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

Video Of The Day

Song Of The Day

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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6 Responses to “13/4/15 – Dead Can Dance – Host Of The Seraphim – 1988 / Baraka – Ron Fricke – 1992”

  1. jedmatthew April 13, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

    The imagery really enhances the music….

  2. Woody April 13, 2015 at 11:52 pm #

    Very original and full of Atmospheare. Remember I used to have one of their albums. A better verison of Swedish band The Knife in my world.

  3. simone April 14, 2015 at 1:41 am #

    Baraka is such a fascinating documentary, and every time I have seen it that image of those poor donkeys straining under their weight always makes me cry. One must also view Chronos and the sequel to Baraka – Samsara.
    Magnificent, ethereal and stirring music. With Dead Can Dance back from their hiatus I find it rather appropriate that their most recent album was called Anastasis as in Greek that means resurrection – very fitting indeed.

  4. delay plus chorus April 14, 2015 at 7:56 am #

    My favorite review of a Dead Can Dance album (I think it was for Aion) was “religious music for churchless people.” I’ve never heard better.

    They surely are one of the few bands that can accurately be described as “unique,” for their individual talents as musicians and the vision that has allowed them to draw from so many influences yet create something that sounds only like themselves. It’s crazy to go back to their first album, which was kind of paint-by-numbers goth, and see where they wound up just a few years later aesthetically.

    I think their music is really made to be enjoyed in darkened rooms, where your mind can be transported across cultures and ages without distraction. One minute, you find yourself in a medieval cathedral in the presence of time itself, the next, you’re standing before a Mayan pyramid as the sun rises behind the temple at its crown and sacrificial knives are drawn, or dancing with Dionysian abandon on a scorched Mediterranean plain, drinking wine from earthen pots and waiting for the end of the world. Extraordinary.

    • delay plus chorus April 14, 2015 at 8:21 am #

      *That should have been “kneeling” before a Mayan pyramid. Got to get the image just so…

    • Desertrance July 6, 2017 at 10:38 am #

      Well put the collective body of work including solo projects had always been world’s I find myself most at home with! Seeing them live was more than a necessity what a gift they are to all who find them !

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