Posts Tagged ‘Dead Can Dance’

Azam Ali & Loga R. Torkian Talk About a Signature CD on Echoes

December 11, 2013

Hear Azam Ali & Loga R. Torkian interviewed tonight on Echoes.

lamentationAn album that is sure to be in the Echoes Top 25 for 2013 is Azam Ali and Loga R. Torkian ‘s Lamentation of Swans, a Journey into Silence.   They used to be in two different bands.  Torkian played guitar in the Persian fusion band, Axiom of Choice and Ali was half of the world fusion duo,  Vas.  They got together romantically and musically and formed the Persian electronica band,  Niyaz.  Now they’re a married couple with a five year old child and they’ve released their first album as a duo.  It’s called Lamentation of Swans, a Journey into Silence. Tonight on Echoes I go quietly with Azam Ali and Loga R. Torkian.

HIGHLIGHTS

Azam Ali on her Iranian roots: Wherever you’re born, that’s where your roots are.  And you can live your whole life in foreign countries, but that connection to where you are will always remain.

Loga R. Torkian on discovering the guitarviol:  As soon as I played the first note I knew this is a magical instrument.  And I told him in 10 minutes, Jonathon [Wilson], can you build one for me?

Azam Ali on her imaginary language:  There is a certain value to making it sound like a language because just the human mouth is capable of so many different kinds of sounds.  And when you add the syllables it changes the texture of a melody.  It breaks the note in a particular way, it affects the kind of ornaments you can use, and in so doing, there are so many emotions that can be experienced.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE ECHOES CD OF THE MONTH CLUB

FoundJoin the Echoes CD of the Month Club now and you can put David Helping and Jon Jenkins’ Found under somebodies Christmas tree.  It’s our December  CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

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GIVE THEM THE GIFT OF TRANSMISSIONS:
THE ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS VOLUME 19

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Azam Ali & Loga R. Torkian on Echoes Podcast

September 27, 2013

Hear Azam Ali & Loga R. Torkian interviewed on the ECHOES PODCAST

lamentationAzam Ali and Loga R. Torkian used to be in two different bands.  Torkian played guitar in the Persian fusion band, Axiom of Choice and Ali was half of the world fusion duo,  Vas.  They got together romantically and musically and formed the Persian electronica band,  Niyaz.  Now they’re a married couple with a five year old child and they’ve released their first album as a duo.  It’s called Lamentation of Swans, a Journey into Silence. Hear Azam Ali & Loga R. Torkian whisper about music in the Echoes Podcast.

HIGHLIGHTS

Azam Ali on her Iranian roots: Wherever you’re born, that’s where your roots are.  And you can live your whole life in foreign countries, but that connection to where you are will always remain.

Loga R. Torkian on discovering the guitarviol:  As soon as I played the first note I knew this is a magical instrument.  And I told him in 10 minutes, Jonathon [Wilson], can you build one for me?

Azam Ali on her imaginary language:  There is a certain value to making it sound like a language because just the human mouth is capable of so many different kinds of sounds.  And when you add the syllables it changes the texture of a melody.  It breaks the note in a particular way, it affects the kind of ornaments you can use, and in so doing, there are so many emotions that can be experienced.

Hear them talk about their music in the Echoes Podcast.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Little_Things_CoverSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.   CD of the Month Club members will be getting Darshan Ambient’s Little Things 10 days before its released.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Choose either a one time $1000 or on-going $84 Monthly PaymentSupport Echoes by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Think of the great artists you love on Echoes. Think of the informative interviews and exclusive live performances. Then, think of a world without Echoes. You can make sure that never happens by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Echoes is a non-profit 501(c3) organization just like your local public radio station. And all donations are tax deductible. You can support Echoes with a monthly donation that will barely disturb your credit card. 130528_Echoes

Join the Echoes Sound Circle and keep the soundscapes of Echoes flowing!

