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Anthonie Tonnon


"Tonnon's gift is the astute juxtaposition of the personal and the political, where social issues revolve around people up against family, lovers, corporate entities or bureaucracy. But at heart, love is the pivot." - Graham Reid, The Listener  

The world is full of singer-songwriters, but few of them forge the kind of paths that Anthonie Tonnon has. His work has developed into a unique blend of music, art and advocacy, and shows that are creative works in themselves.

Working with long-time producer Jonathan Pearce (The Beths), Tonnon has released his third full length album, Leave Love Out Of This. Pearce also produced Tonnon’s Taite Music Prize-nominated Successor, and The Beths’ 2020 Aotearoa Music Awards Album of the Year, Jump Rope Gazers.

Leave Love Out Of This is the first release on Slow Time Records (UK/EU/NZ) not by the label’s founder, acclaimed Dunedin-born songwriter and performer Nadia Reid. It is also out on Misra Records in North America, and Flippin’ Yeah Records in Australia.

Tonnon and Pearce recorded Leave Love Out Of This between 2017 and 2020, and in that time, Tonnon’s practise evolved heavily. On tours with The Veils, The Chills, and Nadia Reid, he began incorporating new technologies into his work, including the Wellington-designed Synthstrom Deluge – which he would later use to control music and lighting in his immersive show for planetariums, A Synthesized Universe.

Tonnon took the immersive show concept further with a new show, Rail Land. Instead of a virtual journey through the universe, Tonnon physically transported his audience to far-flung community halls, chartering or commandeering trains on New Zealand’s almost-forgotten railway system.

On Leave Love Out Of This, Tonnon and Pearce move beyond the 1970s technology that powered Successor – and into electronically generated percussion, and textures that blur the lines between organic and synthesized sound. Guitars are set against synthesizers, strings against drum machines, and songs emerge from beats, rather than strummed chords.

After three years of immersive live shows, with just Tonnon and a growing array of technology on stage, Tonnon has formed a full-band line up for the first time since 2018.  

Tonnon calls the new show with full live band “a celebration and culmination of what we’ve developed through the album process, and through the A Synthesized Universe and Rail Land shows. Like the album, it will be a meeting place between organic and synthesized sound, but it will also be a very physical show. The electronic drum beats and sampled parts will have humans playing them on stage, on large surfaces.”

⭐ Taite Music Prize Winner 2022

Agent: Reuben Bonner

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