ATN's Jennie Yabroff spoke to Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance, whose
solo album, The Mirror Pool, was just released. Dead Can Dance
is widely and deeply loved for their hypnotic, mesmerizing music,
which combines diverse influences such as Celtic rhythms, Indian
instruments, and Gregorian chants to create truly trance-inspiring
tracks. Gerrard's album is not so much a departure from Dead Can
Dance's style as a realization of some themes that came up while
making past albums.
Addicted To Noise: Tell me about the process you go through to create
your music. Do you do any rituals or put yourself in a trance?
Lisa Gerrard: Absolutely not! No, no, I don't do any sort of rituals
at all. I believe my music comes from human experience, not the denial
of experience. It's as much a part of my daily life as anything, as
taking care of my children. It's not at all removed from the rest of
ATN: So you just come home from the store, put the groceries on the
counter, and go into your studio?
Gerrard: Well, yes. Really, that is very much how it goes. I read
about the artist Miro, and I'm not comparing myself to Miro, but I
read that he would do a little sketch, and then go and do something
else, work in the garden, and then draw a little more. The creative
process is not a delicate process, it's something integral to everyday
ATN: How do you find the sources for your songs? Do you do a lot of
research on world music?
Gerrard: No, I don't do research, I wouldn't call it that. I chose to
write to communicate something other than the spoken word, but it's
just experience. You have experienced as much music as I have, it's
just picking it up, using it to express what you want to say.
ATN: Do people misinterpret your music?
Gerrard: Yes, I think people see a lot more darkness in it, they think
it is very dark. When I perform, people come up to me, crying, and it
makes me extremely confused. I think they are making it overly
complicated, picking up the wrong messages, because I think there's a
lot of joy in the music, there's absolutely humor, and celebration. I
mean, it is somber, but it points to something positive, it looks to
ATN: Why do you think people see such dark things in the music?
Gerrard: I don't know, I'm confused about it myself. I think people
are very insecure, they've been robbed of a sense of community, a
sense of purpose, and I think a lot of people are in great pain. So
they see that in the music.
ATN: How is this album different than Dead Can Dance albums?
Gerrard: I think it's more exposed, it has more simplicity. I drew
lines but made a real effort not to color them in, not to put more
voices, to keep it simple. Dead Can Dance is more complex, leaves less
unsaid. This album I just sort of pointed to things, and left it
ATN: In Dead Can Dance you work with Brendan Parry. Is this a more
feminine album without his influence?
Gerrard: I don't think so. I can be more masculine than Brendan and he
can be more feminine than me. I feel like I am like a man as much as I
am a woman. I think this album really exists outside sexuality.