Persian Fusion Dervishes-Azam Ali & Loga R. Torkian on Echoes

September 23, 2013

Hear Azam Ali & Loga R. Torkian interviewed tonight on Echoes.

lamentationAzam Ali and Loga R. Torkian used to be in two different bands.  Torkian played guitar in the Persian fusion band, Axiom of Choice and Ali was half of the world fusion duo,  Vas.  They got together romantically and musically and formed the Persian electronica band,  Niyaz.  Now they’re a married couple with a five year old child and they’ve released their first album as a duo.  It’s called Lamentation of Swans, a Journey into Silence. Tonight on Echoes I go quietly with Azam Ali and Loga R. Torkian.

HIGHLIGHTS

Azam Ali on her Iranian roots: Wherever you’re born, that’s where your roots are.  And you can live your whole life in foreign countries, but that connection to where you are will always remain.

Loga R. Torkian on discovering the guitarviol:  As soon as I played the first note I knew this is a magical instrument.  And I told him in 10 minutes, Jonathon [Wilson], can you build one for me?

Azam Ali on her imaginary language:  There is a certain value to making it sound like a language because just the human mouth is capable of so many different kinds of sounds.  And when you add the syllables it changes the texture of a melody.  It breaks the note in a particular way, it affects the kind of ornaments you can use, and in so doing, there are so many emotions that can be experienced.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Little_Things_CoverSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.   CD of the Month Club members will be getting Darshan Ambient’s Little Things 10 days before its released.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Choose either a one time $1000 or on-going $84 Monthly PaymentSupport Echoes by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Think of the great artists you love on Echoes. Think of the informative interviews and exclusive live performances. Then, think of a world without Echoes. You can make sure that never happens by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Echoes is a non-profit 501(c3) organization just like your local public radio station. And all donations are tax deductible. You can support Echoes with a monthly donation that will barely disturb your credit card. 130528_Echoes

Join the Echoes Sound Circle and keep the soundscapes of Echoes flowing!

Akara – Music from Other Worlds.

September 4, 2013

“There are other worlds they have not told you about.  They wish to speak to you.” -Sun Ra

Hear Akara Interviewed On Echoes Tonight

WorldsBeyondThe band called Akara has returned from another trip to other dimensions with a new CD The World Beyond.  Their previous CD, Extradimensional Ethnography, was an Echoes CD of the Month in 2011. Akara is a recording project from Joshua Penman who thinks that he’s glimpsed an alternate dimension with music that he’s brought back to this side, including lyrics written by the “luminous beings.”

“Akara to me is the songs of a luminous race of interdimensional beings,” claims Penman,  “these beings from the other side of the veil of reality singing to us in their language, their songs, their dreams, their prayers, their rituals. ”

If Afro Celt Sound System had brought Philip Glass and Dead Can Dance into their trans-global orbit, it might have sounded like Akara. It’s a fantasy meeting of orchestral, electronic and world-music elements with a couple of wrinkles tossed in that are strictly from the imagination of Joshua Penman, including the imaginary language sung by Femke Weidema.  Akara wants you to believe that their music actually comes from another world and  Penman posits the idea that there is another dimension that he  has tapped into, that was here before us and maybe even begat us.

3243905517-1“I will say that I’ve had in my life mystical experiences where I’ve had feelings of connections to entities outside of myself,’ reveals Penman.  “And you know, at a certain level this is talking about the numinous and this is talking about something that’s very difficult to quantify and touch.  But I feel in this music that there’s a way that I can catch onto a certain kind of melody, a certain kind of set of words that don’t necessarily feel like they belong to me.  There’s things that I make with this that clearly belong to me and clearly belong to my training; and then there’s some aspects of it that I feel work in a certain way that I feel is beyond my own creative designs.”

Unlike Sun Ra, who lived in his otherworldliness, Penman leaves some wiggle room between belief and metaphor.

“I would say it’s somewhere between the two, mostly a metaphor but not 100%,” he says

Akara has a new album called The World Beyond.  We spoke with Akara in 2011 about their Echoes CD of the Month, Extradimensional Ethnography.  We return to that entertaining interview and some beautiful music, wherever it’s from, when we revisit our interview with Akara tonight on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Little_Things_CoverSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.   CD of the Month Club members will be getting Darshan Ambient’s Little Things 10 days before its released.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Choose either a one time $1000 or on-going $84 Monthly PaymentSupport Echoes by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Think of the great artists you love on Echoes. Think of the informative interviews and exclusive live performances. Then, think of a world without Echoes. You can make sure that never happens by becoming a member of the Echoes Sound Circle.

