Lisa Gerrard

Lisa Gerrard (born 12 April 1961) is an Australian musician, singer, and composer who rose to prominence as part of the music group Dead Can Dance with former music partner Brendan Perry. Gerrard possesses the vocal range of a contralto, spanning from E3-F5. Her voice has been described as rich, deep, dark, mournful and unique. She also has the ability to extend upwards into the dramatic mezzo-soprano range, examples of such would be on the songs The Host of Seraphim, Elegy, Space Weaver, Come This Way and One Perfect Sunrise. Gerrard however performs more predominantly in the dramatic contralto range in her other songs, Sanvean, Sacrifice, Largo and Not Yet. Gerrard sings many of her songs, such as Now We Are Free, Come Tenderness, Serenity, The Valley of the Moon, Tempest, Pilgrimage of Lost Children, Coming Home and Sanvean in an idioglossia (an idiosyncratic language) that she has developed since the age of twelve. Since her career began in 1981, she has been involved in a wide range of projects. Gerrard received a Golden Globe Award for the music score to the film Gladiator, on which she collaborated with Hans Zimmer. In addition to singing, she is an instrumentalist for much of her work, most prolifically using the yangqin (a Chinese hammered dulcimer). Born 12 April 1961 in Melbourne, Lisa Gerrard grew up in the suburb of Prahran with her Irish immigrant parents. On her upbringing, she has said she grew up with "Mediterranean music blaring out of the houses," and that this influenced her music, particularly on later Dead Can Dance albums and in her solo and collaborative works. Gerrard's first foray into forming bands and creative music-making was the highly experimental Little Band scene. It was at one of these little band events that she first met Dead Can Dance cofounder Brendan Perry. Perry recalls, "It never occurred to me that we would one day collaborate musically together because at the time I thought her music was too avant garde. I particularly remember one song that she sang about finding a man in the park and asking her mother if she could bring him home to keep in her wardrobe as she attacked this chinese dulcimer with two bamboo sticks." Lisa Gerrard's first experience in composing music for a film came with the 1989 Spanish film El Niño de la Luna, directed by Agustín Villaronga. The film score was composed by Dead Can Dance and the film featured Lisa Gerrard in her first acting role. El Niño de la Luna describes the...

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