A Synthesized Universe comes to Nelson, Tauranga and Tairāwhiti

Image by Dr Ian Griffin

Image by Dr Ian Griffin

We’re beyond excited to bring A Synthesized Universe to three Arts Festivals this October: Nelson, Tairāwhiti/Gisborne and Tauranga. Show animator Andrew Charlton and I have been working with video and mixed reality artist Erica Sklenars, a.k.a Lady Lazerlight, to expand the show beyond a planetarium and into a larger performance spaces, using Sklenars’ holographic-like techniques.

A Synthesized Universe

All shows start at 8pm, with doors opening earlier

Friday, October 11 - Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival, The Dome Cinema, Gisborne. Tickets here

Thursday, October 24 - Nelson Arts Festival, Founders Heritage Park. Tickets here

Saturday, October 26 - Tauranga Arts Festival, Carrus Crystal Palace. Tickets here

A Synthesized Universe is an immersive experience that combines live music with a flight through the known universe, custom animations, and mixed reality. Originally developed for a modern planetarium with animator Andrew Charlton and the Otago Museum, we’ve expanded the show for this new season of performances.

Throughout the show, myself and Sklenars will perform together in real time, with room for improvisation. Along with science communication and a surreal sense of storytelling and movement, Charlton’s animations, and Sklenars mixed reality make this show a multi-sensory experience.

It was a pleasure to bring the planetarium version of A Synthesized Universe to Tāmaki Makaurau for the first time this year, as part of the 2019 Auckland Arts Festival. We’re not finished with Planetariums, and we hope to take it to new planetariums and other spaces in 2020.

With Reb Fountain

Right after this run of shows, I’m supporting the magnificent Reb Fountain and her band at Leigh Sawmill. Reb’s gearing up to release a new album, and I’m excited to hear her new songs and visit this legendary venue north of Auckland.

Sunday, October 27, Leigh Sawmill - supporting Reb Fountain, 8pm. Tickets here

Old Images

My most recent release is the song and video ‘Old Images.’ The song was recorded with my long-time collaborator Jonathan Pearce, and a wide cast of guest collaborators. It features a string section arranged by Matthew Bodman, performed by a quartet lead by Charmian Keay.

An invitation to film a music video in the city I grew up in, Ōtepoti, led our team to a new story, one I felt compelled to tell - the story of the Dunedin Rail System - the last suburban train network in the South Island. The process of researching and filming the video became all-consuming, and eventually led to the idea of Rail Land - a recurring tour, where audience and performer travel to and from a venue by a poetic means of public transport. There is much more about Rail Land here.

Video directed by Julian Vares. Styling and assisting by Karlya Smith, Research by Anthonie Tonnon. Thanks to NZ on Air, the Dunedin City Council, Dunedin Railways, Kiwirail, and Toitu. Suit and shoes courtesy of Barkers and R.M Williams.

Song Engineered and produced by Jonathan Pearce and Anthonie Tonnon. Strings performed by Charmian Keay, Nick Dow, Nathan Pinkney and Kathleen Tomacruz. Strings arranged by Matthew Bodman. Bass by David Flyger. Acoustic drums by Tristan Deck. Additional vocals by Nadia Reid. Mastered by Tom Healey.

Two Free Hands, and about this website

I started this site in October 2017 to release the song and Extended Player, Two Free Hands, which you can find at the store and stream below, along with other releases and merchandise.

The EP is available only from this store, New Zealand music stores, and bandcamp, while the single is available on all good (and more malignant) music services.

Around the time we launched, I performed Two Free Hands for Radio New Zealand. While the technology has condensed even further since then, it remains a good touchstone for the approach of the live show.

I aim to make this website, and the mailing list my first portal of communication. Joining the mailing list or visiting the site means you don't need to use social media to know about new releases or performances.

I have pro-technology philosophy, as long people are using the technology, not the other way around. Above all, I respect your time. This is why I have no comments, like or share buttons on this site, and why I send a maximum of four emails to the mailing list a year. But if you’d like to get in touch, I welcome correspondence - details are at the work section.