January 2017



This Waitangi Day at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, it would be my pleasure to invite you as a guest to A Wedding - a ritualistic performance ceremony during which I'll marry myself to the land.

A Wedding
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o
 Waiwhetu
Waitangi Day | 6th February | 3pm |
 Free


This will be my first Christchurch show in over six years. Hope you catch the bouquet.

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July 2015



I'm chuffed to share the Muscles EP - the first single from my next album, Zealandia (details on the album below). The EP collects Muscles, its three remixes, and I Lost My Voice, an electronic reworking of my 2008 song On the Shoulders of the Earth. The EP artwork is by Gavin Hurley. 
Big loves to the contributing artists!

Digital EP available from iTunes | Bandcamp | SoundCloud

7" & CD EP package availabe from The Shop - hand-numbered, limited edition of 75.



Meanwhile...



I'm incredibly excited to announce my new album, Z E A L A N D I A !

Zealandia is a passionate love album to our land, and the final part of the trilogy that began in 2008 with The Awakening, and continued with Forest. It features full symphony orchestra, the New Zealand Youth Choir and electronic beats made from samples of our continent.

Here's a feature introducing the album by Sunday Magazine, and here's my interview on Radio New Zealand's Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman.

I'm hugely grateful to over 200 people who raised $13,595 via crowd-funding platform Boosted - well above our target of $12,000. With your koha, I'll spend the coming months finishing the record, before taking it to the UK in 2016. I'll be updating the Zealandia project via Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

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June 2015




It's been a long time in training, but I'm now very happy to share a new song and video, Muscles.

Download for free below via Soundcloud, and head to The Pantograph Punch for a background to the song, video and the people who helped me make them.









Photography by Max Bellamy.

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November 2014



Deforestation is out! All the details on the new remix album are in the news item below, but to listen to/buy the digital album utilise the player below or pop over here, and to buy the limited edition combined 180g 12" vinyl & CD package head to the shop.
 


Radio New Zealand's The Wireless are hosting the audio of a feature on the making of Deforestation, from the perspectives of three remixing contributors: Stef Animal, Barbara Morgenstern & Martin Schmidt of Matmos. It's so interesting - Stef discusses the challenges of remixing Tūī when our musical worlds are so different, Barbara talks about how much she wanted to sing on her Tīrairaka remix, and Martin mentions the invisible guest of Snow White on Matmos' Pīpī Manu E. Thank you Sam Wicks, Music 101 & Radio NZ.



In other news, I'm enormously humbled to have received a New Generation Award at the 2014 Westpac New Zealand Arts Awards on November 3rd in Auckland. It's a great honour to have my work acknowledged among the other artists, and I danced all night. Kia ora rā to The Arts Foundation, the generous patrons who make the awards possible, and to all who've supported me in many and various ways over the years. I'll be putting the prize koha towards my next album, which I'm recording at the moment. Here's a page the Arts Foundation have put together about my work.  

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October 2014

Announcing the November 3rd release of Deforestation - a new album of remixes of songs from my 2010 album Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne.




Deforestation is not only about giving the Forest waiata a new dreamy life in the hands of contributors from Aotearoa, the US, Germany and Japan, but also koha to our birds; all profits from the sales of the album go to the Ulva Island Charitable Trust, caretakers of the bird sanctuary Te Wharawhara, Ulva Island.

1. Pīpī Manu E (Matmos Remix)
2. Tūī ft. Vashti Bunyan (Stef Animal Remix) (listen here)
3. Ruru (Shuta Hasunuma Remix) (listen here)
4. Kiwi ft. Anne Salmond &
 Waka Atea (Dudley's Patriot Prayer Remix)
5. Tīrairaka Dub ft. Barbara Morgenstern
6. Pīpīwharauroa (IS012 Remix)
7. Pūngāwerewere (Justin
 Walter Remix)

Deforestation is released in two formats: a 12" vinyl & CD package in a limited edition of 250 only available from dudleybenson.com (pre-order here), and digital download for any donation of $1 or more (pre-order here). 

The album artwork is by Susan Te Kahurangi King, subject of Dan Salmon's recent film Pictures of Susan. It was mastered by Ben Sinclair for Images & Sound, Auckland.