Echoes is a non-profit 501(c3) organization just like your local public radio station. And all donations are tax deductible. You can support Echoes with a monthly donation that will barely disturb your credit card. 130528_Echoes

Join the Echoes Sound Circle and keep the soundscapes of Echoes flowing!

25 Essential Echoes CDs: The Best of 2012

December 27, 2012

 25 Esssential Echoes CDs for 2012

Depature SongsThere are always three year end lists at Echoes.  The first is my personal Top Ten which embraces all the music I listen to, not must what I play on Echoes (John Diliberto’s Top Ten Albums of 2012 and John Diliberto’s Top 10 Songs for 2012).  Then comes the Best of Echoes 2012 listener poll, and finally comes the 25 Essential Echoes CDs of 2012. These are the albums that the Echoes staff thought were the most significant releases of 2012 that were played on Echoes.

Fifteen of 25 on this list were not in the Listener Poll.  Fifteen albums that were in the Listener Poll did not make the 25 Essential list. Eleven of the discs were Echoes CD of the Month selections.  Sixteen of them were from artists who began recording in the current millennium. Hit many of the links below and you can read reviews and hear tracks.

Leading that list is Hammock who swaps places with Dead Can Dance who won in the listener poll. We put Departure Songs at number one as a defining album of ambient, shoegaze post-rock.  Now that might seem to define it narrowly, but in fact, it embodies all those genres and surpassed the 2012 works of their heroes like Robin Guthrie and Sigur Ros for shear ambition, successfully attained.

Dead Can Dance’s Anastasis was more than anyone could’ve expected for a band that took a 16 year break between new albums.  Lisa Gerrard, as always, is the voice of the divine plumbing the archetypal consciousness.  Brendan Perry never sounded better.  One song in particular drew my attention, “Children of the Sun.”  This song has been lambasted by hipster critics like Jim DeRogatis  of Sound Opinions.  DeRogatis was right in mocking  Perry’s hippie-cum-New Age lyrics, but what he missed was his yearning, heartbreaking vocals and the John Barry horns that lent those lyrics poignancy and a triumphal heroism in the face of lost innocence.

61ssHhjS7xL._SL500_AA300_Liftoff’s Sunday Morning Airplay took tripped out psychedelic music, trip-hop rhythms and wed them to Summer of Love songs that echoed the Beach Boys, Mamas & Papas and more obscurely, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. (Look ‘em up ).  It’s the most overlooked album of the year and a CD that never fails to make me smile.  They manage to be modern and nostalgic at the same time.

The same could be said about Raygun Ballet.  World That Wasn’t is a project of Hollywood CGI designer John-Mark Austin. He mixes retro analog synth sounds with spoken word snippets from 40s and 50s radio and TV shows creating visions of the future from the past in the present.

Thierry David is all future in his expansive, melodic and ambient Stellar Connection.  I’m still impressed, nearly a year later by the detailed sound design and melodies that are shaped by laser brushes with feather strokes.  And David puts lots of shadows and dark undertows in these songs that keep it from being simply pretty.

Some quick shots:

Icebreaker’s Apollo: An inspired interpretation of one of Brian Eno’s most moving, studio crafted albums as a live performance vehicle.  Like Bang On A Can’s rendition of  “Music for Airports,” it reveals the compositional depth of Eno’s work..

Marconi Union’s Different Colors: A new darkly melodic but thoroughly ambient direction for this band.

Sebastian Plano’s The Arrhythmical Part of Hearts: Beautifully detailed ambient chamber music that came out of nowhere from this Argentine born artist.

Jeff Johnson & Phil Keaggy’s WaterSky: A perfect album of sublime ambient chamber music with arrangements and melodies that flow in oil-based colors framing a  a virtuoso of the guitar and the soul.

