Antony And The Johnsons

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Antony performing right after winning the 2005 Mercury Prize for Best New Album
Antony performing right after winning the 2005 Mercury Prize for Best New Album
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Antony And The Johnsons on Wikipedia
Antony and the Johnsons
Antony-6.jpgAnohni performing in 2008
Background information
OriginNew York City, New York, United States[1]
  • Art pop[2]
  • chamber pop[3]
  • avant-pop[4]
Years active1995–2015
LabelsSecretly Canadian, Rough Trade
Julia Kent
Parker Kindred
Jeff Langston
Rob Moose
Maxim Moston
Doug Wieselman
Thomas Bartlett

Antony and the Johnsons is an American music group presenting the work of Anohni (formerly known as Antony Hegarty) and her collaborators.


  • 1 Career
  • 2 In popular culture
  • 3 Band members
  • 4 Bibliography
  • 5 Discography
    • 5.1 Albums
    • 5.2 Singles and EPs
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


British experimental musician David Tibet of Current 93 heard a demo and offered to release Anohni's music through his Durtro label. Anohni started the band, its name inspired by the transgender rights activist Marsha P. Johnson.[5] The debut album, Antony and the Johnsons, was released in 1998. In 2001, Hegarty released a short follow-up EP, I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy, which, in addition to the title track, included a cover of "Mysteries of Love", a David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti song and "Soft Black Stars", a Current 93 cover.

Producer Hal Willner heard the EP and played it to Lou Reed, who immediately recruited Hegarty for his project The Raven. Now gaining more attention, Hegarty signed to US-based record label Secretly Canadian, and released another EP, The Lake, with Lou Reed guest-performing on one of the tracks. Secretly Canadian also re-released Hegarty's debut album in the United States to wider distribution in 2004.

Anohni's second full-length album, 2005's I Am a Bird Now, was greeted with positive reviews and significantly more mainstream attention. The album featured guest appearances by Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright, Boy George and Devendra Banhart, and circled themes of duality and transformation. I Am a Bird Now featured arrangements by Maxim Moston and Julia Kent and was mixed by Doug Henderson. In September 2005 Antony and the Johnsons were awarded the Mercury Prize[6] for the best UK album of 2005. Rival Mercury nominees, and favorites for the prize, the Kaiser Chiefs suggested that Anohni got in on a technicality; despite the fact she was born in the United Kingdom she spent much of her time in the US – although they later apologized for the suggestion that she wasn't a deserving winner.

Antony and the Johnsons collaborated with experimental film-maker Charles Atlas and presented TURNING in November 2006 in Rome, London, Paris, Madrid, and Braga. Thirteen women from New York City were presented in intimate live video portraits during the course of the concert.[7] The Guardian called the piece "fragile, life affirming, and truly wonderful (five stars)". Le Monde in Paris hailed TURNING as "Concert-manifeste transsexuel".

Antony and the Johnsons' 5-song Another World EP was released on 7 October 2008. Antony and the Johnsons' third album, The Crying Light,[8] was released on 19 January 2009 and went to #1 on the European Billboard charts.[9] Anohni has described the theme of the album as being "about landscape and the future".[10] Nature, death, love and the role of the artist were explored across ten tracks, which included the single "Epilepsy Is Dancing." The album was mixed by Bryce Goggin and included arrangements by Nico Muhly.

Ann Powers wrote of The Crying Light for the LA Times online, "it's the most personal environmentalist statement possible, making an unforeseen connection between queer culture's identity politics and the green movement. As music, it's simply exquisite – more controlled and considered than anything Antony and the Johnsons have done and sure to linger in the minds of listeners."[11]

After touring throughout North America and Europe in support of their new album, Antony and the Johnsons presented a unique staging of The Crying Light with the Manchester Camerata at the Manchester Opera House for the 2009 Manchester International Festival. The concert hall was transformed into a crystal cave filled with laser effects created by installation artist Chris Levine. Antony and the Johnsons went on to present concerts with symphonies across Europe in Summer 2009, including the Opera Orchestra of Lyon, the Metropole Orchestra, Roma Sinfonietta and the Montreux Jazz Festival Orchestra. At Salle Playel in Paris, Anohni appeared in a costume designed for her by Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy.

