Duality is at once sacred and playful. It is both dark and light, organic and refined, masculine and feminine. Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard partners with Pieter Bourke, formerly of Aussie band Eden, to create this compositional dance of partnership that is classical, ancient, and thoroughly modern. Gerrard's voice is multitracked at times, conjuring a cathedral choir and the droning chants of monks. Drums and synth snake from desert to brilliant stormy sky to shaking earth and the bodies that inhabit those spaces. There are lush multiple layers of strings, bagpipe drone, and, quite literally, the laughter of children. The vocals sans "real" words and multicultural instrumentation will be familiar to Dead Can Dance listeners. Yet there is something more exclusive, more womblike about the music of Bourke and Gerrard; rather than two distinct bodies making music, like mother and in utero child sharing blood and breath, they are mutually dependent.
Michael Mann is an unconventional director, so it's entirely appropriate that the score for The Insider, his meditation on tobacco whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand, doesn't play by the rules either. The bulk of the album is comprised of collaborations between Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke, with three tracks from Graeme Revell and equally atmospheric contributions from Gustavo Santaolalla, Jan Garbarek, and Massive Attack. The result is eerie and haunting, somewhere between ambient and new age, but always evocative and cinematic. This may be a strange choice for a seemingly dry journalism tale, but it works terrifically and gives a good sense of how unusual and unpredictable The Insider is.