Antony and the Johnsons
About this Artist
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Antony, vocalsJulia Kent, celloRob Moose, guitar/violinMaxim Moston, violinThomas Bartlett, piano
Born in Sussex, England in 1970, Antony spent his childhood in England, Amsterdam, and in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to NYC at the age of 19. In 1990, he founded the performance collective Blacklips Performance Cult with creative partner Johanna Constantine, and spent the next several years developing his voice and ideas on late night stages around NYC. Antony emerged with a focus on music with his musical ensemble “the Johnsons” in 2000.
British experimental musician David Tibet of Current 93 released Antony's debut album, Antony and the Johnsons, and a follow-up EP, I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy, in 2000/01.
Antony and the Johnsons' second album I Am a Bird Now won the UK's Mercury Prize in 2005 and was called Album of the Year by Mojo magazine. Featuring Peter Hujar’s timeless portrait “Candy Darling on her Deathbed” on its sleeve, the album featured guest appearances by Lou Reed, Devendra Banhart, Boy George and Rufus Wainwright. Antony and his musicians played over 150 concerts around the world between 2005-2006, including at Carnegie Hall, La Carre, the Sydney State Theater, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall with guests including Little Jimmy Scott and Marc Almond.
In 2006 Antony collaborated with Icelandic musician Björk in recording sessions in Jamaica and Iceland. The songs, "The Dull Flame of Desire" and "My Juvenile", feature on her 2007 album Volta, and Antony appeared with Björk at the Hammersmith Apollo (London) and Radio City Music Hall (NYC).
Antony and the Johnsons collaborated with experimental film maker Charles Atlas and presented "TURNING" in Nov 2005 in Rome, London, Paris, Madrid, and Braga. This multimedia collaboration, which focussed on themes of transformation and metamorphosis , featured live video portraits of some of New York City's most enigmatic women. The Guardian called the Barbican TURNING "fragile, life affirming, and truly wonderful (five stars)", Le Monde in Paris hailed TURNING at the Olympia as "Concert- manifeste transsexuel".
Antony’s vocals can be found on five of the tracks on the self-titled debut dance album, Hercules and Love Affair, released in March 2008 by DFA/Mute, including on the single “Blind.”
Antony has also appeared in Hal Willner's “Came So Far For Beauty: a tribute to Leonard Cohen” and appeared in the film documentary of that performance.
Antony worked extensively with Lou Reed live and in the studio on albums Animal Serenade and The Raven. In 2006-07 Antony sang back up (with Sharon Jones and a children's choir) in Lou Reed's first full performance of his album Berlin. This was performed at St Ann's Warehouse in NYC in December 2006 and at The State Theatre in Sydney, Australia in January 2007.
Antony has also collaborated on tracks with Rufus Wainwright, CocoRosie, Laurie Anderson, Marc Almond, Michael Cashmore, Current 93, Linda Thompson, Matmos, and Joan as Police Woman.
Antony appeared as a prison inmate, performing an acoustic version of the song "The Rapture" in Steve Buscemi's movie Animal Factory. He also made an appearance in the Sebastian Lifshitz movie Wild Side performing the song "I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy". In the Wachowski brothers' screen adaptation of V for Vendetta, the main characters dance to Antony's "Bird Gerhl" from I am a Bird Now as it plays on V's illicit Wurlitzer.
Antony covered Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" on the soundtrack to Todd Haynes film I'm Not There, a biopic of Bob Dylan.
Antony is currently collaborating with Nico Muhly (conductor, co-arranger) and presenting a series of symphonic concerts with James Holmes conducting in Europe and the US this Autumn in support of Antony and the Johnsons' new release. “Another World” EP will be released in October 2008 and “The Crying Light” will follow in January 2009.