After two sold out concerts at the Sydney Opera House, Antony and the Johnsons ended their recent touring in February 2010 in Tokyo. Anohni, Johanna Constantine and William Basinski performed at the Sogetsu Hall with butoh master Yoshito Ohno, the son of the 103-year-old dancer Kazuo Ohno, whose image graces the cover of The Crying Light.[12] Kazuo Ohno died in June of that year, and Anohni wrote an obituary for the dancer in The Guardian.[13]

In interviews around the world in 2010, Anohni described her work on Swanlights and The Crying Light as "a collision between joy and a sense of hopelessness". Anohni said she was struggling to come to terms with the idea that she was part of a society that was having a "virulent" impact on the earth.[14] She suggested that the degradation of nature was partially a result of the subjugation of women and earth-based spiritual systems.[14] Anohni also blamed the collapse of humanity's sustainable relationship with the earth in part on the rise of patriarchal religions that suggest the destiny of humanity to be "a paradise elsewhere". Interview Magazine describes Swanlights as "an emotional personal call for global, collective change".[15]

September 2010 saw the release of the Thank You For Your Love EP which includes covers of Dylan's "Pressing On" and Lennon's "Imagine". The Sun listed Thank You For Your Love as single of the week on 27 August 2010.

Antony and the Johnsons released a 4th album Swanlights on 12 October 2010 through Secretly Canadian and Rough Trade Records. Simultaneously, Abrams Books published a book edition of Swanlights featuring Anohni's drawings and collages with photography by Don Felix Cervantes. Antony and the Johnsons performed "Thank You For Your Love" on both the Late Show with David Letterman and Later... with Jools Holland in support of the album’s release. In October 2010 Anohni was invited to "takeover" The Guardian's music and arts page that ran for weeks leading up to the release of Swanlights.[16] Stereogum placed Swanlights in its Top 50 Albums of the year at #8.[17]

In tribute to Kazuo Ohno, Antony and the Johnsons performed on 30 October 2010 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke's and featured the film "Mr. O's Book Of The Dead" directed by Chiaki Nagano and starring Kazuo Ohno.[18]

In January 2011, Anohni was a guest on "Winterguest", a program on Dutch Television's VPRO channel and was interviewed by Leon Verdonschot.

In 2010–2011, the song "Her Eyes Are Underneath The Ground" from the album The Crying Light was chosen as one of the five stimuli that the International Baccalaureate Organization chose for the IB Theatre Arts PPP.

On 26 January 2012, the Museum of Modern Art in New York produced a sold-out performance by Antony and the Johnsons, entitled "Swanlights" after their fourth studio album, at Radio City Music Hall, a collaboration with laser artist Chris Levine and set designer Carl Robertshaw. The event was prefaced by a speech from Dr. Julia Yasuda, who said: "I am concerned about nature changing and dying. Won't you please help her? Otherwise the world will be too lonely". The New York Times described the concert as "Cries From the Heart, Crashing Like Waves".[19] This collaboration was later staged at the Royal Opera House in London in 2013 for two days[20] and at the Teatro Real in Madrid in 2014 for four consecutive days.[21]

Antony and the Johnsons released a live symphonic album in August 2012 entitled Cut the World; it features a track called "Future Feminism", which consists of a speech in which Anohni disparages patriarchal religions and advocates for a shift towards feminine systems of governance as part of an effort to avert global ecological disaster.[22]

On 23 February 2015, Anohni announced through her Facebook and official site the name of her new album, HOPELESSNESS, although no release date was provided. The album is being mixed and is co-produced by Hudson Mohawke, Oneohtrix Point Never and herself. It would be released under the moniker ANOHNI. It was described as an "electronic record with some sharp teeth".[23]

In June 2015, Antony and the Johnsons performed at Dark Mofo in Tasmania, Australia, as a benefit in support of the Martu people of Parnngurr in WA in their fight to prevent a uranium mine from being developed near their community by Canadian multinational Cameco and Mitsubishi. Anohni appeared with Martu representatives at a press conference at the MCA in Sydney and on ABC's Q&A in further service of this cause.[24]

