Immortal Memory is a collaboration between vocalist Lisa Gerrard and Irish composer Patrick Cassidy. Billed as a cycle of life and death and rebirth, Immortal Memory is better described as an orphaned film score. Cassidy's warm arrangements allow the former Dead Can Dance singer to step out of the dark medieval world that she's called home for nearly 20 years – though there is much of that world within these castle walls – and focus on the simplicity of love, faith, and loss with a grace that's bereft of the icy perfection of her previous work. Gerrard, whose voice has aged like the finest oak, displays an almost supernatural mastery of the material. Her effortless contralto wraps itself around the ten Gaelic, Latin, and Aramaic spirituals like an evening prayer, making each stunning entrance the equivalent of audio comfort food.
One listen to Lisa Gerrard's The Silver Tree (originally available only digitally, then as an Australia-only import, and finally, as a U.S. release) is enough to convince anybody – who isn't already convinced – that there's a very specific reason she has been courted by directors to compose soundtracks. There are 13 tracks here full of wispy ambient soundscapes, on top of which the former Dead Can Dance vocalist places her almost otherworldly gift of a voice. Sung nearly as prayers or meditative mantras, Gerrard employs monosyllabic glimpses of other languages – and occasionally English – to create her own tapestry of dreams. Some may be tempted to call this "new age" music, but it's so much more melancholy than much of what passes for that trash, and it's nearly sacred in its approach to articulation, creating the feeling in places ("Come Tenderness," "The Sea Whisperer," and "Abwoon," to name a few) that she is actually singing inside a cathedral. In other places, such as "Wandering Star" and "Serenity," her voice offers a drone approach that is as subtle – yet powerful – as her instrumentation.
This ex-Dead Can Dance member imparts her own mixture of the ethereal, the worldly, the emotionally abstract, and the purely beautiful to all of her projects. She's been universally recognized and acclaimed for her body of work: she received a Golden Globe and was Oscar-nominated for the "Gladiator" soundtrack. She has also worked on such high profile movies as "Ali" and "The Insider". This release is a soundtrack for the New Zealand indie film "Whale Rider", already the biggest grossing film in New Zealand ever. Gerrard's music, combined with the motion picture, provides an experience of profound power and spiritual enlightenment.
After the success of Gladiator, it wasn't unusual to see director Ridley Scott turn to Hans Zimmer again for the score to Black Hawk Down, his fierce adaptation of Mark Bowden's account of the tragic 1993 American military intervention in Somalia. What was more surprising was the schedule Scott imposed on the German-born composer: 15 days to write, arrange, and record the film's nearly two hours of music. The results of Zimmer's miraculous two-week musical campaign not only belie those constraints; they instantly take their place alongside The Thin Red Line as some of the most compelling music he's produced. The gambit here is simple–portray the combatants as two warring tribes, with their native musics locked in a tense dance for domination.
Lisa Gerrard is an Australian musician, singer and composer who rose to prominence as part of the music group Dead Can Dance with music partner Brendan Perry. Since her career began in 1981, Gerrard has been involved in a wide range of projects. She received a Golden Globe Award for the music score to the film Gladiator, on which she collaborated with Hans Zimmer on such songs as "Now We Are Free." Gerrard released her third solo album, The Black Opal, in October 2009. The album included collaboration with Michael Edwards, Patrick Cassidy, Pieter Bourke and James Orr and was the first release to come from Gerrard Records.
Duality is at once sacred and playful. It is both dark and light, organic and refined, masculine and feminine. Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard partners with Pieter Bourke, formerly of Aussie band Eden, to create this compositional dance of partnership that is classical, ancient, and thoroughly modern. Gerrard's voice is multitracked at times, conjuring a cathedral choir and the droning chants of monks. Drums and synth snake from desert to brilliant stormy sky to shaking earth and the bodies that inhabit those spaces. There are lush multiple layers of strings, bagpipe drone, and, quite literally, the laughter of children. The vocals sans "real" words and multicultural instrumentation will be familiar to Dead Can Dance listeners. Yet there is something more exclusive, more womblike about the music of Bourke and Gerrard; rather than two distinct bodies making music, like mother and in utero child sharing blood and breath, they are mutually dependent.