Dudley Benson Releases 'Zealandia'
Avant-pop musician Dudley Benson has released his long-awaited third album, Zealandia, today.
His first album of new material since the Taite Prize nominated Forest (2010), Benson describes Zealandia as "a love album to our drowned continent, and a chance to explore our identity through twelve alternatives to the national anthem."
Zealandia took eight years to produce, and features a meticulously arranged tapestry of over 160 contributors, including the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, the New Zealand Youth Choir, and beats made with GNS Science geologists from rocks and minerals within the Zealandia continent.
"This album is a statement about the crossover between nature and politics," says Dudley. "So there's a song about how our continent formed over millions of years, another about decolonisation, and another about falling in love with Opo the dolphin."
The 34-year old premiered his self-directed music video of the album's title track, performed in New Zealand Sign Language, via The Spinoff.
Zealandia is released on limited edition CD, double vinyl and digitally. Each physical copy of the album is accompanied by the Zealandia newspaper: a full colour 24-page tabloid-size newspaper collecting the research, inspiration and creative processes around the album. The physical copies are selling fast, but you can still order one from these independent retailers:
Earlier this week, Radio New Zealand premiered the third music video from Zealandia this week, Rutu. The video is a filmed projection of macro-photographs of nature by Russell Sheppard, an elderly gent Dudley met during his time in the pine-filled town of Naseby, Central Otago in 2011. He has since died, but Russell allowed the filming of his work with the intention of Dudley making the right music for it. You can read the full story at the Radio New Zealand website.
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