Rail Land comes to Gonville, Whanganui, and secret locations in August
Rail Land - Gonville
Saturday, August 17 - St Peter’s Church, Gonville, Whanganui, 7.30pm doors
I’m excited to bring Rail Land to the neighbourhood I now call home - Gonville, Whanganui, this winter. The show will be at St Peter’s Church - one of Whanganui’s oldest public buildings.
Rail Land is an extension of my live show, first developed as a summer tour which traveled to towns on active passenger train lines. There is (much) more about Rail Land here.
Equal parts tragedy, comedy, and personal memoir, Rail Land is a theatrical journey that intersects my songs with synthesizer soundscapes, personal narratives, historical letters to the editor, and notes on how to take Aotearoa's surviving public rail journeys.
I always wanted to perform the show in Whanganui. So much of Rail Land’s conception came from moving here, learning the city’s history with rail, and discovering the surprises and frustrations of the still-living public transport system.
In some ways, St Peter’s is a symbol of Whanganui’s (and New Zealand’s) full circle with rail. It was built before the trams or the rail system, and it’s still here, at a time when all passenger rail services have been taken away.
And Gonville was very much a centre of the Rail Land that inspired the show - it had a small railway station, a busy tram junction, and there was fierce competition between The Castlecliff Railway Company and the trams for two decades. Today from Gonville, I can still get a ride to catch The Capital Connection - the only inter-regional train for public transport in the country.
But Rail Land isn’t a show about trains - It’s a journey of the mind, and an interesting way to frame my music, which has (almost) nothing to do with rail. If you live in or near the Great Bay, I hope you’ll join us for that journey.
I’m also performing the show for private audiences in Wairarapa on Saturday, August 3, and in Hawkes Bay on Sunday, August 4. If you’d like to go to these, it’s possible to request a spot - please join the mailing list for details.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Synthesized Universe will return
A Synthesized Universe is an immersive, 360-degree experience that uses the possibilities of a modern planetarium and its map of the known universe, developed over months with Andrew Charlton and The Otago Museum.
It was a pleasure to bring A Synthesized Universe to Tāmaki Makaurau for the first time, as part of the 2019 Auckland Arts Festival. We’re looking forward to taking the show to the next planetarium, and the show will soon visit select smaller centres in an expanded format.
Two Free Hands, and about this website
My team and 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.
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.
We aim to make this website, and the mailing list our first portals 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.
We have pro-technology philosophy, as long people are using the technology, not the other way around. Above all, we respect your time. This is why we have no comments, like or share buttons on this site, and why we send a maximum of four emails to our list a year. But if you’d like to get in touch, we welcome correspondence - details are at the work section.