What sounds can you make?

There are limitless ways to make sounds, without even picking up an instrument. In fact, Napier born-and-raised artist Phil Dadson calls the human body “the first instrument.”

Now’s your chance to be part of Dadson’s special exhibition, based on the unique sounds people make with only their bodies.

Dadson will be filming participants at MTG Hawke’s Bay over the weekend of 30 April and 1 May. The recordings will add to his ongoing archive and contribute to Bodytok Quintet, the interactive, five-screen, video exhibition on display at MTG Hawke’s Bay from 11 June.

The idea behind Bodytok Quintet is the human body’s inventive sonic potential. From childhood we explore the sounds we can make with our own bodies, often discovering individual skills and quirks that get practised privately, and occasionally ‘performed’ in the company of family and friends.

In Melanesian pidgin, ‘toktok’ is a term for conversation, while Dadson’s idea of a ‘bodytok’ transcends language by using an expressive medium common to all people: the body.

The recordings in the Bodytok Quintet exhibition play in extreme slow motion, each screen springing to life only when a visitor approaches. The diverse body sounds are then performed for the viewer who has initiated the dialogue.

Anyone of any age is welcome to contribute their own ‘bodytok’ skill. Each audition will be recorded by Dadson, without an audience, unless requested. The recordings will not be used without permission from each contributor, and all on-screen performances will remain anonymous and will be included at the discretion of the artist.


Auditions will be held between 10am and 12 noon, and 1pm and 4pm both days.

If you’d like to participate, contact MTG Hawke’s Bay Art Curator Jess Mio:


21 April 2016

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