We're hosting a party to launch Deforestation in Auckland. 75 tickets only! {UPDATE - this show has sold out, but we've added another show on Sunday 2nd November, book here.}

Saturday 1st November (sold out) / Sunday 2nd November
Audio Foundation
Sub-basement of the Parisian Tie Factory
4 Poynton Tce (Off Pitt St or behind St Kevin's Arcade)
Doors open & Gin Halligan at 6pm; kai at 7pm; Dudley at 8pm



I'm playing a full show featuring songs from The Awakening, Forestand new material. Be among the first to hear the new remixes as my pal bFM DJ Gin Halligan plays pre and post-show sets. As if that weren't enough, your ticket also gets you dinner! My good friend and superb cook Meryl Main will be serving kai - chilli and tortillas, veg and non-veg options. Book here!

I hope you love Deforestation. Grateful thanks from me to all the project contributors for their generosity and deeply magical abilities.
  





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August 2014

Recently at Golden Retriever HQ we were going through the archives and found the footage of my 2007 show at Auckland's St Matthew-in-the-City, with choir & string quartet. I'd only put out three EPs by this point, and this performance was my first 'big' show. From 11 SD/mini DV tapes, Iain Frengley has edited the footage originally shot by Ed Lust & Matt Kent, and all eleven clips are now viewable at the Video page. Andre Upston recorded the sound, and for it won an award at the 2008 New Zealand Radio Awards. Below is Domino.




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July 2014

Auckland! I'm performing at Matariki On The Waterfront, Silo Park, Sunday 27th July. My set begins at 3pm.

Event details here



UPDATE: Image below from the performance by Trevor Villers.



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June 2014



I'm happy to announce a solo performance for Wellington's City Gallery, Tuatara Open Late Matariki celebration.

Thursday 3rd July
City Gallery Wellington
8.30pm sharp (doors open all evening)
Koha

More details on the Open Late: Art Night Pō Whakaatu Toi at the City Gallery facebook.

UPDATE: Below images from the performance by Mark Tantrum, courtesy of City Gallery Wellington.





 

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October 2013

Several videos of Hopey One & I performing for Dunedin's Puaka Matariki Festival are now online in the Video section. It's Akaroa's Fault below...



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August 2013

Tūī, Tui, Tuia EP: A free-to-download collection of ringtones made from tūī calls and Auckland city noise. 

iPhone / Android

To install the ringtones, follow the instructions designed for your phone. Note: Track 1 is not a ringtone.

Based on Tūī, Tui, Tuia, a sound work I presented at the Auckland Art Gallery in June 2013, the ringtones are constructed from field recordings in bird sanctuaries and central Auckland city by ecologist Sam Hill - a concept by Paul Mackenzie - during summer 2012-13. Listen to the original nine-minute piece and six ringtones below.




A full and utter debrief with images of the three works I presented for Dunedin's Puaka Matariki Festival, as well as an unbridled expression of my thoughts about Matariki and what it means to me in 2013.



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May 2013

The recognition of Matariki - the Māori New Year - seems to be growing in the mainstream conscience. Of course, if we take a day off to celebrate Queenie's birthday we should do the same for the new year unique to our people and skies. One day, one day.... Til then:



Tūī, Tui, Tuia is a new sound work I've made from tui calls collected from bird sanctuaries around Tamaki Makaurau in the summer of 2012/13, by ecologist Sam Hill. It will be premiered at Auckland Art Gallery, then installed in surround sound at Silo Park. For the Gallery show, Metiria Turei provides an introduction, I'll play a short set of Forest waiata, and Cat Ruka will perform a new solo to accompany Tūī, Tui, Tuia. Click here to read the project manifesto.
Sunday 9th June, 2pm. North Atrium, Auckland Art Gallery, free.



For Dunedin's Puaka Matariki, I'm playing two shows with beatboxer Hopey One. This is our first show together since the 2010 Dawn Chorus Tour. 
Saturday 29th June, 9pm, Queens. Also playing are Trick Mammoth & Murderbike. $10, cash on the door.
Sunday 30th June, 2pm, Dunedin Community Gallery, Princes St, next to iSITE. A shorter performance for whanau - tamariki super welcome. Koha.