Ablaye Cissoko & Volker Goetze’s Amanke Dionti:  African serenity for kora, trumpet and voice that are breathtaking in their poignancy.

Tycho’s Dive: Exhilarating chamber rock with electric neon energy and minor key melancholy.Watersky

Air’s Le Voyage Dans La Lune: Still quirky after all these years in this ambitious soundtrack for the 1906 silent film.

Hans Christian & Harry Manx’s You Are the Music of My Silence:  In the year in which we lost Ravi Shankar, no band did more artistically to maintain his legacy of fusing east and west.

Silence CVRAll India Radio’s Red Shadow Landing: Another CD of ambient Americana from this yet to be discovered Aussie band who has been melodically immersive moods for years.

Julia Holter’s Exstasis: Haunting songs with beautiful, almost Enyaesque multi-tracked vocals but with an avant-garde edge and lyrics that come from an interior world rather than an Elven one.

Niyaz’s Sumud: Persian fusion topped by the ecstatic voice of Azam Ali.  I don’t even think of the Lisa Gerrard comparisons anymore.

Sigur RosValtari: The most ambient album form this Icelandic band who has never met a hook.

SHEL’s SHEL:  Angelic, charming country-scrubbed dream pop folk music with heavenly harmonies and personal songs.

Tino Izzo’s Morning Scapes: I think many people forgot this album from early 2012 that featured Izzo’s intricate multi-guitar arrangements.

Todd Boston’s Touched by the Sun: Eastern inflected songs from the Urban Nature guitarist with subtle accompaniment arranged by producer Will Ackerman.

Balmorhea’s Stranger: The Austin chamber rock group ups the rock end of the equation without sacrificing any of their introspective, dust-tinged lyricism.

Azure Ray’s As Above So Below: The mavens of melancholy go electronic on this set of dark, heartbreaking laments.

Janel & Anthony’s Where Is Home: Sweet lyricism meets avant-garde explorations with this plugged-in duo of cello and guitar.

Forastiere’s From 1 to 8: We get a lot of solo guitar albums in.  Only one of them was perfect.  This is it.

Kaki King’s Glow: How do you return to form while experimenting beyond your comfort zone.  I don’t know, but Kaki King does it on Glow which highlights her acoustic guitar again, but puts it in places it’s never been before.

Here’s the complete list for you.

  1. Hammock – Departure Songs (Hammock) Departure Songs - Hammock
  2. Dead Can Dance – Anastasis (Pias America) Anastasis - Dead Can Dance
  3. Liftoff – Sunday Morning Airplay (Fort Knox)
  4. Thierry David – Stellar Connection (Real Music) iTunes
  5. Raygun Ballet – World That Wasn’t (Raygun Ballet)
  6. Icebreaker – Apollo (Cantaloupe) iTunes
  7. Marconi Union – Different Colours (Just Music)
  8. Sebastian Plano – The Arrhythmical Part of Hearts iTunes
  9. Jeff Johnson and Phil KeaggyWaterSky (Ark Records) WaterSky - Jeff Johnson & Phil Keaggy
  10. Ablaye Cissoko/Volker Goetze – Amanke Dionti (Motema Music)
  11. Tycho – Dive (Ghostly International) Dive - Tycho
  12. Air – Le Voyage Dans La Lune (Astralwerks)
  13. Hans Christian and Harry Manx – You Are the Music of My Silence (Allemande) You Are the Music of My Silence - Hans Christian & Harry Manx
  14. All India Radio – Red Shadow Landing (Inevitable) Red Shadow Landing - All India Radio
  15. Julia Holter – Ekstsasis (RVNG International) Ekstasis - Julia Holter
  16. Niyaz – Sumud (Six Degrees)
  17. Sigur Ros – Valtari (XL Recordings)
  18. Shel – Shel (101 Distribution) Shel - Shel
  19. Tino Izzo – Morning Scapes (Electrofone) iTunes
  20. Todd Boston – Touched by the Sun (Gita Records)
  21. Balmorhea – Stranger (Western Vinyl) Stranger - Balmorhea
  22. Azure Ray – As Above So Below (Saddle Creek) As Above So Below - EP - Azure Ray
  23. Janel and Anthony – Where is Home (Cuneiform) Where Is Home - Janel & Anthony
  24. Forastiere – From 1 to 8 (CandyRat Records)
  25. Kaki King – Glow (Velour) Glow - Kaki King

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes

Echoes On LineECHOES ON-LINE SALE EXTENDED.  Get for 37% OFF until New Years.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.  Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.  And now, for a limited time, access is 37% the normal price.

