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Gyan rehearsing with Si Greaves in front of imagery by Regis Lansac

Gyan Evans and Meryl Tankard

Gyan rehearsing with imagery by Regis Lansac

The more you listen, the more you will fall in love with Gyan’s unique talent.’ Bruce Elder - The AGE


We are all going to die. One day, if not us, someone else will choose our funeral song. What will yours be?


Singer-songwriter, Gyan is all too familiar with the question. She says:


“I’ve slowly noticed my friends’ requests have been growing toward more funeral songs than wedding songs. We are all getting on. I thought I would step up and embrace the unspeakable, honouring some of the best music that we can agree on. We’ve taken on board a lot of requests to help tailor a live set that is humorous as well as heartfelt and ethereal.”


Where the spoken word loses scope to aptly navigate loss, somehow in the face of tragedy and grief music steps up. The poetry of song, the melodies that rise from haunting depths have the ability to traverse the darkest spaces. The songs we die to, tell stories of who we were and how we made others feel. They are our emotional guide in the great mystery of the unknown. Wedding singers abound. But who will sing at our funeral? It takes a special kind of singer to take the song to the marrow. A singer who knows the liminal spaces, who can embody despair and then soar into the clouds to find hope. No one sings like Gyan. There is a metaphysical quality to her vocal range. She stands softly on our pain. She is the perfect person to sing “Songs To Die For”.


While this project that arose from all those favourite songs people have requested for their loved ones’ funerals, ironically it has taken on a life of its own! ARIA award winning artist, GYAN sings for one night only in Gulgong’s heritage Prince of Wales Opera House accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Simon Greaves. Renowned director / choreographer Meryl Tankard AO and visual artist Regis Lansac OAM have come on board to develop the multi-disciplinary theatre performance with the ultimate view to curate a new rare Gyan concept album, called “The Funeral Singer – Songs To Die For”.


It’s 30 years since ARIA recipient Gyan sang her hit “Wait” from the cliffs of Kiama on Countdown. Since then, her career has followed an international trajectory working with the likes of Bon Jovi, Ricky Martin and LeAnn Rimes before returning to Byron as part of The Museagency, scooping a Sydney Theatre Award for her collaboration with Leunig at Sydney Opera House, with runner-up/shortlist awards for her album, Superfragilistically (SMH), and children’s book, “How Weird Is That” (CBCA).


Is it really possible to be totally original? When it comes to Gyan, the answer is yes. Gyan walks softly into our secret spaces determined to find sounds, silences and lyrics that are unpredictable, never clichéd and always intensely beautiful.

If you have ever fantasised about your own funeral – and to be honest, we all do – “Songs To Die For” is your chance to be present. To sit in the wonder, the regret, the gloriousness and occasionally the downright ridiculousness of our fragile and flawed humanity.“Songs To Die For” could seriously be the most profound and important covers album ever envisaged!

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