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Phil Dadson’s work for this edition is in two parts; Between Worlds, a video work made in 2011, and a selection of 10 Sound Stories from a series dating from the mid 1970s to the present.

Dadson fuses the temporal elements of sound and image in Between Worlds to create a specific physicality and pulse unique to his prolific video practice. The triadic (canoe-prow) reference implicit to many of his works inverses the image and creates a 360 dimension, inviting the viewer into an alternate world to experience the rhythm of the work. Between Worlds suggests we are conduits for a world of sounds and images at once real and illusory, and that instead of taking a breath ourselves, we are breathed by nature.

The archive of 10 Sound Stories are personal insights into Dadson’s sonic experience that speak to a wider experience of sound and place. For Dadson, Sound Stories are the “experience of sound over and above any other experience. This focus on sound may occur in terms of either natural or magical occurrences ranging from the breath or voice of the unseen, to awesome sounds experienced in life; or, as stories that feature sound in relation to people, animals or objects endowed with supernatural or seductive powers or simply stories that obtain significance from the world of sound.”

These stories are activated once again by the act of re-telling, acting like an echo that creates and draws from a collective universal experience of sound, highlighting the significance listening has on our lives.

Phil Dadson 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 – 2020), known widely for it’s rhythmic and distinctive performances on original instruments. In 2001 he was made an Arts Foundation Laureate and in 2005 an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Born in Napier, Aotearoa 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 Aotearoa 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 some four-decade history, and is a co-author with Bart Hopkin of ‘Plosive Aerophones’ a book on the design and construction of slaptube instruments.

From Scratch (1974 – 2020) 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 group work Pacific Plate in 2000, Dadson continued with a more solo-based practice, under the name sonicsfromscratch.

In 2017, at the invitation of Auckland Arts Festival the group reconvened for a major exhibition and performance series in 2018/19 and in 2020 made a regional, national tour of NZ with Arts on Tour.