Phil Dadson
Phil Dadson 


Phil Dadon's works with From Scratch (Gung Ho 123D, Pacific 321 Zero, and Global Hockets) have been described as ‘among the greatest works in any art form to come of this country’”.
- Wystan Curnow, 2000



Phil Dadson is an intermedia artist whose sound-based artworks take many forms; performances (solo and collaborative), videos, installations that scrunch underfoot or surprise one with singing skulls and talking drums; radio works, sound-sculptures and invented experimental musical instruments such as the ‘gloop’ family, Spida-Nebula, Zitherum, Nundrum, & song-stones; compositions, graphic scores and sound stories.

Born in Napier, Phil is a Fine Arts graduate in sculpture from the University of Auckland/Elam School of Fine Arts, and he holds a Master of Arts with honours from Nepean, West Sydney University. In 1968/69, while still studying for his fine arts degree, Phil’s experience as a member of the foundation group for Scratch Orchestra (London) that galvanised his approach to art and music making. In 1970 he founded Scratch Orchestra (NZ), and in 1974 the music/performance group From Scratch. Since retiring from his position as senior lecturer and head of Intermedia at Elam in late 2001, Phil has devoted his energies to his own work. He has received many major awards and commissions that have taken him to all corners of the globe, enabling him to undertake or participate in a vast array of creative endeavours, including:

The REV (real-electronic-virtual) Festival in Brisbane,

The Artist-to-Antarctica fellowship (2003), and Polar Projects (a body of video/sound work derived from his Antarctic experience),

TENANTENNAE sound-sculpture was launched at the Connells Bay Sculpture Park on Waiheke Island,

An artist-in-residency at Sanskriti, India,

Slap Tubes and other Plosive Instruments – a DIY guide to building a variety of slap tube instruments,

S3D (in collaboration with Atoll Records), an experimental instrument builder and performer festival (available as a CD/DVD set),

Mutref sur Polar in Buenos Aires, Argentina,

Nine Dragon Heads (in Korea, Sarajevo & China),

Akua Tangi (wind sculpture),

Urban Devas,

Firestarters (NZ Trio commission),

Peace Rites (175 East premiere),

Tapping the Pulse (film & video, Wellington),

Echo Logo (Amsterdam),

Night Festival of Sound (HFG/ZKM, Karlsruhe in collaboration with Michael Saup and friends),

Impermanent Audio (Sydney),

Stark Audio #3 (solo performance at Stark White Gallery, Auckland),

A solo tour to Vienna, Prague, Tokyo in 2003, and numerous collaborations with Michael Saup, Keiji Haino, Carl Stone, 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, Mark Sadgrove, Ian John Hutchinson, John Bell & Paul Winstanley and Richard Nunns.

Phil was the recipient of a NZ Arts Foundation Artist Laureate award in 2001.

The sound world of FROM SCRATCH is unique to Aotearoa/New Zealand, and Songs for Heroes is unlike any album you are ever likely to hear. 

For more information, visit and Phil Dadson at Furious