– General Description: The latest album from Dead Can Dance (a duo, Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard), Dionysus, pays tribute to the Greek god of pleasure and wine. Perry says, “Part of the Dionysian celebration is to achieve ekstasis or ecstasy.” The entire album is sung in a made-up Greek-like language. There are seven movements, like a work of classical music, structured into two acts.
Dead Can Dance formed in Melbourne in 1980 and believe their music doesn’t really adhere to any one particular style; their music has been very influential in the broad music scene since. In my opinion, this particular album has a very Mid-Eastern call-and-song feel; I thought more of the Arabic language than Greek upon first listen. The language is actually from a computer plug-in of choral libraries that has an engine called a “Syllabuilder” (basically a directory of sung syllables, which you can then put together into phrases and sentences from a directory).
Dionysus is almost entirely Perry’s work with the aim being “to wake up” ancient instincts within people. “The point he’s making with Dionysus is that it’s male and female,” Gerrard says.
There are three different types of musicians involved: traditional Mediterranean folk instruments; ones that mimic natural sounds (like bird calls, animal sounds or the elements); and a vocal chorus of his and Gerrard’s voices.
This is an exciting work. Play it.
– FCC Compliant: YES
– Track Reviews:
1. (16:39) ACT I Sea Borne - Liberator of Minds - Dance of the Bacchantes: reminds me of a class clap-along in a good way; quieter nature sounds at 11:46 and then it winds back up; abrupt ending
2. (19:27) ACT II The Mountain - The Invocation - The Forest - Psychopomp: low rumbly start, echoey but much slower; male singer with female wailing accompaniment; then female singer with female chorus; drifts off to nature noises again at 9:40, then it winds back up