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To Love Somebody Melancholy



Acclaimed folktronic singer-songwriter Minute Taker and award-winning animation artist Ana Stefaniak have joined forces to create a haunting, modern fable told through a dynamic live band performance, projected animations and storybook captions.


Expect to be immersed in a dark and magical world of strange animated characters and piano songs brimming with ethereal harmonies, fizzing synthesisers and orchestral twists.


Live band:

Ben McGarvey - voice, piano, glockenspiel, synths, guitar, looping

Jonathan McMahon - drums, percussion, backing vocals

Léonie Higgins - cello, backing vocals

Mark Pestana - violin, viola

Harry Selevos - keyboards, backing vocals

Produced by Ben McGarvey

Visual technician - Dan Denton

Assistant producer: Connor O'Mara
Consultant: Ravi Thornton (Ziggy's Wish)

Supported by Arts Council England


Watch the trailer below

featuring clips of the show's premiere at

Chorlton Arts Festival 2015

AUTUMNS 2017 tour dates announced!

websters theatre, glasgow, 15 october 

book tickets

st paul's church, london, 21 october 

book tickets

THE latest, brighton, 22 october

book tickets

In ancient Greek philosophy Aristotle first popularised the notion that artists, poets and writers were of a melancholic disposition.  In the middle ages melancholics were thought to be possessed by demons if they could not be “cured” of their depressive tendencies.   


Set on a desolate seashore, To Love Somebody Melancholy explores the notion of the archetypal artist as he journeys through the euphoric highs and the self-destructive lows of his creative cycles.  


A new romantic relationship brings the artist the contentment he craves but it soon becomes apparent that there's something else lurking in the shadows; a ghostly, shapeshifting third entity whose form is entirely dependent upon the artist's current mindset.  Sometimes a saviour, a source of inspiration and hope, sometimes a savage, ruthlessly determined on driving his lover away.

Minute Taker performs his haunting soundtrack live with his eclectic 5-piece band, incorporating piano, vocal harmonies,  glockenspiel, synths, guitar, cello, violin, drums and looping to build ethereal, multi-layered soundscapes.


Ana Stefaniak’s animations beautifully combine illustrated characters and photographic imagery, full of strange characters and symbolic, abstract imagery.  

Exploring ideals of love, identity and home, To Love Somebody Melancholy draws the audience into the artist's inner world, dramatic and dream-like, as he battles with his conflicting affections towards his lover and his muse.

book now

websters theatre, glasgow, 15 october 

book tickets

st paul's church, london, 21 october 

book tickets

THE latest, brighton, 22 october

book tickets


Some previous press for Minute Taker...


"a mix of haunting melodies, electronic beats and soulful singing. The man is superb."

- Time Out


“Epic, otherworldly sounds in an intimate show, with digital trickery"

- The Guardian


"singer/songwriter with that rarest of things in the genre; imagination" 

- Clash


"songs of true otherworldly magic and splendour"

- Manchester Evening News


Some audience feedback from the premiere of the show at Chorlton Arts Festival...

“At times it was almost transcendental. I was absolutely absorbed by it from start to finish. Mesmerised really.”


“The musicianship, songs and performance of the band were exceptional. The songs/music took us on a journey.”


“There isn't enough space on this page to explain how profoundly absorbed and moved I felt. I got a real sense of the melancholia, the feelings of squandered chances, the struggle of dealing with these cyclical aspects of self and identity.”


“Emotions washed over me in waves.”


“Amazing! It was very creative. Nothing like I have ever seen before. The music matched perfectly with the animation. It gave me shivers.”


“'This is not love, this is narcissism' – what a great lyric! Totally tickled my sense of humour!”


“The performance helped me explore my own feelings of loss and disconsolation and encouraged by own self reflection.”


“The performance was so captivating and inspirational. It just flowed so naturally. It gave me shivers.”


“beautiful and haunting. I was totally immersed”


Minute Taker, aka Manchester based composer and performer Ben McGarvey, has previously released 2 albums, Too Busy Framing and Last Things, which led to critical acclaim from Clash, Time Out, The Guardian, Notion, Manchester Evening News and Tom Robinson (BBC 6 Music). He also composes for theatre/film and performed the soundtrack to an Arts Council funded dark stage musical called HOAX My Lonely Heart (Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre, 2014 and The Lowry, Manchester, 2017).


Minute Taker






'Alklai' Music video


Somewhere Under Water

Song from the album 'Last Things'

Ana Stefaniak is a London-based animator, illustrator and photographer interested in narrative stories, surreal worlds and symbolism.  Her short animated films Dreamlands and Provenance have garnered a host of awards including Best Animation at BFI Future Film Festival 2013, Best British Film 2012 at Anifest Caterbury and Best Short Film (age 16-25) at Framed Film Festival 2012.  Ana draws influence from a wide range of styles such as Japanese Anime, magic realism, double exposure photography and storybook illustrations.


Ana Stefaniak




'Dreamlands' Short film


'Provenance' Short film


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