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"Sanvean: I am your shadow" is a song co-written in September 1993 by Lisa Gerrard and composer/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Claxton during rehearsals in Ireland for the 1993 Dead Can Dance international tour. Lisa Gerrard stated she wrote this song missing her family that had remained in Australia. Its first public performance was in Sligo, Ireland and first recorded on their 1994 live album Toward the Within, and later on Gerrard's 1995 solo album The Mirror Pool and The Best of Lisa Gerrard in 2007. Like most of her work it is sung in a euphonic and emotional pseudo-language.

It has become an iconic song through its frequent appearance on soundtracks e.g. Hermès 24 Faubourg advert 1995, UK Health Education Authority MMR immunisation campaign 1998-2003, The West Wing TV drama episode 7A WF 83429 in 2003 and numerous Academy Award-nominated films. It is a favourite choice throughout the world for weddings, funerals and other solemn occasions.

Paul Oakenfold also incorporated "Sanvean" into this 1999 release "Perfecto Presents: Another World".

The Cadets, a top five drum corps in Allentown, Pennsylvania, performed their own arrangement brass, percussion and solo vocal throughout the 2006 drum corps season. The use of amplification and the untraditional solo singer caused some controversy amongst drum corps fanatics.[citation needed] "Sanvean" is included in their 2006 recording Through the Looking Glass Part II.

A free right of use of the song was given in 2006 to the Dutch NGO 'Natuur en Milieu' (Nature and environment) for their campaign 'Geef natuur de ruimte' (make way for nature).

An almost complete live version appears in the third episode "Paradise Lost" of Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain, first broadcast on 6 June 2007 on BBC2.

For many years it has also been performed internationally by Duo Spiritalis based in Switzerland.

Sarah Brightman, the world's best-selling soprano,[1] included her own interpretation of "Sanvean" accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra in her album Symphony released in early 2008.


  1. ^ Sarah Brightman releasing first album in 5 years, Yahoo! Music, 29 April 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2009/

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