Legendary Dead Can Dance frontwoman Lisa Gerrard has created a universe of sonic beauty, beyond the scope of the band. Now, with her latest Burn album with Jules Maxwell, she’s created the stunning Heleali (The Sea Will Rise), with an accompanying video directed by David Daniels.
Lisa Gerrard has noted her delight with this track, describing it as “a meditation on the eternal rise and fall of the tides. It is a call to let go of the past and reflect on the elusive shadows of evaporation.”
“It cycles around a simple elegant chord progression. Ebbing. Flowing. Swelling. Out into deep water,” adds Jules Maxwell.
This record began its journey more than seven years ago, when Gerrard met the Irish theatre composer. Their collaboration exploded when Gerrard and Maxwell began writing songs for The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices (Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares). They were later introduced to James Chapman (MAPS) and asked him to produce Burn, which represents a stunning departure for all three of them. With Lisa remaining in Australia, Jules adding keys and percussion from France, and James bringing new light to the sound from England, the three were literally worlds apart, but those worlds fused in this music. Ideas began to be generated freely, and over time a distinct sound for their work began to emerge.
“This track works really beautifully as an album opener. I visualised vast oceans and endless horizons. The song grows and grows, like the waves of the ocean, from the grand opening to the uplifting end section,” says James Chapman.
From gentle beginnings, each track builds and intensifies, creating a hypnotic experience to listen to from start to finish. Their focus was to create a sound that was euphoric and more inventive than what they had worked on separately in the past. Under this new guise, Gerrard and Maxwell have created an album that presents a wonderfully diverse mix of electronica, alternative, cinematic soundscape and world music with hints of early Vangelis, Phillip Glass, and Sigur Rós.
The video for Heleali (The Sea Will Rise) is extremely abstract, a splendid exercise in colour and shape invoking the paintings of Kandinsky. Paired with Gerrard’s tremendous operatic voice, the combination is a pleasing form of meditative bliss. An absolutely mesmerizing collaboration.
Watch Heleali (The Sea Will Rise) below:
Burn, released on May 7, is out now. It has already sold out as a very limited edition Non-Fungible Token (NFT), placing it amongst the first commercial music works available as an NFT, via the eco-friendly platform Hic Et Nunc. The LP can be ordered on vinyl, CD, and digitally here.