Anneke van Giersbergen

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For the band also known as Agua de Annique, see Anneke van Giersbergen (band).
Anneke van Giersbergen
Anneke van Giersbergen May 2014.jpg
Giersbergen in Santiago, Chile, May 2014
Background information
Birth name Anna Maria van Giersbergen
Born (1973-03-08) 8 March 1973 (age 42)
Sint-Michielsgestel, Netherlands
Occupation(s) Vocalist, Singer-Songwriter, vocal coach[1][2]
Instruments Vocals, guitar, keyboard
Years active 1994 to present
Associated acts Anneke van Giersbergen, The Gentle Storm, The Gathering, Globus, Agua de Annique, Devin Townsend Project, Kari Rueslåtten, Liv Kristine, Anathema, Daniel Cavanagh

Anna Maria van Giersbergen,[3] (Sint Michielsgestel, March 8, 1973), known artistically as Anneke van Giersbergen, is a Dutch singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist who became known worldwide as the lead singer and songwriter for the Dutch progressive/alternative rock band, The Gathering, between 1995 and 2007. Currently she has a solo career. The project was originally called Agua de Annique, but later going by her own name.

A frequent collaborator of Arjen Anthony Lucassen, she portrayed main characters in the albums Into the Electric Castle and 01011001 by his project Ayreon. In 2014 they created a new band together, The Gentle Storm, with a first album titled The Diary set to be released in 2015.

van Giersbergen has also worked with Devin Townsend, Within Temptation, Anathema, Lawn, Farmer Boys, Napalm Death, Moonspell, Novembers Doom, Globus, Giant Squid, and many other artists and projects.


Early years[edit]

van Giersbergen was born in the small city of Sint Michielsgestel, Netherlands. She began singing at age 7, when she participated in a music contest. At 12 years old she participated in her school choir where she studied and toured through France. Later she began taking singing lessons and joined her first band. After this first experience, Anneke joined several bands. In 1992, she founded the duet "Bad Breath" with guitarist and singer Deniz Cagdas (Spencer Edgards), with predominantly rhythms like blues, jazz, folk and funk.[4][5] She joined The Gathering in 1994, and she is most notable for her work with them.

The Gathering and several collaborations (1995-2006)[edit]

In 1998, she sang on the Ayreon album Into the Electric Castle, a concept album telling the tale of an alien entity 'kidnapping' eight human souls from different times. Anneke portrayed an Egyptian woman from the time of the pharaohs.

In 2006, she appeared on the album 2006 Rubicon from Asia band members' John Wetton and Geoffrey Downes on the tracks "To Catch a Thief" and "Tears of Joy". She also appears on the Smear Campaign by the grindcore-death metal band Napalm Death, on the tracks "Weltschmerz" and "In Deference", contributing spoken rather than sung vocals "for good effect and relevance to the track".[6]

In June 2006, the epic rock band Globus released the album Epicon, which included Anneke's vocal and writing contributions. Anneke co-wrote the lyrics for "Mighty Rivers Run", and sang lead vocal on the track as well as dueting with Christine Navarro on the seminal "Diem Ex Dei".

The Gathering departure, Agua de Annique and further collaborations (2007-2011)[edit]

On 5 June 2007 it was announced that Anneke would be leaving The Gathering in August 2007 to focus on a new project, Agua de Annique,[7] and spend more time with her family. On 24 November 2007 she performed the song "Somewhere" with Within Temptation in Eindhoven.[8] On 7 February 2008 she performed the song "Somewhere" again with Within Temptation at the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, and it was featured in the Within Temptation live DVD Black Symphony.

Anneke also sings on the Ayreon album 01011001, released in early 2008. The character she portrays is one of the Forever, an alien being of the same race, who kidnapped her character from Into the Electric Castle.

She sings on "Scorpion Flower" from the album Night Eternal (2008) from Moonspell. On 3 December 2008, she performed this song live with Moonspell in the 013, Tilburg.

Anneke van Giersbergen and Devin Townsend, live at The Retinal Circus 2012, Roundhouse, London.

Anneke collaborated with Devin Townsend on his albums Addicted in 2009, Epicloud in 2012 and Sky Blue in 2014 and sang on most songs in them.[9][10] She also appeared as guest vocalist on several Devin Townsend Project live shows including the second show in the By a Thread concert series in 2011 and The Retinal Circus in 2012, both of which were released as DVD.

