Photographer: Max Bellamy
Please note: this article was first published in September 2014.
Thanks to a successful Boosted crowdfunding campaign, innovative Dunedin-based composer, producer and performer, Dudley Benson is now able to complete his third album, Zealandia.
Dudley has been making waves in the New Zealand music scene with his unique and innovative sound. Grant Smithies of Sunday Star Times described him as “the most eccentric and fascinating musician to have emerged in this country in the last ten years.”
A former boy chorister of the Christchurch Cathedral, Dudley has released two previous albums through his own label, Golden Retriever Records.
Boosted is a crowdfunding platform, backed by the Arts Foundation, where people can come together to fund artistic projects by creative Kiwis. Dudley puts his decision to use Boosted for his crowdfunding campaign down to the team behind it, and it being a donation-based platform.
He says, “I chose to work with Boosted for several reasons. Firstly, the team of people at the Arts Foundation is incredible. A force of nature! I knew they would support me and the campaign, no matter what the outcome. As well as that, I think the Boosted kaupapa is right on. It wouldn't suit me to go down the 'rewards' route of crowdfunding. Boosted keeps it really clear and simple: help this artist or group complete their work, and we can all enjoy the spoils.”
Photographer: Max Bellamy
Dudley ran his campaign on the site in June/July this year, with the goal of raising $12,000 to complete his third album, Zealandia. 206 donors helped to raise $13,595, with an average donation of $66 each.
The album was written over a three-year period. Dudley describes it as his “most ambitious and intricately crafted project” to date. The Zealandia sound brings together a symphony orchestra, the 50-person New Zealand Youth Choir, harp, harpsichord, piano, koto and bagpipes. The land itself collaborates too; through sampled recordings of rocks and minerals, Dudley has created the album’s rhythmic section and sonic textures.
Here is the video Dudley made to promote his campaign for a taste of Zealandia:
Upon reaching his target, Dudley said to his backers: “I (am) beyond words. Truly grateful, and deeply moved by all the tautoko – not only with your hard-earned koha, but also the faith that you're putting in me and the Zealandia album.”
Zealandia is still an intricate work in progress, while we wait for announcement of its release date, here is Dudley’s latest single, ‘Muscles’, which you can also download for free.