Sign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.  With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Hammock’s Departure Songs coming to you each month.  Next Months album will be The Ambient Zone – Just Music Cafe Volume 4 Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club  and see what you’ve been missing.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

Best of Echoes 2012-Listener Poll Results.

December 19, 2012

Hear The Best of Echoes 2012 Rewind TONIGHT!
See Spotify Playlist Below

How much of a runaway was Dead Can Dance’s win in the Best of Echoes 2012 Poll?  They had almost twice as many votes as the next artist, Hammock.  But after that, it’s pretty tight.

But what does the list say musically?  It’s pretty diverse for one. I could argue that the top five are variations on modern electronic strategies, even Dead Can Dance and their largely programmed Anastasis.  But delve into the next five and you find acoustic world fusion from Todd Boston’s Touched by the Sun, mostly acoustic ambient chamber music from Jeff Pearce’s In the Season of Fading Light,   Kate Bush’s expansive song cycle set from late last year, 50 Words for Snow and then Eric Wollo’s more conventionally electronic excursions on Airborne.

Depature SongsWhat’s on the list? You’ll find some post-rock, including two by Sigur Ros, along with Tycho, Balmorhea and Hammock for whom ambition clearly paid off in their sprawling double CD, Departure Songs, an Echoes CD of the Month There’s different flavors of ambient including the Godfather, Brian Eno, joined by Marconi Union and Darshan Ambient.  The avatars of Space music, Tangerine Dream, get two on the list, and several of their disciples appear as well, Ian Boddy, Erik Wollo, Robert Rich, Thierry David and Paul Ellis.

Ambient Chamber Music continues to hold interest with Jeff Pearce and Kevin Keller. I’d include Jeff Johnson & Phil Keaggy’s gorgeous WaterSky in there as well.

Seven of the winners were Echoes CD of Month Club selections.  That’s a pretty good batting average.

WaterskyWhat’s missing?  Acoustic guitarists.  Outside of Todd Boston and the California Guitar Trio, none are present.  And even they aren’t truly solo which, given the amount of solo acoustic guitar we play, is surprising.

Another surprise is Loreena McKennitt’s Troubadours on the Rhine.   In years past McKennitt consistently topped this poll and in some years, held both the one and two positions.  But this year she only makes it to the middle of the pack.  Admittedly, it’s a live recording of materiel from one of McKennitt’s less auspicious albums, The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

It was clearly the year for Dead Can Dance.  They may be a love ‘em or hate ‘em group, but the people who love them really do.

Here’s the list of The Best of Echoes 2012 – The Listener Poll

  1. Dead Can Dance – Anastasis (Pias America) Anastasis - Dead Can Dance
  2. Hammock – Departure Songs (Hammock) Departure Songs - Hammock
  3. Brian Eno – Lux (Warp Records)
  4. Marconi Union – Different Colours (Just Music)
  5. Air – Le Voyage Dans La Lune (Astralwerks)
  6. Darshan Ambient – Falling Light(Lotuspike) Falling Light - Darshan Ambient
  7. Todd Boston – Touched by the Sun (Gita Records)
  8. Tycho – Dive (Ghostly International) Dive - Tycho
  9. Sigur Ros – Valtari (XL Recordings)
  10. Jeff Pearce – In the Season of Fading Light (Jeff Pearce Music) In the Season of Fading Light - Jeff Pearce
  11. Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow (ANTI Records) 
  12. Tangerine Dream – (Eastgate Music & Art) The Angel From the West Window
  13. Erik Wollo – Airborne (Projekt) iTunes
  14. Jeff Johnson and Phil KeaggyWaterSky (Ark Records) WaterSky - Jeff Johnson & Phil Keaggy
  15. Loreena McKennitt – Troubadours on the Rhine (Quinlan Road) Troubadours On the Rhine - Loreena McKennitt
  16. Tangerine Dream – (Eastgate Music & Art) Finnegan’s Wake
  17. Kevin Keller Ensemble – The Day I Met Myself(Kevin Keller) Kevin Keller: The Day I Met Myself - Kevin Keller Ensemble
  18. Robert Rich – Nest (Soundscape Productions)
  19. Thierry David – Stellar Connection (Real Music) iTunes
  20. Ian Boddy and Erik Wollo – Frontiers (Inner Knot)
  21. California Guitar Trio – Masterworks (California Guitar Trio) iTunes
  22. Coyote Oldman – Time Travelers(Coyote Oldman) iTunes
  23. Sigur Ros – Inni (XL Recordings)
  24. Balmorhea – Stranger (Western Vinyl) Stranger - Balmorhea
  25. Paul Ellis – I Am Here (Lotuspike) Stranger - Balmorhea

