In collaboration with Brendan Perry, Lisa Gerrard is half of the duo Dead Can Dance, which started releasing arty goth rock on the 4AD label in the mid-'80s.
Gerrard began her solo career with the 1995 release The Mirror Pool, which contained a lot of work that wouldn't fit comfortably into the DCD oeuvre. Combining these fragments with music that she composed and arranged digitally before reconfiguring them into scores that could be performed, it also draws on a composition by Handel and traditional Iranian music. Recorded and produced largely at her home in rural Australia, it extends the world music inclinations of recent Dead Can Dance albums by featuring bouzouki, tablas, and camel drums; though the somber, orchestrated pomp of Dead Can Dance is also present in her operatic, often wordless vocals, and string/woodwind passages (some of which were performed by Australia's Victorian Philharmonic Orchestra). Gerrard released her second album, Duality, written and performed with Pieter Bourke, in the spring of 1998. Gerrard composed the score for director Niki Caro's Whale Rider in 2003, followed by Immortal Memory, a collaboration with Irish composer Patrick Cassidy in 2004. Another collaboration followed in 2005, this time with composer Jeff Rona for the soundtrack to the Native American drama A Thousand Roads. ~ Richie Unterberger