Anthonie Tonnon on Rakino, hell yes!

Rakino Community Hall
Saturday, January 9th, 2021

I confess; I’m a tragic fan-girl.

I’ve seen Anthonie perform a couple of times at the lost and lamented King’s Arms Tavern, once solo, and another time with Nadia Reid and a highly talented and entertaining Australian whose name evades me now. Both times he was terrific.

That’s why I asked Whanganui-based musician Anthonie Tonnon if he would consider coming to Rakino to perform his Rail Land show. To my astonishment and excitement he said yes, and even showed considerable enthusiasm for the project.

I’m always loathe to compare musicians to other musicians, so I’m just going to say that Anthonie writes smart lyrics about interesting things with a local bent, and that he’s highly regarded, short-listed for various salubrious music awards, and a regular performer on the Arts Festival circuit.

Anthonie Tonnon is a songwriter and performer originally from Dunedin – now based in Whanganui.

Rather than gushing endlessly and witlessly, I’m just lifting this straight from…

In his work, Anthonie Tonnon has been fascinated with the way people interact with human-made systems. A song from his album, Successor, ‘Water Underground’ dealt with local government and water management, and despite the dry subject matter, was shortlisted for the APRA Silver Scroll.  

In the last two years, Tonnon has developed more immersive show formats, and used new technology to take his show to unusual environments. With the Otago Museum, he created the show for planetariums, A Synthesized Universe – ‘a stadium-level visual experience with the intimacy of a folk gig.’.

Tonnon also created a concept show and tour called Rail Land. At every Rail Land show, audience and performer take passenger rail to travel to and from a far-flung community hall. Tonnon calls it  ‘a poetic, but also practical, exploration of passenger rail, and what it means to us in the modern era.’

Interested in the fluid boundary between organic and synthesized sound, Tonnon performs on a Synthstrom Deluge – a new electronic instrument designed in Wellington, and a storied, 1968 semi-hollow body guitar.

Tonnon has toured widely as a solo performer around North America, Europe and Australasia, sharing the stage with the likes of Nadia Reid, The Chills and The Veils. He has been a finalist for The Taite Music Prize, and three times been a top 20 finalist for the APRA Silver Scroll award.” 

Leave a Reply