Philip Dadson

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Philip Dadson
Napier, New Zealand
Years active1968–present
LabelsAtoll Records, Rattle Records, Flying Nun Records

Philip Dadson (born 1946 in Napier, New Zealand) ONZM is a New Zealand musician and artist, who was in the foundation group for the Scratch Orchestra and founder of From Scratch.[1] He lectured at the Elam School of Fine Arts, part of the University of Auckland from 1977, leaving in 2001 to take up full-time art practice.

He co-authored the 2007 book Slap Tubes and other Plosive Aerophones[2] with fellow instrument inventor Bart Hopkin, whose 1998 CD/book Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones had also featured Dadson's group From Scratch.

In 2010 the Wellington Sculpture Trust commissioned Akau Tangi, a wind powered sculpture installed on Cobham Drive, Wellington. The eight poles, some partly submerged in the sea, are each topped with a rotating cone that produce a low level musical note. The rotating cones also have an internal light source powered by the wind driven rotating cones.[3]

In 2015, a feature film documentary titled Sonicsfromscratch (dir. by Simon Ogston and Orlando Stewart), documenting Dadson's career, was premiered at the New Zealand International Film Festival.[4]

Aku Tangi , Phil Dadson, Cobam Drive, Wellington


Dadson is a Fine Arts graduate in sculpture from the Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. He also obtained a Master of Arts with honours from Nepean, West Sydney University.[5]

Awards and honours[edit]

Dadson has received the following awards and honours

  • 2001 Arts Foundation Laureate[5]
  • 2002-2003 New Zealand Antarctic Artist Fellowship[6]
  • 2005 New Zealand Order of Merit for services to art[7]
  • 2006 Fulbright-Wallace Arts Trust Award[8]


  1. ^ "Trish Clark Gallery". Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  2. ^ Hopkin, Bart, 1952- (2007). Slap tubes and other plosive aerophones : the greatest music-kaing idea that most people have never heard of. Dadson, Philip. Pt. Reyes Station, CA.: Experimental Musical Instruments. ISBN 978-0-9727313-4-8. OCLC 217261551.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Akau Tangi". Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  4. ^ Reid, Graham. "PHILIP DADSON: SONICS FROM SCRATCH, a doco by SIMON OGSTON and ORLANDO STEWART". Elsewhere by Graham Reid. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Phil Dadson | Arts Foundation Laureate". Arts Foundation. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  6. ^ "New Zealand Antarctic Arts Fellows" (PDF).
  7. ^ "The Queen's Birthday Honours List 2005". The Queen's Birthday Honours List 2005. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Phil Dadson – Fulbright-Wallace Arts Trust Award". Retrieved 4 December 2020.

External links[edit]