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Echoes On LineNow you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.  Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Sign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.

With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Hammock’s Departure Songs coming to you each month.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club  and see what you’ve been missing.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

Here’s a Best of Echoes 2012 Spotify Playlist Minus Seven who weren’t on Spotify.

A Song for Sandy Hook Elementary School.

December 16, 2012

NewtownI don’t usually employ the Echoes Blog as a vehicle to comment on current events.  But in this time of anguish and pain, I think a song is needed.

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

 

The Ritual and Rapture of Dead Can Dance.

December 10, 2012
Hear Dead Can Dance in an exclusive broadcast
live from Geneva tonight 12/16/2012 on Echoes
This article originally published in CD Review in 1990
Dead Can Dance Live 2012

Dead Can Dance Live 2012

On the day of our Exclusive broadcast of Dead Can Dances performance in Geneva in October, I unearthed this article I wrote on the band back in 1990 for CD Review Magazine.  It still seems pretty up-to-date.

Stepping into the music of Dead Can Dance is like traveling through an ancient culture and hearing an archaic language.  Only it’s a language that was never spoken until Dead Can Dance singer Lisa Gerrard gave it voice.   Lisa Gerrard sounds like she’s intoning  some arcane dialect, but according to Brendan Perry, the other half of Dead Can Dance, she’s actually creating her own hybrid language.”I suppose the best way to explain her approach to the human voice as an instrument is in a sense speaking in tongues as opposed to any particular tongue,” he stated in the New York offices of 4AD Records back in 1990 when their Aion album was released.  “They [the lyrics] all are influenced by various languages but have no syntactical meaning in any given language.”

Which doesn’t mean that Gerrard isn’t communicating anything. Her voice coils around the gothic ambiences of Dead Can Dance, creating Gregorian-like chants on “The Arrival and the Reunion” that would fit right into a monastery of the Dark Ages if it weren’t for the elaborate polyphony.  On the other hand, “Avatar” from the 1985 disc Spleen and Ideal sounds like a dervish mantra.

At the time, Gerrard was loath to assign specific meanings to her vocal flights.  In fact, the delicately boned, blonde singer rarely gave interviews back then.  She had refused to sit down for an interview with me, leaving it all to Perry.  I only got her then when she came to gather Brendan Perry. I leaned over the table, pointing my microphone in her direction and just ambushed her with questions.

“The thing that is important to me is to break the barrier of language and to communicate something without words that’s for everyone,” she stated in a painstaking cadence, as if every word is being wrenched from her soul.

Dead Can Dance from 1980s

Dead Can Dance from 1980s

Dead Can Dance got together in Australia, where their parents had emigrated from Ireland and England.  They fell in love with each other and Arabic music.  “When I first met Lisa in Australia, we were on the dole [unemployment] at the time in Melbourne.  We worked in a few Arab restaurants, Lebanese restaurants and things and they used to play middle eastern music recordings and we used to make copies of them.  We just fell in love with that music together.”