Also for Dunedin's Matariki, Josh Thomas and I of Golden Retriever Records are happy to present NGĀ MIHIZ, a performance art evening in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery featuring three original twenty-minute performances by Cat Ruka, myself with my siblings Jess & Edward Benson, and Piupiu-Maya Turei & Fauxhound.
Auckland-based dance artist Cat Ruka (Ngāpuhi, Waitaha, Pākehā) presents Whiti-kaupeka, a new solo work inspired by the birth star of her soon-to-be-born first child.
I'll be performing Honore, a shared experience with my sister Jess and brother Edward (Ngāti Pākehā) in honour of our mother Adrianne, who died when we were children.
Auckland/Dunedin-based performance artist Piupiu-Maya Turei (Ngāti Kahungunu Ki Wairarapa, Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi) and chiptune artist Fauxhound premiere hello ! world ! , a quest-collaboration in a digital realm.
Saturday 22nd June, 8pm (following the Midwinter Carnival), Dunedin Public Art Gallery. $10 or $5 unwaged/student, cash on the door.

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April 2013

A short and belated post-summer note to say 'Kia ora' to the Snake, and to let you know that new work will be announced soon.



For now, you can read my thoughts on New Zealand's now passed Marriage Amendment Bill and how it relates to Christ's College, my former high school here in Korero.



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November 2012

I'm very happy to share that in November and December I'm performing in Japan, and spending two weeks as artist-in-residence in Kurashiki City.

Tokyo | Friday 23rd November, 6.30pm | Shibuya 7th Floor | w/ Misato Kinoshita & The Elephants, Shuta Hasunuma, DJ Weatherman

[UPDATE: Secret show added | Saitama | Saturday 24th November, 6.50pm | More Records | w/ Kojima Keitaney-Love] 

Kyoto | Sunday 25th November, 6.30pm | Cafe & Gallery ETW | w/ Kojima Keitaney-Love

During my time in Japan I'll be keeping a journal of writing and photographs of all happenings, particularly my experiences in Kurashiki. The journal is in the Korero section, and updated regularly with the first entry - Te Kaupapa & What I'm Taking To Japan - up now. Kia ora to the Asia New Zealand Foundation for their support of this project.

Click here to download the full tour flyer with info in Japanese for sending on to pals. Booking info at faderbyheadz.com



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October 2012

I'm playing two solo electronic shows in New Zealand in November.

Wellington | Friday 16th November, 9pm | Puppies (underground, cnr Vivian & Tory Sts) | w/ Stef Animal | very limited capacity, book here

Auckland | Saturday 17th November, from 9pm | Tiger Translate - The Studio, Karangahape Rd | w/ others | Tickets free but being gobbled, available to book here (facebook only, groan)





Connection with the Poneke & Tamaki whanau will be super... I'm looking forward to playing at Blink's very fresh Puppies with Stef Animal (whose set, by the way, is beautiful + sad + creepy = mindblowing). Tiger Translate, well, whew! Will bring the big beats...

Japanese shows announced soon.

In the current issue of NO Magazine, there are words by Aaron Hawkins and a photograph by James Stringer.



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September 2012

Dunedin: My first club show in five years and first ever solo show in Otepoti is on Saturday 6th October - very excited to be banging out the greatest hits (reduxed), and thrilled to be playing with Stef Animal.

[Update: click here for images from the show] 



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August 16th 2012

Tonight's show at Te Papa, Wellington has had a change of venue - it's now at Te Marae, Level 4. Other details below.



Illustrations pinched from Ronald Cometti's New Zealand Through Time. Below, an image from the show by Josh Thomas.



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July 2012



Next month I'm playing a single show at Te Papa. As part of the exhibition Kahu Ora: Living Cloaks, I'm performing my Forest album right the way through, accompanied by harp.

August 16 / 7pm
Level 4 / Visa Platinum Gallery
Te Papa Tongarewa / Free entry

Aside from a possible Dunedin show later in the year, this will be my only New Zealand show in 2012, so I'd love to see you there. Click on the poster above to download and forward to your Wellington pals.

