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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Interview with Canadian-born Muscian, Jane Siberry

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Iconic and enigmatic, Jane Siberry is one of the world’s unique and most gifted singer/songwriters.

Calling Two Angels: Jane Siberry & Gyan…

Jane Siberry & Gyan: Un Together Again  |  Byron Theatre, Community Centre  |  Wednesday 20 Feb 7pm  | $50 

Canadian-born Jane Siberry is a rare artist: intelligent and earthy, both groundbreaking and heartbreaking. Iconic and enigmatic, Jane Siberry is one of the world’s unique and most gifted singer/songwriters. Blessed with a sincere integrity and emotional depth, her work has spanned three decades, with the release of 14 studio albums and performances on concert stages around the world.

Can you tell us about how it came about that you recorded Calling All Angels with KD Lang?

We were both on Warner Bros and there was a suggestion that someone join me on my recording. My manager Bob Blumer suggested KD and it was a brilliant idea.

It took a while for our vocals to blend and then we came out of the vocal booths (which are used to separate sound on tracks) and stood close together and sang. That makes a huge difference for connecting with someone – you can see and FEEL their musicality and respond. We are both very much like that.

You’re currently on a world tour and on the way to Byron Bay to perform with your friend and local musician Gyan at the Byron Centre. What is it about her music that you love?

I love her poetic heart.

Can you tell me how you met Gyan?

She heard I was coming to Byron Bay on a past tour and she wrote me a nice letter so we met for tea! She is delightful. I ended up staying with her and Simon quite a while and doing some painting!

What do you love about collaboration, what do you as an artist get out of it? You have collaborated with some pretty incredible people!

To watch the mastery of another artist is very different from seeing them in everyday life. Watching how Peter Gabriel sings, KD going into her power, all the musicians who have played guitar, strings, etc on my recordings. It is very moving.

I attended the house concert you did there years ago – it was very beautiful; it was a real honour to hear such incredible music in intimate surrounds. How does the place where you play affect how you play? How are these theatre shows changing in tone and shape?

Being able to see people’s faces means I can better see where their eyes change as they feel things or don’t feel things. When it is a dark hall, you have to ‘listen’ on a different level but you can still feel people’s hearts. Performing to a mostly non-Japanese audience was very beautiful, making you realise how much we can glean from the sound of someone’s voice. Because Japanese culture is so sophisticated in living in ‘harmony’ for the good of all, they are very aware of all this in music. It is fascinating – they listen differently.

I find it difficult when the room comprises several areas (side bar) etc as I think we ‘hold the space’ more naturally in a circle and have to sort of ‘sculpt’ your energy field to scope out the side areas.

What can your fans here in northern New South Wales expect from your concert with Gyan?

Gyan and Si and I will be connected with each other throughout the concerts – Gyan and I will sing on a few songs together. Simon Greaves will play a few songs so I can just sing and not play an instrument. Personally, I will be doing some favourites and also new songs about ‘mice’ and ‘men’.

I am really looking forward to time in the Byron Bay area, feeling the land, doing the concerts, interviewing people about surfing – which fascinates me in its pursuit of that perfect balance. It seems very spiritual and very scary.

Jane Siberry performs with Gyan… and without her in Un Together Again at the Byron Theatre on Wednesday 20 Feb at 7pm. Tix are $50 at byroncentre.com.au.

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