Blog Post

Jane Siberry Not Considered a New Age Musician

CD writes: I recently received a forward from someone with music by Jan Siberry, with a song called, "Calling All Angels".  It is also used in a movie, "Pay It Forward".  I was wondering if this artist/song is connected with the new age genre of music?

Jane Siberry (rhymes with slippery) is not classified as a New Age artist. This Canadian singer-songwriter has had an eclectic career that ranges from new wave rock in her earlier days to jazz, folk, gospel, classical and even liturgical music in her more recent work.

The song you are referring to, "Calling All Angels," has been described by some on the Internet as being about reincarnation, but when I read the lyrics to the song, I just didn't see that at all. 

The woman, who is purported to be a lesbian (although she's never said so publicly), has had a rather unusual history. Several years ago, she decided to sell all her material possessions and changed her name to Issa which she claims is the name Jesus used in India.

In this 2009 interview with Windy City Media, she explained: "I felt the need to make some strong changes in my life. It seemed important to change my name, so I did. I changed it to a name that I thought was simple, an empty cup. I had never heard the name Issa before, and it turns out to have some wonderful meanings, including a haiku poet in Japan, and the name that Jesus had in India. But two weeks ago I officially changed my name back to Jane Siberry. I felt with the name change, I had gotten in my own way, in terms of devoting myself to my career, making my work available to people. So, Jane Siberry is my name again until further notice, but I feel richer from having been Issa for three years."

When asked why she decided to give up her belongings, she said it was because her possessions were making her feel "heavy."

"I love beautiful things, and I reached a point where I had amassed quite a bit. It felt like change or die, that's how heavy I felt, never able to get on top of my to do lists or devote myself to music. So, I kind of metaphorically took my arm and swept everything off my desk. It's been a really good discipline, to do without. . . "

Siberry doesn't talk much about her belief system and although she may very well subscribe to New Age beliefs, she doesn't appear to be promoting them too much, at least not in her music.

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