They started as a sort of doom and gloom techno-rock band, but discovered a new sound on the song “Frontier” with homemade metal percussion that sounded like a troupe of Turkish darbuka players and Gerrard taking her first stab at free vocalise.  A move to London and the 4AD label yielded their self-titled debut in 1984.

Their music is drawn from Gregorian, middle eastern and Bulgarian open-throat singing styles and surrounded by instruments like the Turkish saz, the hurdy-gurdy, and the yang ch’in, a Chinese hammered dulcimer that Gerrard plays in a style of the Persian santoor.  Combined with synthesizers and  strings, they create a ritual music.

While Lisa Gerrard keeps her meaning hidden in glossolalia, Brendan Perry is eager to articulate his thoughts through music, which might explain why he sings in a rich tenor, in English.  “I’ve always felt more inclined towards the ballads, the sense of poetry of the language,” he says.  However, on their first U. S. concert tour in the fall of 1989, he was also exploring the same ecstatic style as Gerrard.

Gerrard, however, eschews these discussions. “From an interior point of view, the work that I do is original to me,” she claims.  “There’s the exterior identification with sound and there’s the interior projection of communication which you cannot talk about.  That’s why I don’t do interviews.  Because you try to talk about that in abstracts.  And the abstracts are never understood and really it’s better to just listen to the work.”

Listening to the work of Dead Can Dance reveals a sound that’s as close as modern music comes to rapture.

Originally published in CD Review in 1990.

Here’s more on Dead Can Dance from Echoes.
2012 Echoes Dead Can Dance Interview Podcast.
Review of Latest Dead Can Dance album, Anastasis
Five Essential Dead Can Dance Albums

AND don’t forget to vote in the Best of Echoes 2012 Poll NOW!  Closes at 6AM Monday 12/17/2012

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Echoes On LineSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club.

With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Hammock’s Departure Songs coming to you each month.  Dead Can Dance’s Anastasis was a CD pick in September. Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club  and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.  Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

Post-Rock Dominates Echoes Top 25 for October.

October 31, 2012

Hans Christian & Harry Manx’s You Are the Music of My Silence leads the Echoes Top 25 for October.  Their dreamy Indian evocations, the Echoes CD of the Month for October, floats like a seagull above a roiling ocean of post & alt-rock bands in the Top Ten.

Tycho, All India Radio, Balmorhea, Hammock, The American Dollar, Azure Ray and The Album Leaf are all artists that hail from the rock side of things, creating variations on ambient rock and dream pop.   Yet it’s still music with roots in the sound of Echoes.   In fact all those artists grew up listening, in varying degrees, to the sounds of space music, Windham Hill Records and ambient music.  You can hear those sounds in the bottom half of the list with Dead Can Dance still holding on after their September CD of the Month with Anastasis, Paul Avgerinos with his new age designs, Kevin Keller’s ambient chamber music and the return of Michael Stearns with his score to Samsara.

