Danielle Jean: vocals
Didier Jean: keyboards
The lilting mystery of UMAN's (pronounced YOO-mahn) music emanates from beyond any one nation, It's world music that might be from another world, transcending our land-locked existence and taking our ears to the spheres. As UMAN like to say, in their music "even the silences are happy to be there."
You Are Here is their second release on Six Degrees Records but is actually their fourth album. Their first effort, Chaleur Humaine (Human Warmth) appeared on a small French independent label, Buda Records, in 1992; their second, Terra Incognita (Unknown Land) on Polygram France in 1994. It was after recording and releasing these two albums, that they arrived at the sound their hearts desired. Their third album "Purple Passage" was released on Six Degrees/Island records in 1997.
As a result, Danielle began her sophisticated exploration of abstract vocal texture, in an individual style reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins or Enya. "A melody does not need words to tell a story," she says, "music puts you in a mood and YOU makes the tale." Their sinuous, insidious music also attracted American attention when "The White Spirit" was featured on several compilations : Path, Sampler 96, Conversation with God, Yoga Zone, Amazing Grace and another song, "Atmosphere" on Quango's World Voices compilation. UMAN is also included in a Russian compilation Back to the universe and two french compilations : Spiritus II and Raï Suprême.
The freedom and intimacy of UMAN's music may be attributed to the fact that these musicians share an unbreakable, eternal bond: they're brother and sister. Danielle and Didier Jean have always been close. They used to share a house together with a studio in the Vallee de Chevreuse, south of Paris, where Danielle (in her early 20's) began making music with her big brother.
At a party one night, Didier sat in a corner reading a book about Native Americans and came across their ancient word "Umane," meaning the power of the earth forces. Immediately, he responded to its spirit and decided that one day it would be the name of his band.