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Titel / Title The Black Opal 
Label Gerrard Records 
Web www.lisagerrard.com
Total run time
62:05 min. 
Vö/ReleaseNovember 2009 

No light reflects in the colour black. The black opal is the lightless stone though all colours are conjoined in it. Likewise the pupil of an eye – behind this specific one the world of Lisa Gerrard (* look below) is to discover; a quiet, elegiac sphere of almost sacred devotion. Chimes which grow from deep inside and seem to display memories, dreams and thoughts as pictures of a kaleidoscope in which the listener is invited to alive his own visions.

The beginning of the album spreads out a gloomy, dramatic landscape; the voice floats plaintive, spectral and operatic in its own subtle style above it. The lyrics of “The Messenger” aren’t to understand in a common way, their nature of message is – beside the musical tune – intuitive, emotional and abstract; to understand their sense the accustomed schemes have to be switched off. A minimalist piano accentuates playfully while the vocal pulsates inside of an indeterminate ethnic space. This expands and becomes with “Tell It From The Mountain” polyphonic, the rhythm more driving till the room opens and gives place for a fusion with poppy stylistic device.

After this comparatively swinging excursion the musical substance changes and floats with deep chant and drums into a cathedrals vault where the voice reverberates from the sky-high columns, alone but also together with the magical vibrancy that gave to her the inspiring energy of her expression. “The Crossing” returns with electronic noises and percussion to oriental and vigorous sound-painting. “Redemption” starts as a polyphonic opus and encounters the previous world of Levant with the sounds of the occident by creating a clerical meditation inside of an imaginary medieval monastery. This is the longest track of the album with an extraordinary range of vocal transposition over several octaves and leads to the atmosphere reminding the tragical last act of a dramatic opera.

“The Serpent & The Dove” surprises through its narrative character. In this song a tale is told in English which seduces beside the acoustical aspects to listen to the Celtic storyteller, who is accompanied by string and plucked instruments. The following tracks – except “Solace” – use the English, too, whereby Lisa seems to put her usually free forming singing under the discipline of an ordinary language. These songs are less spherical but more “real”; slow motion jewels of entertaining song-writing. “Sleep” closes in a kind of gospel and even balladic style with melodic, romantic piano and with this word “sleep” the album… Breathe out. Blow out the candles. Let the dream work inside you.

This is one of the strong, silent productions of a ripeness and depth in which the experiences of the last three decades become condensed and to the forceful expression of an artist, who sends her messages inside a region where no borders – neither territorial nor historico-cultural – rule; messages which develop their sense and individual content inside of the imagination of the listener. This CD is available in three versions on Lisa Gerrards website; a simple MP3-download, the standard CD or a deluxe-version with seven bonus tracks more and the pull out poems by Lisa, beautiful artwork and images and made with recycled materials.

(*) Lisa Gerrard reached international attention as the singer of the project Dead Can Dance. After disbandment 1998 she turned to her solo works (The Mirror Pool, Silver Tree) plus collaborative projects like movie soundtracks (Gladiator, Heat, Whale Rider, The Insider etc.) or the co-operation with Klaus Schulze (Farscape, Rheingold)

1. Red Horizon
2. The Messenger
3. Tell It From The Mountain
4. In Search Of Lost Innocence
5. The Crossing
6. Redemption
7. The Serpent & The Dove
8. Black Forrest
9. All Along The Watchtower
10. Solace
11. The Maharaja
12. Sleep

Andreas Torneberg

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