Dillon Anthony is set to take the stage.
Having been a fixture in both the rock band Kill Chicago and, more recently, performing with singer/songwriter Cedric Noel, Dillon Anthony is prepared to take over TNB‘s new theatre space on Friday to deliver something a bit more conceptual and intimate. Four Stories Live will be a special live performance of Anthony’s Four Stories EP, a collaborative effort that brought to life four stories entwined. “All four of the songs connect, and I’ve chosen to leave it up to the listener to see how they connect” he says, “in some ways subtle and others fairly obvious.”
“This folk project was one of my first attempts at songwriting. I’d written other things before, but for me I thought it was easier to write stories than song lyrics. A story with a very real arc to it, as a process, made more sense to me.”
The EP features an astounding cast of supporting artists from the Fredericton region, many of whom will be joining him on-stage for the musical aspect of the performance. “I felt parts of the music and story required different voices, timbers and talents. I’m very fortunate to have a lot of extremely talented friends, so I’m quite happy to be able to showcase their abilities and their strengths.”
Along with a live performance of the Four Stories EP, the evening will feature moderated artist talks, dramatic readings, as well as physical and visual art pieces to accompany each of the EP’s four stories. Part of the visual aspect can be seen on the EP’s cover art: “With each of the Four Stories, I went to The Owl’s Nest and for each song picked a book with a blank cover that I’d found interesting, with colours that I’d felt representative of each story. I’d gotten local artists to design the cover art, draw, and paint on these books, which will be in attendance at Four Stories Live.”
As for the origin of these stories, Anthony credits his life of travel. “A lot of my background, being a kid growing up in rural New Brunswick, involved nature, hiking, camping, and that imagery is definitely there. Even as a young adult I was able to backpack Europe, through Scandinavia, the Middle East.” He adds that a lot of the stories are adaptations from real events and parts of other people’s lives that he was able to connect with his own experiences.
As an example of his diverse influence, Anthony points to the EP’s first track, The Fox, whose first verse features whispered lyric samples in the background. “While I was travelling, I’d had different people read some of the lyrics in their native tongue,” he says, “so if you listen carefully, you’ll hear there’s Icelandic, Swedish, Dutch, and German in the track. I enjoy work that allows you to discover another aspect to it or find something new each time.”
Anthony claims he’d never intended to perform his EP live, and that it was more of a creative challenge for himself, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do something truly unique once the interest was there. “TNB approached me to see if I’d ever be interested in performing it with some theatrical elements.” he says. “We’ve tried to strip it down as much as we can while still being representative of the original work, so the live performance will be myself and a dozen musicians on stage.”
You can catch this one-time performance on Friday, January 15th at 7:30 PM by reserving your ticket here.
Photograph by Anne Ugabi.