Gillian O’Donovan is a musician and vocal coach living in France.
In 2005 she went to Southern India for the first time, to study Carnatic classical music. This complex, beautiful, vocally oriented music felt like a logical development of her interest in jazz vocals and improvisation.
In 2011, she met Michael Colley, a celebrated player of the Hang living in France. The Hang is a steel instrument invented in 2000, with a very delicate and harmonically rich sound combining melody and percussion. She managed to obtain one of these rare instruments (an Asachan Echosound handpan) tuned to an Indian scale, mayamalavagowla, and started to compose a solo repertoire for voice and handpan. The challenge was to use this one scale for western songs as well as eastern ragas, and to play and sing each song live.
The album Orchid is the result of this exploration of that place where East meets West.