In other tumeke news, I'm very happy that this week my albums The Awakening and Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne have both been released in Japan by the HEADZ label. Each album is bumped up with two bonus live tracks, a Japanese lyric sheet and liner notes by music writer Shino Okamura. I'm so glad that Japanese people can enjoy the records, and to be working with HEADZ.



Hikaru Tsuchiya of HEADZ with the Japanese pressings... obi strips!

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June 2012

For the last week, this room full of Crown Lynn at Foveaux Strait has been my studio. I'm preparing for a one-off show, details announced in July.



Until then, feel free to visit a new part of the website, Korero, which is where I'm writting ideas and sharing things that aren't necessarily related to my project. My recipe for mulled wine, for example.

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March 2012

I'm very much looking forward to dance artists' Cat Ruka and Tru Paraha's HINE 2012 performance on Friday March 9th at Auckland's Maidment Theatre. I've contributed to the programme and will be a part of the post-show discussion panel. More details on the show at catruka.com, and my contribution to the programme - New Zealand's Next Top Racist - is here



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February 2012

February 6th = Waitangi Day, and for us in Aotearoa it's a weekend of mixed up histories, perspectives and national intensity - if you choose to go there. Go there!

I'm having a deep and meaningful on the Radio NZ doco Common Ground: Waiata o Te Whenua, about my work in context of Waitangi Day, how it relates to our land, and my own ethnic identity. Also in kōrero is musician Maisey Rika (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui), whose ideas I'm really looking forward to hearing. It's on RNZ National, Waitangi Day at 6.08pm. Listen to the complete doco here.

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January 2012



Tena koe! Nau mai, haere mai e 2012, Year of the Dragon. I interpret the Dragon as the flame that will burn up the ground on which the Rabbit has been getting away with all sorts of unpredictability over the past twelve months. Well, Rabbit - it's over, e hoa!

Personally, for me this year will be one of engaging with that fire, and refertilisation. Over the past three, I've observed continually disappointing and dubious behaviour by our government, and though I'm so often shocked and frustrated, I haven't always been certain of how to respond. 

As an artist, it's very important to me to avoid potentially alienating people who listen to my work by actively sharing my views - political or otherwise - and that my music be open to anyone regardless of their perspectives. With that in mind, I've chosen to be sparing in how I've commented on issues affecting our people. Now, my feelings are changing.

I believe it's my responsibility as an artist to reflect and influence contemporary culture in Aotearoa through my work. Therefore, as long as we have hungry kids, compromised Nature, and crazies running the show, I'm going to be a lot more vocal in how I deal with this stuff.

As a Pig, I learnt from the Rabbit year that I definitely can't jump; for the Dragon, I'll be standing in the fire - risking the roast - but most importantly, I hope we will keep in touch.

More on February 5th.

x Dudley

  

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November 2011

(14th)

 

 

Kia ora! Live Series: Volume One is released today. Details below, and for a listen to the full double album pop over here, or to buy pop over here. To listen to Radio New Zealand's one-hour New Horizons special by William Dart, hop over here

 

I'm also today publishing Roots, an ebook that documents the making of Forest & its tour through photography by Josh Thomas and questions submitted by friends & listeners of the album.
To download, click here. (I suggest viewing with Adobe Reader in full screen mode.) To view in your browser, click here.

 

On November 26th when I vote, I'll be acknowledging the link between the health of our people, and that of our water, soil, air and wildlife. For young New Zealanders to have a decent future, we need to fight for a rich, clean and unexploited Aotearoa that provides for everyone. It's possible, it's right, and it's the only way forward. Kia kaha!

 

 

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(1st )

Haere mai! On November 14th I'm releasing a live album called Live Series: Volume One. It is a double-record of two concert recordings from 2008 & 2010, and is released as a deluxe 2CD set or a digital download.

Disc One - The Awakening Live was recorded at Auckland's St Matthew-in-the-City on my 2008 tour with choir & string quartet. We performed songs from The Awakening, and Kate Bush's Hounds of Love, which you can listen to now:
 


Disc Two - Forest Live
 was recorded at Waitakere's Oratia Settlers Hall as part of last year's tour with The Dawn Chorus. Hopey One, the boys and I shared Hirini Melbourne's bird waiata and some of my own songs, one of which is below...


