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Born in Sussex, England, Anohni also spent her childhood in Amsterdam and the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to NYC at the age of 19. In 1992, she founded the performance collective Blacklips at the Pyramid Club, and spent the next several years developing her voice and ideas on late night stages around NYC.
Anohni emerged with her musical ensemble Antony and the Johnsons in 1998. In 2005 Antony and the Johnsons won the UK’s Mercury Prize for the album I am a Bird Now. Upon the release of 2009’s The Crying Light, Ann Powers of the LA Times wrote “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.” In 2010, The Sun gave Swanlights 5 out of 5 stars and called Anohni “one of the greatest living vocalists.” The Daily News wrote, “in these intense and hushed pieces, she has created an exalted world entirely her own.”
In 2006 Anohni collaborated with film-maker Charles Atlas on TURNING, a concert and live video installation. The Guardian called TURNING, “fragile, life affirming, and truly wonderful (five stars).” Le Monde hailed TURNING at the Olympia in Paris as “Concert-manifeste transsexuel.”
Since 2008, Anohni has performed with symphonies throughout the world, including The London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, The Chamber Orchestra of Sydney at Sydney Opera House, The Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic at BAM. Antony and The Johnsons’ presentation of The Crying Light at the Manchester Festival 2009 was included in Klaus Biesenbach’s 100 Years: A History of Performance Art, at MoMA PS1. Last summer, Anohni was the musical director and a performer in the critically lauded The Life and Death of Marina Abramovi , directed by Robert Wilson. This piece will tour Madrid, Amsterdam, Basel and Antwerp in Summer 2012.
In January 2012, the Museum of Modern Art presented Antony and the Johnsons’ Swanlights to a sold out crowd at Radio City Music Hall in NYC. Anohni transformed the space into the interior of a white mountain, bursting with crystals and fragmenting light, in collaboration with light artist Chris Levine, light designer Paul Normandale and set designer Carl Robertshaw. The NY Times says Anohni’s performance is like “Cries from the heart, crashing like waves”.
Anohni has collaborated with a wide-ranging group of artists and musicians including Björk, Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, CocoRosie, and Lou Reed. Reed has said, “When I first heard her, I knew I was in the presence of an angel.” Anderson adds, “Two words and she has broken your heart. When she sings, it is the most exquisite thing you will hear in your life.”
Anohni is also a visual artist and has exhibited her drawings at Palais Des Beaux Arts in Belgium, Isis Gallery in London, Accademia Albertina in Turin and the Triennale in Milan. In 2009 she curated a group show entitled Six Eyes at Agnès B. Galerie Du Jour in Paris, which included work by Peter Hujar, Kiki Smith, and William Basinski. In October of 2010, Anohni released a book of collages and drawings, also called Swanlights, published by Abrams Image. Anohni’s drawings were exhibited at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles in Spring 2012, curated by James Elaine.
“A case could be made that Anohni is following some uncharted lines as an artist and performer…” -New York Times
There are currently no tour dates for Antony and the Johnsons