She appeared as a guest vocalist on the debut album of The Human Experimente, a project, which also features Robert Fripp of King Crimson, John Wetton of Asia and King Crimson, Maynard James Keenan of Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, Adrian Belew, U-G-O with Sean Kingston, and Dann Pursey of Globus and Vantan.[11]

In 2011, Anneke collaborated with Yoav Goren on the song "The Promise", the lead track on Globus second album Break From This World. She co-wrote lyrics as well as being a featured vocalist along with Lisbeth Scott on the track. She performed the track "What Could Have Been" for Death/doom metal band Novembers Doom.[12] Anneke also features on a track in the orchestral re-interpretations album from English progressive rock band Anathema, Falling Deeper, released on 5 September 2011. She has been touring with the band in South America singing the song "Everwake".

Solo career and The Gentle Storm (2012-present)[edit]

She has released a new album, Everything Is Changing, in January 2012 through the Dutch division of PIAS Recordings and under her own name.[13]

On 22 April 2014, Arjen Anthony Lucassen revealed that his next project would be a collaboration with van Giersbergen, their third work together after the Ayreon albums Into the Electric Castle and 01011001. He described it as "an epic double concept album, a combination of ‘classical meets metal’ and ‘acoustic folk’." [14] The project is named The Gentle Storm, with their first album released in 2015.

Later in 2015, van Giersbergen collaborated once again with Lucassen, portraying the character of Fear in the musical The Theater Equation, consisting of a three shows of a live version of the Ayreon album The Human Equation.

Musical roots and influences[edit]

Anneke's musical roots are in classical and jazz music, but she enjoys rock and pop the most. Her main influences are Prince, Ella Fitzgerald and Thom Yorke (Radiohead).[citation needed]


On 20 February 2005 she gave birth to a son named Finn, whom she had with her husband Rob Snijders.


Anneke Van Giersbergen and Danny Cavanagh, 2010


Title Album details Peak chart positions
  • Released: October 30, 2007
  • Label: The End Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[17]
Pure Air[b]
  • Released: January 30, 2009
  • Label: Agua Recordings
  • Formats: CD, digital download[18]
In Your Room[b]
  • Released: October 30, 2009
  • Label: Agua Recordings
  • Formats: CD, digital download[19]
Everything is Changing
  • Released: January 20, 2012
  • Label: Agua Recordings
  • Formats: CD, digital download[20]
  • Released: September 23, 2013
  • Label: Inside Out Music
  • Formats: CD, digital download[21]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.
a. ^ Agua de Annique release
b. ^ Anneke van Giersbergen and Agua de Annique release

Collaborative albums[edit]

Title Album details
In Parallel
with Danny Cavanagh
  • Released: September 10, 2009
  • Label: Angelic Recordings
  • Formats: CD
De Beer Die Geen Beer Was
with Martijn Bosman
  • Released: December 17, 2011
  • Label: Productiehuis Oost-Nederland
  • Formats: CD, digital download[22]

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details
Live in Europe
  • Released: October 15, 2010
  • Label: Agua Recordings
  • Formats: CD


Title Year Album
"Day After Yesterday" 2007 Air
"Come Wander with Me" 2008 Pure Air
"The Blower's Daughter"
with Danny Cavanagh
2009 In Parallel
"Hey Okay!"[23] In Your Room
"Hey Okay!" (Acoustic Version)[24]
"Sunny Side Up"[25] 2010
"Feel Alive"[26] 2011 Everything Is Changing

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Directed Album
"Wonder" 2009 Erwin Arkema In Your Room
"Feel Alive" 2011 Barry Annes Everything Is Changing
"Take Me Home" 2012 Rob Hodselmans
"My Mother Said" 2013 Raymond van Olphen Drive

Other appearances[edit]