 

Peruse the full tracklisting at the Discography.

The album artwork is by Nigel Brown, who has painted a series of six cards which are included within the deluxe-edition wallet. The truly exciting thing is that you can choose whichever painting you'd like most for the cover by slipping the card into slits on the wallet's blank front panel. Tumeke!

Click here to order the album on deluxe 2CD. We'll send it out on Monday 14th November. 

Click here to order the album as a digital download. A download coupon will be sent to your email address on Monday 14th November.

The Awakening Live will be broadcast on Radio New Zealand Concert on Tuesday 8th November at 9.10pm. An edited version of Forest Live will be broadcast on Radio New Zealand National on Saturday 12th November at 4.10pm & Friday 18th November at 8.06pm 8.35pm.

It's getting busy on Monday 14th - I'm publishing Roots, an ebook that documents the making of Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne through photography by Josh Thomas, and questions by friends & fans. Come back here then for the free download.

 

Two of Nigel's paintings that weren't included in the release are here for you to download as desktop wallpaper, in normal and widescreen formats.

 

Aroha! x Dudley

 

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October 2011

 

x Ah, Spring x

 

I'm very happy to be performing at this year's Nelson Arts Festival with The Dawn Chorus. We'll be singing a new piece, Maternal Constellation, which I'm particularly looking forward to. The shows are at the Suter Theatre on October 12th & 13th at 7pm (but have sold out). I'll also be a presenter at Pecha Kucha on October 11th.

 

Next month something exciting is happening - pop back on November 7th for the details.

 

 

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July 2011
 

I will be a presenter at the Pecha Kucha evening of Dunedin's Matariki Festival, at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Sunday 3rd July at 7.30pm.

 

 

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June 2011

 

Kia ora koutou! Midwinter, getting rather chilly in the South, and so a brief ode to jerseys at Home.

 

I'll be performing with The Dawn Chorus for the Nelson Arts Festival in October. Hopey One, the boys and I will play on October 12th and 13th at the Suter Theatre. Bookings here. {UPDATE: sold out}

 

TVNZ made a short news piece on my residency in Nasbey, Central Otago, which you can see here. Arts stories generally aren't juicy or violent so it's very brief, and inevitably my 'government is in denial about the state of the environment' arguments didn't make the cut. The clip does, however, show a bit of Naseby and my farewell concert for the locals.

 

Ngā mihi e te ahi kā...

 

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April / May 2011

 

As the end of my residency in Naseby, Central Otago approaches, I'd like to share Postcards of Domesticity, a self-portrait project which you can view it its full splendour by clicking below...

 

 

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March 2011

 

Kia kaha, e Otautahi Christchurch.

 

Forest has been nominated for the 2011 Taite Music Prize. Pop over here to listen to the album in full, and pop over here to learn more about the annual award named after the late music journalist Dylan Taite.

 

 

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December 2010 / January, February 2011

 

Kia ora, and haere ra.

 

The Dawn Chorus, Cat Ruka, the crew and I have had a wonderful tour experience across Aotearoa over the last month. Thank you to all who were a part of the shows, and to those of you who've expressed your aroha for the performance - to us and to each other.

 

Click here to order the new album Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne - and if you'd like to 'bird out' as a gift, please do order in the week leading up to Friday 17th December, so as you receive it in the post on time. Over the summer, Golden Retriever Records (Josh and I) are relocating from Auckland to Dunedin (and very happy about it), so orders through the Shop will be delayed between December 24th-January 3rd.

 

There are a few new bits and pieces on the site: reviews of the album & tour, new gallery images.

 

2011 will no doubt be, like all of them, an interesting year. There will indeed be a new release or two based on my recent work, and I'm going to be exploring a couple of new and challenging projects which I look forward to sharing.

 

Ngā mihi nui for the summer months, be safe, and kia ora rā for the support in 2010, e Retrievers. x

 

Dudley

 




'Haere ra' by Joshua Thomas, 2010.

 

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November 2010

 

Click to buy the new album Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne

 

Click to buy tickets to Dudley Benson Live with The Dawn Chorus

Tēnā koe! The new album is ready and released; if you'd like to read more about it, details are below under the October news. For now, though, we're preparing for our upcoming New Zealand tour...