In popular culture

  • In 2000, the song "Rapture" was performed in the movie "Animal Factory" during a cameo appearance by Anohni.
  • In 2006, the song "Bird Gerhl" was used in V for Vendetta. It was also included in the soundtrack released by Astralwerks Records, which featured artists such as Julie London and Cat Power along with instrumental work by composer Dario Marianelli.
  • In December 2006, the song "Hope There's Someone" was featured in the Torchwood episode Random Shoes.
  • In Paolo Sorrentino's The Family Friend (2006) the song "My Lady Story" is included in the soundtrack.
  • In 2008, the song "For Today I Am A Boy" was used in the documentary Trinidad.[25]
  • In 2008, the song "River of Sorrow" was used in the popular crime show Bones, season 4 episode 7, entitled "The He in the She" (an episode about the murder of a transgender pastor)
  • In 2009, Antony and the Johnsons was referenced in Spanish rock band Pereza's song "Champagne," from their album, Aviones.
  • In 2010, the Antony and the Johnsons' song "Fistful of Love" was used in the French film Little White Lies.
  • In November 2011, the English folk group The Unthanks released a live album, The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony & The Johnsons.
  • On 14 March 2012, the Southbank Centre in London announced that Anohni would direct Meltdown 2012. Her curation includes performances by Marina Abramović, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Selda Bağcan, Diamanda Galás, Cocorosie, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Elizabeth Fraser, Kembra Pfahler, William Basinski, Yoshito Ohno, Cyclobe, David Tibet, Joey Arias and Marc and the Mambas.[26]
  • In 2013, the track "Angel On Fire" was created exclusively for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
  • In 2015, the song "Knocking on Heaven's Door" was used in Season 1 Episode 9 of Netflix original series Sense8.
  • In 2016, the song "Hope There's Someone" was used in the French movie Un homme à la hauteur.

Band members

Current members include:

  • Anohni – lead vocals, piano
  • Julia Kent (previously of Rasputina) – cello
  • Parker Kindred – drums
  • Jeff Langston – bass
  • Doug Wieselman – horns
  • Maxim Moston – violin, arrangement
  • Rob Moose – guitar, violin
  • Thomas Bartlett – piano

Previous members have included:

  • Joan Wasser – violin
  • Tahrah Cohen aka Todd Cohen


  • Antony and the Johnsons, Swanlights, Abrams Image, 2010
  • Jerome Solal, La Voix d'Antony, Le Mot et le Reste, 2011


Studio albums
Live albums
Soundtrack albums


  1. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Antony and the Johnsons". Allmusic. Retrieved December 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Antony and the Johnsons". Pitchfork. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Pareles, Jon. "Anohni: Embracing a New Name, and Sound". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "Volta". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 8 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "Marsha P. Johnson (1944 - 1992) Activist, Drag Mother." A Gender Variance Who's Who. May 2, 2009. Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
  6. ^ "Antony and Johnsons win Mercury". BBC News, 7 September 2005. Retrieved on 25 October 2008.
  7. ^ [1] Archived 18 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Barclay, Michael."Antony and the Johnsons Transformed", Exclaim!, February 2009.
  9. ^ "Antony and the Johnsons news". Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  10. ^ "Exclaim!". Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "'Wretches and Jabberers' documentary on autism draws support (and music) from Scarlett Johansson, Anohni, Bob Weir, others [Updated]". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Progress Report". Stereogum. February 23, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Kazuo Ohno Obituary". The Guardian. June 7, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "Antony and the Johnsons". Vogue Italy. 27 October 2010. 
  15. ^ "Antony Sees the Swanlight". Interview Magazine. 2 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Antony and the Johnsons Takeover". The Guardian. 11 October 2010. 
  17. ^ "2010 Top 50 Albums". Stereogum. 8 December 2010. 
  18. ^ "Fluid Voice With a Fluid Persona Firmly Attached". New York Times. 31 October 2010. 
  19. ^ Pareles, Jon (27 January 2012). "Cries from the heart, crashing like waves". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 February 2012. 
  20. ^ Betty Clarke. "Antony and the Johnsons – review". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  21. ^ "Antony and The Johnsons amplía su presencia en el Teatro Real con un concierto extraordinario". Retrieved 2015-06-18. 
  22. ^ "Antony and the Johnsons Announce Live Album | News". Pitchfork. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  23. ^ "Antony and the Johnsons news". Retrieved 2015-06-18. 
  24. ^ "Antony Hegarty, the Martu and the Mine". Guardian. 19 June 2015. 
  25. ^ "Trinidad (2008) - Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  26. ^ "Meltdown | 2012: Antony's Meltdown". Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  27. ^ a b c "Discographie Antony And The Johnsons -". 
  28. ^ a b c " - Discography Antony And The Johnsons". 
  29. ^ a b c d " - Discographie Antony And The Johnsons". 
  30. ^ a b c " Antony and the Johnsons discography (Netherlands)". 
  31. ^ a b c " - Discography Antony And The Johnsons". 
  32. ^ a b c " - Discography Antony And The Johnsons". 
  33. ^ Tobias Zywietz (2009-04-12). "Chart Log UK". Zobbel. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  34. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje". Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  35. ^ "DEL SUO VELOCE VOLO". Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  36. ^ "Franco Battiato - Official Website". Retrieved 19 December 2014. 

External links

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