Media Release June 2010
RELEASE DATE: 5 JULY 2010 Museagency / Vitamin
CONCERTS: 17 - 25 JULY 2010 (details below)
“How to describe it?” Gyan gazes out into the bush that butts up against
her wooden verandah. A bush turkey peers back. She’s trying to put the
track ‘I’ve Lost The Sea’, from her new album SUPERFRAGILISTICALLY, into words. “It’s about a homesick mermaid in a London bathroom.”
Gyan is an unusual girl.
Hidden away behind a dreamy national park on the NSW North Coast, Gyan, 90’s pop star, global drifter, new millennium poet
recluse, has been busy. In 2008 she conjured up and toured the
exquisite Billy the Rabbit with national treasure Michael Leunig
(www.leunig.com.au). In 2009 she penned the gorgeously bent story
behind artist M S Dawson’s haunting drawings and paintings, for the
shortlisted book How WEIRD is That Yet somehow she has found time to haul into her studio a list of musical pals that reads like the family that fled from the cloistered Conservatorium of Music, up into the light of the North. Cellists,
trombone virtuosi, musical saw and pedal steel players, and long
time collaborators James Cruickshank (The Cruel Sea) and Tim Gaze
(Morning of the Earth), all appeared from the forest when they heard
This is what mermaids do, after all. Lure souls seeking something.
“It’s like having our own Big Pink or Yellow House collective,” Gyan smiles, as a butcherbird now joins the menagerie on
the verandah. “I feel fortunate to have found a bunch of like minded souls …the super sensitive ones.” Gyan’s whole
house is alive with her friends’ artwork on the walls. Cruickshank can be heard tinkering (often bashing) away on a
century old Steinway upright piano, the ‘Sacre Coeur’ of the album. Its rich musical voice, combined with other vintage
instruments provides a moviesque backdrop for Gyan’s broody stories.
“I prefer the old movies…you know the ones where you can see the fishing wire pulling the paper rockets across the
screen” Gyan laughs “I see the sound and chase the pictures that follow…so this bunch of tunes runs like a mini film
festival in my head …but without the CGI.”
Four years in the making, Superfragilistically is a labour of love. “We took the windy road through the back hills,”
Gyan says with a wry smile “We decided to paint around the original sketches …a longer road but hopefully longer
lasting.”Gyan’s partner, and the album’s producer, Simon Greaves disappears through the bush beyond the verandah,
his longboard under arm.
And the album’s title?
“I came to this record with the idea of capturing precious little moments of beauty and holding them up just long
enough to take their picture before they run for cover, like most endangered species,” says Gyan “Thus SuperFRAGILE.”
And the “istically” part of the title? Is that a little present for Julie Andrews?
“Give me an umbrella and I can fly!” Gyan laughs.
‘Gyan has certainly evolved over the last decade. She is now a hugely gifted composer and a very fine singer in the female
sensitive mode ... just the right level of melancholy ... gorgeous fragility’. Bruce Elder, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
With an ARIA award and platinum sales for her self-titled debut album in 1990, Gyan moved to the UK, then the USA where she
signed to Universal working with Ricky Martin, Leanne Rimes and producer Desmond Child. She won a Sydney Theatre Award
in 2008 for her sell-out Sydney Opera House multi-media performances with Michael Leunig. Her book How WEIRD Is That... with
artist M S Dawson was CBCA short-listed in 2009.
LIVE SHOWS: Celebrated for her unguarded and charismatic stage-presence, Gyan performs Superfragilistically in a series of
special shows with James Cruickshank (The Cruel Sea), Tim Gaze (Morning of the Earth), Simon Greaves (Museagency) and a
string quartet with players from The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra recently on the road with Joanna Newsom.
Sat. JUL 17 - Byron Theatre - Byron Bay - www.byroncentre.com.au or phone (02) 6685 6807
Fri. JUL 23 - The Clarendon - Katoomba - www.clarendonguesthouse.com.au Booking line (02) 4782 1322
Sat. JUL 24 - Notes Live - Newtown, Sydney - www.noteslive.net.au or www.oztix.com.au or via phone (02) 9557 5111
Sun. JUL 25 - Lizottes - Kincumber - NSW Central Coast - www.lizottes.com.au or booking by phone (02) 4368 2017
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Recent Reviews and Awards …
...Gyan has certainly evolved over the last decade. She is now a hugely gifted composer and a very fine singer in the...female sensitive... mode. Her decision to take 18 of Michael Leunigs...poem-drawings and turn them into songs is inspired... The result is a genuinely great and original Australian album that Leunig admirers will prize... Bruce Elder, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
…lyrics with gentle commitment, in their deceptive directness … somewhere between Celtic traditional ballad and Appalachian lament. John Slavin, THE AGE
The elfin Gyan is an unassuming performer who has the ideal persona and introspective voice to interpret Leunig’s phenomenal ability to ask universal questions …. An unforgettable night of music from the soul. Matt Byrne, ADELAIDE SUNDAY MAIL
… collects 18 of Leunig’s short poems together and infuses them with finely crafted melodies. The songs shift between a Waifs laidback sound and a more elaborate Sufjan Stevens vibe with guitars, gentle pianos, organs, melodic horns and small string sections … The sentiment of each work is so well captured by Gyan that it’s hard to imagine the music and poetry in a separate context. Jason Kenny X-PRESS MAG
.... with range, technique and tonal sensitivity, Gyan matches Leunigs poems with equally fractured beauty in what could be described as chamber folk or symphonic sketches. Billie holiday and Lucinda Williams would approve... Lesley Sly, SOUND AND IMAGE MAG
.... Billy the Rabbit is a magical and unique journey through the mind of a gentle genius told from the voice of a beautiful and talented singer and is perhaps the most delicate and appropriate partnership between any two unique Australian artists. Shelly Blake, THE PROGRAM
.... Gyan’s vocals are melancholic, shadowy and even a little eerie, a little reminiscent of Portishead's Beth Gibbons. The album is certainly a beautiful listen.... Brooke Robinson, THE BRAG
…It's been a long time since the last 'great Australian album', but for this reviewer at least, Billy The Rabbit breaks the drought. Peter Hackney, SX Mag.
Rimes was in Australia in 04 as part of the "Twisted Angel"
World Tour performing songs including the Gyan song "Love is an Army"
which she regularly introduced as her favorite. Here's a quote of Leanne
from the Curb
Records site :
"Love Is an
Army" (Gyan Evans): Of all the songs I have recorded in my career,
this is my favorite. It's so beautiful and emotional that you really have
to feel it to sing it; you can't just go through the motions. I think
the meaning of this song is open for everyone's interpretation, but for
me it's about the fighting she's done for love and how in the end, love
conquers all. The song is so natural, so simple. Basically, it's just
my voice and strings. This song has some country elements in it, like
my yodel at the end, but I wouldn't consider it a country song."
excerpts from the Gyan+Leunig album have been included on a Geoffery Rush
narration CD through the ABC, and can be heard @ ABConline or purchased @ ABCshop