13/4/15 – Dead Can Dance – Host Of The Seraphim – 1988 / Baraka – Ron Fricke – 1992

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Dead Can Dance Pic 3Dead Can Dance’s Host Of The Seraphim appears on the soundtrack to Ron Fricke’s beautifully shot non-narrative documentary film, Baraka. Fricke was the cinematographer on Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi (music Philip Glass) and this was Fricke continuing the experiment on high quality 70mm with a soundtrack that included Dead Can Dance, Indian violinist, L. Subramaniam, David Hykes eerie vocal music, the Andean flutes of Inkyuo and Celtic Australian band, Brother. There’s a lot to this story between Fricke, Baraka and the his use of music and images, philosophy, the toil of  people’s lives and technical know-how, so I suggest you follow the links if you would like to research his work further.

Baraka 1992 Poster

Dead Can Dance were one of the classic 4AD bands built around the common musical interests of vocalists/musicians Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry and their own interpretation of ethnic music. Host Of The Seraphim was the opening track on their fourth album, The Serpent’s Egg released in 1988. Both Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry have released records as solo artists in a similar vein but after a long hiatus they have recently begun playing select shows together under the Dead Can Dance banner. I saw one of these shows at the Sydney Opera House three or four years ago. It was of course amazing but there seemed to be something uncomfortable in their relationship to each other on stage (no love lost), or maybe this is just how these extraordinary arty types are – overtly serious, dubious communication skills, shy, awkward in front of a crowd.

Dead Can Dance - The Serpent's Egg - 1988Ultimately, Dead Can Dance released seven captivating albums between 1984 and 1996. The covers to ALL their albums are always alluring and either beautiful or scary, much like the music inside. Their latest album, Anastasis was released in 2012 and continues the tradition of mesmerising atmospheres on their fascinating musical journey.








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