When I was asked if I would like to interview Lisa Gerrard, Then Gerrard and Brendan Perry simply walked away from each other, metaphorically and physically. a child), the ideology of connection (much like the work of Peter Brook), her concern I spent three months with him to see if I could trust him. In , Brendan Perry's family emigrated from London to New Zealand. Birthed eight years on in Melbourne with native siren Lisa Gerrard, it's come to our personal relationship, we're both very single-minded What you have to understand is that Brendan and I have had to rebuild a bridge of trust. group with Brendan Perry: the revered and uncategorizable Dead Can Dance, Over the past three-and-a-half years, Gerrard has contributed music to Ridley explains Gerrard, “and this very difficult, complex relationship with her An important lesson Gerrard learned from Mann was trust: learning to.
The new album is called Anastasis.
Sorry to interrupt, anyway, back to Anastasis… LG: It is influenced by thousands of poets via Brendan through his literary context. And for me, 'Opium' is my favourite song on this album. Firstly I never think outside our immediate connection with those individuals that are touched by our work.
I feel connected to every other creative element because I have a creative soul. My isolation is not through the work it's through not being able to connect with mediocrity. When I was younger I was a punk and then when I got married and had children I became a mother. They are the only two memberships to any clan-like cultures that I have ever embraced.
I was wondering if you had compositional routines at all - for example do you prefer to write and or record at night or during the day? Sadly it depends on the project, if you're writing for cinema it's generally both, sleep deprivation is a mandatory condition as deadlines are never realistic. Do you compose from the bottom up or do you begin with an over-arching vision? Even when he invites me to work in that area I can sometimes feel uncomfortable approaching it. Are you getting me? I think I am Brendan usually starts with bass and drums to anchor the work down.
The relationship we have with our work is intimate and very simple. If we are inspired by something we respond by creating something else it's a cause and effect. When you recorded the new album, did you isolate yourselves from all external influences or were there specific pieces of art, music and literature that you turned to for inspiration or focus?
Mediterranean music played a big part especially Greek rhythms. Yeah, it really is a challenge, but I love it. I love doing it. Did the Whale Rider soundtrack change anything for you thanks to its critical and popular reception? I think so, but I think Gladiator was the one that really changed things for me, because it was such a huge blockbuster film.
It really did change things — winning awards and things like that. I really liked the fact that when I did that film I did it by myself and that it was really my own work — absolutely my own work.
I know that sounds a bit narcissistic, but sometimes as an artist you need to know that this is what you make, this is what you do. Working also with the discipline of actually having pictures there as well, it was a huge challenge to be completely alone doing that and I really loved it.
It became very personal to me. Your singing is so unique. At what point in your development as a musician did your vocal style come into full focus? I used to sing on the street when I was 12 years old. Whether others appreciated it or not, I really had no concern. I just knew I needed to do it. So early that I can hardly even remember.
Lisa Gerrard Quotations
I remember I had a piano accordion and I used to play and the music just came out of my mouth. Sometimes I think that gave me permission to sing the way I do. Artists in Europe are exposed more to music of other cultures, but when your band was starting out, did you feel a void of exotic music that needed to be filled or that it needed to be broken out into the mainstream?
By the way, I think it was actually Houston that we played in. That was the bedrock. And that's interlaced with field recordings of the sea, and goats with bells in mountain passes and insects and various other creatures, to give it a dramatic outdoor kind of ambient feeling.
So you feel more as if you're kind of immersed in nature. The Greek festivals were dedicated to Dionysus, [so] I felt that it was really important to include a choral group that represented a collective like the Greek chorus was.
Before actors, there was chorus -- the body of singers and storytellers. And that's essentially how it was all built, from beginning to top. Drawing on new technology, he was able to work in a chorus that sings in an entirely invented language. It would have sounded really strange if myself and Lisa had tried to do all the voices and build this choral group -- it would have sounded quite synthetic, and I really wanted it to sound like it was a real group from a village, some rural village, singing.
So I came across these vocal libraries which have this special technology, they're called Syllabuilders. And what that is, is basically they have directories of syllables, and you can actually write in your own phrases, and invent your own sentences and words.
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And then you can play them polyphonically, and they will sing your harmonies -- those sentences and phrases that you've written into this engine. That was really amazing With vocal libraries in the past you were kind of stuck with one phrase, and then you could harmonize a little to a degree, but this new technology is a giant leap forward. So what we did was then we superimposed our own voices with these voices to create a chorus.
The complex technologies and musical compositions wasn't the hard part, he reflects. What he found most challenging, he says, was "keeping focused. You just have to keep that idee fixe, fixed in your mind and work towards it. And it takes time, you know. It's nice to slip off into various tangents here and there, but you can get lost up these rivers that have no ending, or they do end and there's no outlet for them.
Keeping focused is the hardest thing when you're working by yourself. It's not a new phenomenon: Perry reflected thoughtfully on challenges musicians can face in navigating these increasingly contested domains. I think it's really important to respect living cultures. Cultures which have moved on, and no longer exist, for instance -- that's fine, it's fair game, it's open to interpretation anyway.
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I'm a little bit anti traditions which are stuck, like at some point someone decided this is what traditional music is. I mean this happened to Irish traditional music for years, and it was disgraceful. They kept it in a bubble basically, and that was all part of Irish nationalism. Wherever you see nationalism connected with the arts, that's what they tend to do, they tend to say 'Right: So I'm all for pollinization and change. But at the same time, respecting music's culture, or at least giving reference to them in the music that you do.
As long as you're not stealing directly, without giving due credit, then I think it's fine. Doing so with live performers would be complex, he says, and pose challenges of how to convey the broader concepts of the album on a stage.
But at the same time, after two years in the studio Perry's yearning to perform live.