 

Golden Retriever Records Presents Dudley Benson Live with the Dawn Chorus 2010, with special guest Cat Ruka.

In his first set of performances since the acclaimed national church tour of 2008, Dudley Benson and his new a capella ensemble The Dawn Chorus deliver a ten-date nationwide tour of intimate marae and community hall performances. Presenting material from his new album Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne, Benson is accompanied by close-harmony vocal quartet and Australian-based beatboxer Hopey One, with an opening performance by maverick dance artist Cat Ruka. 

 

 

 

November 12th - Auckland, Te Māhurehure Marae, Pt. Chevalier

November 14th - Kerikeri, Kingston House

November 19th - Nelson, Trafalgar Street Hall

November 20th - Wellington, Pipitea Marae

November 24th - Dunedin, Māori Hill Coronation Hall

November 25th - Queenstown, St Peter's Church Hall

November 27th - Christchurch, Deaf Society Hall

November 28th - Akaroa, Gaiety Hall

December 4th - Waiheke Island, Palm Beach Hall

December 5th - Waitakere City, Hoani Waititi Marae Oratia Settlers Hall

 

[Update: Waitakere City Dec. 5 venue change - Oratia Settlers Hall, 569 West Coast Rd, Oratia, Waitakere]

 

Tickets available only at dudleybenson.com, any remaining sold on the door on the evening of the performance. All shows begin at 8pm, doors open at 7.30pm.

 

We can't wait! Tickets are going rather snappily, and some of our venues are particularly limited in capacity, so - as they say - book now to avoid disappointment. Many thanks also to our tour sponsors: Ceres Organics, Allpress Espresso & Firehorse Films.

 

 

Photograph by Joshua Thomas & Hanna Lee.

 

Click here to listen to Ruru from the new album - koukou!

 

Click here to listen to my interview with Kim Hill on Radio New Zealand National, 23/10/10.

 

Click here to listen to an interview with The Dawn Chorus' beatboxer Hopey One for Radio New Zealand National, 16/12/10.

 

Click here to listen to an interview about the Forest album with Eva Radich for Radio New Zealand Concert, 25/11/10.

 

Click here to listen to an interview and song-clip feature from the Forest album with Sam Wicks for Radio New Zealand National, 13/11/10.

 

Kia ora, and see you very soon.

 

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October 2010

 

 

 

It is with great satisfaction that I announce my second album.

 

Forest: Songs by Hirini Melbourne is a collection of my interpretations of waiata by the New Zealand composer Hirini Melbourne, whose folksongs I've become very close to over the past three years. The album is a celebration of Aotearoa's birdlife, as well as a tribute to the legacy of Melbourne's work.

 

Forest is also an album that I chose to record almost entirely with only the human voice. Of course, I couldn't do this all myself (and wouldn't want to), so a number of collaborators performed with me on the record. Among them are Dr. Richard Nunns on taonga pūoro, beatboxer King Homeboy, Gerry Findlay of Franz Josef Glacier as bird mimic, barbershop quartet The Dawn Chorus, four-part choir, and Vashti Bunyan joins me for a duet called Tūī.

 

The album will be released on November 1st - but only through this site. I've chosen not to put Forest in the shops, as apart from a handful of stores, I'm finding music retail to be a disappointing experience. Instead, we can go through the much more satisfying process of mail-order. So click to pop over to the Shop and pre-order your copy, which we will send out on the 1st, or just before if we can.

 

The tracklisting of the album is as follows...

 

1. Pīpī Manu E (Baby Birds)

2. Tīrairaka (Fantail)

3. Pīpīwharauroa (Shining Cuckoo)

4. Tūī

5. Ruru (Morepork)

6. Pūngāwerewere (Spider)

7. Kiwi

 

The artwork is by Florence Dennison of Tuatapere, who has created a series of applique panels for the album booklet. Forest is recorded by Adrian Hollay and mastered by Mandy Parnell. 

 

Just as exciting for me is the upcoming tour, which is called:

Dudley Benson Live with the Dawn Chorus. Here are the dates and venues...

