 15 diverse earth locations. single channel

BREATH 1975 earth/breath, birth/death : 2 channel. 15’

PHYSICAL 1976. 4 channel

TRIAD 1 1977. Video/sound performance. single channel 13’

GUNG HO 123D. 1982. (Video document) From Scratch music-performance work. (3 of 7 sections) 15’

DRUM/SING. 1984 dr Gregor Nicholas. (super 16mm) From Scratch film performance work. 20’
(first prize, NewYork film festival 1985)

SOUTH 1985. 4 x 9’ dvds Super 8 exptl film remade as 4 channel video work 2005.
Exptl travel movie made during FromScratch tour, South Island, N.Z.

FOOTSTEP HOCKET 1990 devised for 36 monitor video-wall 10’
(polyrhythmic patterning of feet / shoes)

UNCHARTED CROSSING 1989 single channel video/audio 10’

SOUND STORIES. 1991. Meetings with 14 US experimental instrument builders and
Performers single channel 60’

MALEI VILLAGE 1991. Documentary of music of the Tonohu people, Solomon Is. 12’

LAOVAVASA 1992. 36 monitor video wall document. 5’

PACIFIC 3,2,1,ZERO part 1. 1994. Dir; Gregor Nicholas. From Scratch film performance work
Nuclear protest work against French testing in Pacific. 20’ (ist prize Cannes/Midem’95)

PACIFIC 3,2,1,ZERO parts 1 & 2. 1986 Live document from performance at AK Girls Grammar Gym

RESONANCE 2. 1994. Video/audio single channel 15’

AN ARCHEOLOGY OF STONES. 1995. Video/audio single channel 15’

ARCS & SPARKS 1997 archival film montage with live free-improv’ FromScratch audio track.

GLOBAL HOCKETS 1999. From Scratch / Supreme Particles. 50’ Live performance document.

MAYA. 2000 (orchestral counter-millenial fanfare) single channel 7’

CONUNDRUM QUARTET. 2000. four video/audio installations: HA, HU, HO, HE

PIANO/FORTE. 2000. Installation document. Rob/McDougall Contemp. Art Annex 5’

CONFERENCE OF DRUMS. 2000 sound-sculpture document 7’

THREE SHORT FILMS. 2000. Live performance document of 3 part work commissioned
by pianist Dan Poynton (intermedia piano work) 15’

MANGROVE 2000/2001 singel channel video 8’ cycle.

PACIFIC PLATE 2001 sampler; From Scratch live performance

LIVE @ REV. . 2002 Live solo performance document (Rev festival of experimental instruments, Brisbane)

VOCAL ACROBATS 2003 sampler of AK03 ( performance with Koichi Makigami, Mark van Tongeren etc

POLAR PROJECTS : 2003 / 2005 (6 xvideo/audio installation series derived from a project in Antarctica 2003)
ECHO-LOGO 2003 single channel
AERIALFARM 2004 single channel
STONEMAP 2004 3 channel including stonegrind (plus Rock-Records drawing suite)
CHTHONIAN PULSE 2004 3 channel
TERRA INCOGNITA 2005 3 channel, optionally interactive.
ARC 2006 single channel

NOW 2005 7’ ostifan-sonics and text, single channel

INCANTATION 2006 2 channel 8’

INDIA videos
PROCESSIONAL 2007 single channel. 4’
ANANDAGRAM 2007 single channel 9’
PABU 2007 single channel 7’

BODYTOK QUINTET – The Human Instrument Archive. (2006 on. A continuing project)

BREATH OF WIND 2008 two channel.

HEADSTAMPS 11 Silk Road Rites. 2010 single channel.

DEEP WATER 2011 3 channel installation.

BETWEEN WORLDS 2011 single channel.

PAX 2011 two channel. (Kermadec exhibition)

YINYANGSHUO 2012 single channel.


SONIC CYCLES : BICYCLE CHOIR (2013) . single channel (

36 x 360s on WUDANGSHAN . (2013) single channel, (60')

ARID EDGE (7') (Desert Projects) 2014 single channel . (a triad of videos shot in Atacama desert, Chile 2013)
DESERT TOMB (20') (Desert Projects) 2014 single channel
HEADSTAMP (5') (Atacama) 2014 single channel

COMPASS OF FRAILTY (2014) – a three x video installation, produced for 'Unstuck in Time' Te Tuhi Gallery, 2014.

KAURI CHOIR (2014) - single channel collaborative video project for Kauri exhibition, TeUru Gallery, West Auckland.

ANATOMIA SONORA DA CAMERA (18') single channel video produced for JUMP into the Unknown. 9Dragon Heads. 56th Venice Biennale. 2015

HEAVY METAL (16') Schmidtsche Schack Factory Percussion Ensemble : two screen video/audio. 2015
produced for the exhibition Werk/Kunst/Werk, Kassel, Nordhessen, Germany.