Compared to Lisa Gerrard, his former cohort in Dead Can Dance, Brendan Perry has kept a pretty low profile. He released a solo album (1999’s Eye of the Hunter), scored a short film, and held workshops on Afro-Cuban and West African percussion at Quivvy Castle (his home and recording studio). But Perry is now set to finally release his second solo album, Ark, in June on Cooking Vinyl.
Perry has stated that Ark is more reminiscent of his work in Dead Can Dance than Eye of the Hunter, which opted for a more folk/rock-oriented sound. And whereas Eye of the Hunter was written for live instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums), Ark was made with a more “artificial” approach, utilizing synthesizers and sample libraries. Perry explains:
This was a conscious creative decision on my part as I wanted to imbue the music with the ambience of a neutral electronic soundscape which would in turn mirror a world that is becoming increasingly more dependent upon machines to perform tasks for us.
With regard to the sample libraries themselves, I have made especial use of strings, horns and choir to complement the synthetic soundscapes and which in themselves form a kind of musical motif that underscores the compositions as a whole.
One track from the album — “Utopia” — can be heard on Perry’s MySpace page. Listening to “Utopia”, one thing becomes readily apparent: Perry’s voice has lost none of its richness and depth in the ensuing years. Indeed, as lovely as the music may be, Perry’s voice remains the most captivating element. (Another track on Perry’s MySpace page, “Crescent”, originally appeared during Dead Can Dance’s 2005 farewell tour but will also be included on Ark.)
In addition to the album, Perry will be playing a series of shows through the U.K. and Europe in May, June, and July.