 

November 12th - Auckland, Te Māhurehure Marae, Pt. Chevalier

November 14th - Kerikeri, Kingston House

November 19th - Nelson, Trafalgar Street Hall

November 20th - Wellington, Pipitea Marae

November 24th - Dunedin, Māori Hill Coronation Hall

November 25th - Queenstown, St Peter's Church Hall

November 27th - Christchurch, Deaf Society Hall

November 28th - Akaroa, Gaiety Hall

December 4th - Waiheke Island, Palm Beach Hall

December 5th - Waitakere City, Hoani Waititi Marae

 

I'll be performing with my new ensemble The Dawn Chorus - a vocal group made up of close-harmony quartet and beatboxer Hopey One - and I'm honoured that each show will be opened with a performance by dance artist Cat Ruka.

 

Tickets for the tour are only available here at The Shop. We've chosen intimate venues, so it is worth booking in advance. Any remaining tickets will be sold on the door, on the evening of the show.

 

I look forward very much to sharing Forest with you, and to performing the new work on tour.

 

Ngā mihi nui,

 

Dudley

 

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September 2010

 

On October 1st I'll announce the full details of my new album: title, cover artwork, tracklisting, guest artists, and of course the release date - as well as upcoming tour dates and venues. So see you here then, perhaps. 

 

Every week until then I'll publish a new image from Forest Fliers, a series by Joshua Thomas on the making of the new album.

 

Haere rā, ka kite anō!

 

#1

 

 

#2

 

 

#3

 

 

#4

 



#5

 

 

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July 2010

 

On Saturday July 24th, an hour-length interview and music selection will be broadcast as an episode of the bNet Seeded documentary series:

 

"Dudley Benson is one of those extraordinary artists who spreads his talent across many mediums. He is a musician, composer, singer (and former chorister at Christchurch Cathedral) and writer, and upon the release of his 2008 album The Awakening was described as an "indie chamber-pop choirboy". Today, he discusses music that has inspired him, from Nico to Hirini Melbourne."

 

95bFM 11am; Radio Control 2pm; Radio Active 9.30am; RDU 2pm; Radio One 10am.

Listen/download the Podcast at 95bFM 

 

 

Home image: $3 Stitchbird, issued by NZ Post, 23rd April 1985.

The stitchbird (Notiomystis cincta), also known as 'hihi', is easily identified by their erractic movements and distinctive call.  They are a forest dwelling species feeding mainly on nectar, fruits and insects.  Adults feed in the lower forest strata whereas juveniles spend much time on or near the ground.  Now confined to Little Barrier Island, Hauraki Gulf and Hen Island where it was introduced in 1980, the stitchbird was previously distributed throughout much of the North Island and on Great Barrier Island.  The stitchbird was apparently uncommon in the northern third of the North Island, even in early European times and became extinct in the North Island and on Great Barrier before 1900. - New Zealand Post

 

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May 2010

 

Kia ora e whānau: an important (and I'm sure brilliant) set of programmes will be broadcast this coming week on Radio New Zealand Concert. The work and legacy of the late Hirini Melbourne, one of Aotearoa's most special and yet under-appreciated artists, is explored on this six-part series every day from Sunday 23rd until Friday 28th May at 9am. On Friday's final episode, my 2008 St Matthew-in-the-city performance of Melbourne's Pipiwharauroa will be broadcast for the first time, as well as initial information on my forthcoming new LP. Click for ways to listen to Radio New Zealand Concert.

 

 

Home image: $2 Black Robin, issued by NZ Post, 24th April 1985.

One of the world's rarest birds, the Chatham Islands black robin (Petroica traversi), is a forest and scrub dweller of about 16cm in length.  This species is one of the smallest in numbers and most endangered in the world and during the summer of 1976/77 the New Zealand Wildlife Service transferred the entire population from Little Mangere Island to nearby Mangere Island (in the Chatham Islands group) after planting 150,000 trees in an effort to rejuvenate the habitat.  In 1980/81, the first clutches of the remaining birds were transferred to nearby nests of Chatham Island warblers, where three chicks were raised to fledging by the warblers before being returned to the robins for rearing. - New Zealand Post 

 

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April 2010

 

Not an awful lot of news, other than to say that I'll be shortly announcing details of a new project - a miniature LP - for release this year, with a New Zealand tour to follow.