Year Artist Album Notes
1995 The Gathering Mandylion band member
1996 Farmer Boys Countrified vocals on "Never Let Me Down Again"
1997 The Gathering Nighttime Birds band member
1998 Ayreon Into the Electric Castle vocals on "Isis and Osiris", "The Decision Tree (We're alive)",
"Tunnel of Light", "The Garden of Emotions",
"Valley of the Queens" and "Another Time, Another Space"
1999 The Gathering How to Measure a Planet? band member
2000 The Gathering Superheat band member
The Gathering if then else band member
2002 The Gathering Black Light District band member
2003 The Gathering Souvenirs band member
2004 Lawn Backspace vocals on "Fix"
The Gathering Sleepy Buildings – A Semi Acoustic Evening band member
2006 Wetton/Downes ICON II: Rubicon vocals on "To Catch a Thief" & "Tears of Joy"
Globus Epicon vocals on "Mighty Rivers Run" & "Diem Ex Dei"
The Gathering Home band member
Napalm Death Smear Campaign vocals on "Weltschmerz" & "In Deference"
2007 The Gathering A Noise Severe (2007, CD and DVD) - lead vocals, guitar band member
2008 Moonspell Night Eternal vocals on "Scorpion Flower"
Within Temptation Black Symphony vocals on "Somewhere" (Live)
Ayreon 01011001 vocals on "Age of Shadows (We are Forever)", "Comatose",
"Beneath the Waves", "The Fifth Extinction",
"Waking Dreams" and "The Sixth Extinction"
2009 Giant Squid The Ichthyologist vocals on "Sevengill (Notorynchus Cepedianus)"
Within Temptation An Acoustic Night at the Theatre vocals on "Somewhere" (Live)
Devin Townsend Addicted lead and backing vocals
2010 Shane Shu Push Me to the Ground (Single) vocals on "Push Me to the Ground"
Maiden uniteD Mind the Acoustic Pieces vocals on "To Tame a Land" (duet with Damian Wilson)
The Trooper (Single) vocals on "Sun and Steel"
2011 November's Doom Aphotic vocals on "What Could Have Been"
Anathema Falling Deeper vocals on "Everwake" & "...Alone"
Globus Break From This World vocals on "The Promise"
Lorrainville you may never know what happiness is vocals on various tracks[28]
2012 DJ Hidden & Anneke van Giersbergen Lights Off: Only You Can See vocals on "Only You Can See"
Devin Townsend Epicloud lead and backing vocals
Devin Townsend By a Thread – Live in London 2011 lead and backing vocals on Addicted
2013 Devin Townsend The Retinal Circus lead and backing vocals
2014 Cellarscape The Act of Letting Go vocals on "The Same Place"
Devin Townsend Z² - Sky Blue lead and backing vocals
Countermove The Power of Love Charity single for The Red Cross, originally by Frankie Goes to Hollywood vocals
2015 Ayreon The Theater Equation live shows; vocals on ""Day Two: Isolation", ""Day Five: Voices", "Day Eight: School", "Day Eleven: Love", "Day Twelve: Trauma", "Day Fifteen: Betrayal", "Day Eighteen: Realization" and "Day Twenty: Confrontation" (replacing Mikael Åkerfeldt as Fear from the album The Human Equation)
The Gentle Storm The Diary vocals
2015 Amadeus Awad Death Is Just A Feeling vocals

Recordings of van Giersbergen's voice can also be heard in Raveleijn, a horse show at Dutch theme park De Efteling. The same theme was re-used in 2012 for Aquanura, a water show in the same theme park. In 2015 a new roller coaster was openened at De Efteling, Baron 1898, where recordings of van Giersbergen's vocals are used for the White Women (Witte Wieven) characters. Her part is prominently featured twice during the ride, but is not part of the soundtrack CD.


  1. ^ "Study programme - Conservatorium van Amsterdam - AHK". Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "DOU 30/04/2010 - Pg. 152 - Seção 1 - Diário Oficial da União - Diários JusBrasil". JusBrasil. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Som13 Músicas. "Biografia - Anneke Van Giersbergen". Som13 Músicas. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ [3][dead link]
  7. ^ "Former The Gathering Singer Launches Agua De Annique -". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Within Temptation Films Eindhoven Concert For Upcoming Dvd; Video Available". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "HEVYDEVY FORUMS Login". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "HEVYDEVY FORUMS Login". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "The Human Experimente". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Novembers Doom - What Could Have Been". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  13. ^ "Everything Is Changing". Discogs. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Ayreon - Timeline Photos". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-07-28. 
  15. ^ "Dutch Charts". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "Dutch Charts". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "iTunes - Music - Air by Agua de Annique". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "iTunes - Music - Pure Air (With Agua de Annique) by Anneke van Giersbergen". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  19. ^ "iTunes - Music - In Your Room by Anneke van Giersbergen & Aqua de Annique". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  20. ^ "iTunes - Music - Everything Is Changing by Anneke van Giersbergen". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  21. ^ "iTunes - Music - Drive by Anneke van Giersbergen". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  22. ^ "iTunes - Muziek - 'De beer die geen beer was' van Anneke van Giersbergen & Martijn Bosman". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  23. ^ "iTunes - Music - Hey Okay! - Single by Anneke van Giersbergen & Agua de Annique". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  24. ^ "iTunes - Music - Hey Okay! (Acoustic Version) - Single by Anneke van Giersbergen & Agua de Annique". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  25. ^ "iTunes - Music - Sunny Side Up - Single by Anneke van Giersbergen & Agua de Annique". iTunes. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  26. ^ "iTunes - Music - Feel Alive - Single by Anneke van Giersbergen". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  27. ^ "iTunes - Music - Circles - Single by Anneke van Giersbergen". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  28. ^ "Lorrainville". Retrieved 28 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Martine van Loon
Vocalist for The Gathering
Succeeded by
Silje Wergeland
New title Vocalist for Agua de Annique
since 2007