Dead Can Dance is a band composed of Lisa Gerrard (contralto), and Brendan Perry (baritone). Formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1981 and initially based there, it disbanded in 1998 but reunited temporarily for a world tour in 2005.
Though the band was formed in Australia, Gerrard and Perry moved soon after to London, where after one year it signed with alternative rock label 4AD Records, a legendary label on the alternative-music scene. The duo continued to work closely together until the late 1990s, when they started to grow apart. Gerrard returned to Australia, while Perry moved to Ireland, where he bought the old Quivvy Church in which he now lives and works. It is speculated that the distance between the members was an influence in the duo’s eventual break-up, although Perry himself said that distance helped in maintaining a certain individual freedom in creativity.
Assigning a musical genre to Dead Can Dance is difficult, as its style is particularly eclectic. However, its early work could be considered a mix between post-punk and goth rock. In its later work, starting with The Serpent’s Egg, Dead Can Dance would take ancient or various musics from around the world as primary sources, with Gerrard singing glossolalia, giving it a very distinctive style. As a result, the duo’s later albums sound quite different from the first three. Various sources have labeled those latter releases as neoclassical, ethereal, or dark world music.
The album artwork [of their self titled first album], a ritual mask from New Guinea, provides a visual interpretation of the meaning of the name Dead Can Dance. The mask, though once a living part of a tree is dead; nevertheless it has, through the artistry of its maker, been imbued with a life force of its own. To understand why we chose the name, think of the transformation of inanimacy to animacy. Think of the processes concerning life from death and death into life. So many people missed the inherent symbolism, and assumed that we must be morbid gothic types, a mistake we deplored and deplore.
Eu nu am de zis decit atit: magnific!
Yulunga (Dance spirit)
The Host Of Seraphim
Summoning of the Muse
Now We Are Free – Gladiator soundtrack
The Final „Man On Fire” Scene
Sanvean (I am your shadow)
The Carnival Is Over