 

 

Home image: $1 Kokako, issued by NZ Post, 24th April 1985. 

The kokako (Callaeas cinerea) illustrated is a North Island variety and is also known as the blue wattled crow, referring to the two blue bags which hang from the head of the bird and steel-grey plumage.  The kokako grows to about 38 cm long.  With two legs and a disproportionately long tail, it is not a good flier but tends to hop along branches and trunks and glide from one tree to another or move across the forest floor with a clumsy bounding gait.  Living in dense pockets of kauri trees and rain forest, the kokako is usually well away from the sight of man feeding on young leaves, flowers and berries.  The North Island kokako is now quite rare - barely surviving its orange-wattled South Island cousins, considered today to be extinct. - New Zealand Post

 

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December 2009

 

The Awakening: Supplementary Workbook is now available to order through the Shop. Currently, there are 50 3 copies remaining.

 

The Supplementary Workbook is a collection of research, interviews, artwork, photographs, reviews and an essay, all associated with The Awakening album project. I intend for it to be a future reference & research tool, as well as an artwork in its own right. The book includes:

 

- A conclusive interview between me and writer Brannavan Gnanalingam that covers the writing, arranging, production, promotion and touring processes

- An interview with album engineer Adrian Hollay

- Photography by and interview with Warren Dawson, the previously
unidentified Sunnyside Hospital photographer

- Photography by Karen Inderbitzen-Waller

- Artwork by Ed Lust

- An essay by Jessica Lightfoot on the album's critical reception

- Artwork by Hanna Lee

- Artwork by Brooke Woolley

- Photography by Matt Nash

- An index of promotional material

 

First edition of 50

Stamped & hand-numbered, each book includes individual drawings by Hanna Lee

110 pages, 38 colour plates

21 x 29.7cm, 100% recycled stock

 

The Awakening has been included in Nick Bollinger's 100 Essential New Zealand Albums, recently published by Awa Press.

 

I wish minimal stress for all over Christmas.

 

Home image: cover of The Awakening: Supplementary Workbook by Warren Dawson, designed by Frances Young

 

 

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October 2009

A Performance In Openness (In Three Parts) is a new work: it's my response to Te Papa's Rita Angus: Life & Vision show which is currently at the Auckland Art Gallery, and a tribute to openness. The piece is around fifteen minutes in length and will only be performed once, on the final day of the exhibition:

 

Sunday 1st November, 3pm

Art Lounge, New Gallery

Corner Lorne & Khartoum

Free admission, limited seating

 

There's also an edition of 100 postcards with photography by Matt Nash scattered about.

 

The Awakening: Supplementary Workbook is not far off, details below.
 

Golden Retriever Records will shortly distribute in New Zealand an album by its second artist! There will be more details about this soon.

 

Home image by Matt Nash, 2009.

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August 2009

Tēnā koe! Welcome to my new website. Last year I realised that a certain right-wing media mogul owns Myspace, so I had no choice but to shut shop there and start something fresh. This will now be the sole online resource for information on my project, and I'll be updating it regularly. There's also the Bulletin to join for the odd newsletter update.

The Awakening: Supplementary Workbook will be published in September October by Golden Retriever Press. The book is a collection of research, artwork, and archived information from The Awakening project.

The Workbook...

...explores various aspects of the album, from its writing to its release
...contains interviews with album engineer Adrian Hollay, previously unidentified Sunnyside photographer Warren Dawson and a transcribed discussion between myself and writer Brannavan Gnanalingam
...features colour plates of artwork & photography by Warren Dawson, Karen Inderbitzen-Waller, Ed Lust, Brooke Woolley & Matt Nash

...is in a first edition of 50. Each workbook is numbered, stamped, & includes three individual drawings by Hanna Lee

Most books will be off to public libraries and archives, however there will be a small number available through the Shop in September October.

Home image: The Old Building, Sunnyside Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand by Warren Dawson, c. 1976. Cover of the forthcoming The Awakening: Supplementary Workbook

 

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