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Lisa Gerrard : Represented Artist

Music is a place to take refuge. It's a sanctuary from mediocrity and boredom. It's innocent and it's a place you can lose yourself in thoughts, memories and intricacies.

Random Audio Sample: Salem's lot : orchestra by Lisa Gerrard, from the CD Salem's lot

Photo of Lisa Gerrard

Artist website: http://www.lisagerrard.com

Lisa Gerrard has become a much sought-after composer of soundtracks. In many ways this has been a logical progression as much of her earlier work with the Dead Can Dance duo had a cinematic quality that led to the group's music being used in the cult movie Baraka, TV commercials and even a car chase scene in Miami Vice.

Among the many films and documentaries she has scored or contributed to are Gladiator, Insider, Whale Rider, Black Hawk Down, Heat, Ali, King Arthur, Tears Of The Sun, The Mist, Salem's Lot, A Thousand Roads, Ashes & Snow, Layer Cake, El Nino de la Luna, Balibo, Henry Poole Is Here, Solo, Playing For Charlie and Ichi.

Gerrard has received Golden Globe nominations for Insider and Ali, Oscar nominations for Gladiator and four international awards for Whale Rider.

Over a career that takes in almost two decades, Gerrard has established herself as one of Australia's most groundbreaking and in-demand artists. Singer, composer and actress in El Nino de la Luna (a film which she also scored), Gerrard brings a vision that is both precise and all-embracing to everything she does.

Gerrard's musical journey began in the early 1980s when she and fellow Australian Brendan Perry formed Dead Can Dance. With Gerrard's otherworldly voice counterpoised by Parry's mellifluous tones, from the outset, they thought nothing of setting discordant electric guitars and dark, rolling bass lines against cellos, trombones and timpani. Over nine albums between 1984 and 1995, the duo's musical canvas expanded with every release to take in a timeless mix of world music influences, medieval chants, folk ballads, baroque stylings, Celtic flavours, electronics, samples and anything else that took their fancy.

In 1995 came her first solo album, The Mirror Pool on which she was accompanied by the Victoria Philharmonic Orchestra. Again, it was an album that defied categorisation. One impressed but perplexed reviewer described it as 'ambient, orchestral, folk and new age all at the same time'.

Duality, a collaboration with Pieter Bourke followed in 1998 and again transcended musical eras and genres. Next came the stunningly beautiful Immortal Memory, a collaboration with the Irish composer, Patrick Cassidy which further explores the boundaries of Gerrard's musical ambition.

Her recent album, The Silver Tree, again shifted into new territory; an album in every way sentient and ethereal.

Nick Comeau and James Orr — current to October 2011

Analysis & Media

Book: Women's Music for the Screen : Diverse Narratives in Sound / edited by Felicity Wilcox.