THE ECHOES TOP 25 FOR OCTOBER

  1. Hans Christian and Harry Manx – You Are the Music of My Silence (Allemande) You Are the Music of My Silence - Hans Christian & Harry Manx
  2. Tycho – Dive (Ghostly International) Dive - Tycho
  3. All India Radio – Red Shadow Landing (Inevitable) Red Shadow Landing - All India Radio
  4. Balmorhea – Stranger (Western Vinyl) Stranger - Balmorhea
  5. Hammock – Departure Songs (Hammock) Departure Songs - Hammock
  6. The American Dollar – Ambient Three (Yesh Music) Ambient Three - The American Dollar
  7. Azure Ray – As Above So Below (Saddle Creek) As Above So Below - EP - Azure Ray
  8. Darshan Ambient – Falling Light (Lotuspike) Falling Light - Darshan Ambient
  9. Kaki King – Glow (Velour) Glow - Kaki King
  10. The Album Leaf – Forward/Return (The Album Leaf) Forward / Return - The Album Leaf
  11. Paul Avgerinos – Lovers (Round Sky) Lovers - Paul Avgerinos
  12. Kevin Keller Ensemble – The Day I Met Myself (Kevin Keller) Kevin Keller: The Day I Met Myself - Kevin Keller Ensemble
  13. Little People – We Are But Hunks of Wood (Youth & Progress) We Are But Hunks of Wood - Little People
  14. Slow Dancing Society – Laterna Magica (Hidden Shoal) Laterna Magica - Slow Dancing Society
  15. Dead Can Dance – Anastasis (Pias America) Anastasis - Dead Can Dance
  16. Sounds From the Ground – Widerworld (Waveform) Widerworld - Sounds from the Ground
  17. Michael Stearns/Various Artists- Samsara OST (Varese Sarabande) Samsara (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Michael Stearns, Lisa Gerrard & Marcello De Francisci
  18. Nicholas Gunn – Thirty-One Nights (Spring Hill Music) Thirty-One Nights - Nicholas Gunn
  19. Janel and Anthony – Where is Home (Cuneiform) Where Is Home - Janel & Anthony
  20. Julia Holter – Ekstsasis (RVNG International) Ekstasis - Julia Holter
  21. Nik Bartsch’s Ronin – Live (ECM) Nik B”rtsch's Ronin - Live - Nik B”rtsch's Ronin
  22. Lymbyc Systym – Symbolyst (Western Vinyl) Symbolyst - Lymbyc Systym
  23. Jesse Cook – The Blue Guitar Sessions (Entertainment One) The Blue Guitar Sessions (Deluxe Edition) - Jesse Cook
  24. Jeff Johnson and Phil Keaggy – WaterSky (Ark Records) WaterSky - Jeff Johnson & Phil Keaggy
  25. Ooze – Where the Fields Never End : Revisited (Aleph Zero) Where the Fields Never End: Revisited - Ooze

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Echoes On Line

SPECIAL OFFER FOR NEW CD OF THE MONTH SUBSCRIBERS

For a limited time only new subscribers to the Echoes CD of the Month Club will not only receive the November CD pick, Jeff Johnson & Phil Keaggy’s WaterSky, but an additional THREE previous CD of the Month picks absolutely free!  With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like  WaterSky coming to you each month.  Join now and you’ll get Watersky plus three additional CDs.  Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club  and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.  Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

Samsara-What Goes Around….

October 12, 2012

Here the Echoes Samsara Interview on Echoes weekend stations.

Echoes Samsara Echoes Podcast: Listen Here.

Samsara is the third feature film from director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson.  Like their previous movies, it explores grand concepts with grand images and grand music.  Samsara is Sanskrit for “continuous flow”, the repeating cycle of birth, life, death.

Ron Fricke:  How we created it is as a nonverbal guided meditation on the themes of birth, death and rebirth.  It’s about that flow.

The film travels across the globe with spectacular footage of dancers in Bali and China, temples in Burma, and worshipers in Mecca.  These spectacular and scenic vistas are interwoven with scenes of destitution, abject poverty and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina where they shot buildings decimated by wind, rain and floods.

Bagan Temples in Burma from Samsara

The score, half written by their long time collaborator, Michael Stearns and the other half by Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance and her writing partner, Marcello DeFrancisci, is an ambient global meditation with none of the sweeping orchestral sound that is the convention for this kind of film.   In these non-narrative films, with no actors or dialogue, music is the emotional conduit.

Ron Fricke: I would say it’s at least half, 50/50 image and you know, in music.  It’s really, the dialogue of the film is really the music.  It give you the emotional context of the film.

Mark Magidson:  We’ve been doing this for a while and Michael is a big part of the process as a partner.  Michael’s music is very spacious and that kind of approach is conducive to this kind of filmmaking and the kinds of films that we’re making that leave space for the viewer to bring something of their own reality or their own experience to the viewing experience, where we’re not trying to necessarily say good or bad, or right or wrong with the imagery, it’s open to some interpretation, but the experience is guided.

You can hear an interview with Ron Fricke, Mark Magidson and Michael Stearns talking about Samsara in the Echoes Podcast.

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Echoes On LineNow you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.  Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

You get great CDs like these and our October CD Club selection,  Hans Christian & Harry Manx’s  You Are the Music of My Silence  by becoming a member of the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Follow the link and see what you’ve been missing.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours the states or Eno releases a new album.


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