In a dark auditorium a hooded figure stands fast in her place, reciting lyrics that tell of the world’s mass human evils. This is ANOHNI.
Behind her, a montage of women’s faces flash across a screen, mouthing noiselessly along with the words.
The result is visually, sonically and emotionally arresting.
Formerly Antony Hegarty, ANOHNI used to lead the Mercury Prize winning group Antony and the Johnsons, a band that were known for their avant-garde performances.
Stylistically, ANOHNI’s new album, Hopelessness, is a vast leap from her previous work; scrapping the peaceful chamber pop in favour of a synth-laden wonderland.
In all of her work, however, ANOHNI has a knack for being emotionally direct.
Part of this is certainly to do with the disarming beauty of her voice – but Hopelessness displays her frank, straight-to-the-point lyrics when addressing global warming, terrorism and mass surveillance. She is not afraid to pick a fight.
ANOHNI performs at the International Festival on 17 August with Hopelessness collaborators, Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never: one is a producer for Kanye West; the other an electronic polymath.
This is no regular gig. Expect a performance art piece that questions just how directly music can speak to you.