Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard In A Trance

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

me.

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

life.

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

the stars.

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

there.

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.