Friday, June 12, 2015
Dead Can Dance reached back to the Renaissance to craft ambient folk grooves into this gift of gothic glossolalia. Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry formed the group in 1981 in Melbourne, Australia and moved to London, England where they signed with 4AD and took part in label owner Ivo Watts-Russell's It'll End In Tears album with This Mortal Coil. They recorded a series of increasingly diverse soundscape experiments (Dead Can Dance and the Garden of the Arcane Delights EP in 1984, Spleen and Ideal in 1985, Within the Realm of a Dying Sun in 1987, and The Serpent's Egg in 1988) with liturgical and ethnic musical motifs with a revolving cast of musical cohorts. By the time they came to produce 'Aion', the romantic couple had separated. The sessions took place on Perry's estate in Quivvy Church in Ireland, with a couple of tracks being recorded at at Woodbine Studios in Warwickshire, England. The album features Lisa Gerrard on voice and all instruments and Brendan Perry on design, voice, and all instruments; except David Navarro Sust on vocals for "The Arrival And The Reunion" and "The End Of Words"; John Bonnar on keyboard arrangements; Robert Perry on bagpipes for "As The Bell Rings The Maypole Spins"; "The Promised Womb" includes Andrew Robinson and Anne Robinson on bass viol and Honor Carmody and Lucy Robinson on tenor viol. The album cover is taken from the "Earth" panel of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights.
Gerrard: "Our art was a guider on our foreheads, it was like a crown, it was the most important thing we possessed and it represented everything of who we were and where we were going. When I work with Brendan there’s a lot of literature and painting and philosophy and discovery, you know? It’s not just music - it evolves into that but there are a lot of things on the palette before we arrive at a finished work and before it can become that so sometimes it can take two to three years…"
Perry: "The whole key to me is that you can´t express music without having experienced it for real. Having memories; emotional, tangible, physical experiences of life. Transmutation; where you take your experience and you become intoxicated with it. Its a cultural thing, it is the food sharing with people, for example, or family parties where musicians are present; traditions, stories and becoming intoxicated with all that. It takes me to a journey as an artist so I can do a transfiguration experience that will pour light into my music. It is not an attempt to mirror, its more impressionist in that sense. If you take that principle, the life principle that accompanies an old musician interested in early music or even a post punk band like Joy Division and letting yourself embrace by that influence. Its more or less the cultural evolution of art in history."
the word Aion - alternately spelled Aaon - signifies an age, but also the entire duration of the world or universe. In Platonic philosophy it represents benevolent power existing within eternity
"The End of Words"
"As the Bell Rings the Maypole Spins"
All songs credited to Dead Can Dance / Lisa Gerrard / Brendan Perry, except where noted.
"The Arrival and the Reunion" – 1:38
"Saltarello" (traditional) – 2:33
"Mephisto" – 0:54
"The Song of the Sibyl" (traditional) – 3:45
"Fortune Presents Gifts Not According to the Book" – 6:03
"As the Bell Rings the Maypole Spins" – 5:16
"The End of Words" – 2:05
"Black Sun" – 4:56
"Wilderness" – 1:24
"The Promised Womb" – 3:22
"The Garden of Zephirus" – 1:20
"Radharc" – 2:48