Revival Churches Discussion forum

Revival Churches Discussion forum
Click here to view the forum


Lisa Gerrard uses "her own" language.

Lisa Gerrard sings in what some christians might call 'tongues'. She sings in her own language - it's that simple!

Lisa Gerrard uses "her own" language.

Lisa Gerrard's lyrics in "Now We Are Free" have no language known to man. She uses her own "language" or glosalalia, similar to what young children use to talk or sing or what some pentecostal groups use to pray. At least this is how LG has described her process in many interviews. She has said she makes up the words as she goes along. Sort of like Jazz vocalists when they scat sing. My impression is that she finds doing this doesn't hamper the listener's ability to add their own experience with the song itself - words get in the way, kind of like now, for example.

I verified this in Lisa Gerrard's homepage.

Her stuff gets a tad repetitive after awhile for some (I myself find it absolutely beautiful, but then I'm a crazy Enya fan) you might recall her stuff in the sound tracks of a few movies - namely "the gladiator'....she from Melbourne originally - imagine her as a 'pub act'....but that's how she started out.

She's not a christian in case anyone wants to know...She borrows her sound from a wide range of ideas..including the arabic styles - yep Muslim culture.

Check it out might intrigue you. I don't think she's singing in the same tongues as the revivalists/penties...but even the Revivalists weren't as weird as some other church groups who encourage singing in tongues. Of course to sing in the spirit (in Chartdoctor's view) would be to sing in tongues as if that's the only way to spiritually sing.

I think its a bloody good example of how the 'act' can be done by anyone who trains themselves in this very unsupernatural and extremely over-rated gift(?)

"The words are in my own internal language, and mean more than I could ever explain,"

The phonemes one uses when one sings, regardless of their meaning, alter the musical shading and tone quality of one's voice. We have to put our tongues in different positions, tighten or loosen different parts of our throats, change the shape of the inside of our mouth, close or open our lips, etc. For example, if I am singing "feet" my voice is going to sound very different than if I am singing "wow" at the same pitch and volume. As a violinist, I can tell you that the angle at which the bow touches the string, the pressure of the violinist's fingers, even the angle at which the instrument faces (or doesn't face) the audience are all used for different musical effects.

Well, a singer's instrument is her body. When she's singing predetermined words, she is limited in how she can alter the timbre and tone quality of her words. For example, she might want the bell-like clarity that can be achieved when producing an "oh" sound, but she if she's singing the word "please," she's just going to have to attempt the best she can with that vowel sound, despite the fact that it's a high, tense, front vowel. On the other hand, if she's not singing predetermined words, but rather shaping the sound the way an instrumentalist does, she's free to sing "oh" went she wants a more clear, open sound, or "ee" if she wants a more constrained, higher tension vowel sound. If she wants an emphatic, staccato sound, she can put in "t" sounds or "p" sounds.


Furious Kitten said...

Dude, you make some GOOD points, some of which I had not considered in the past. I like what you wrote about the singer (LG) being more able to produce emotional sounds using her voice as an instrument and not just as a way to convey direct vocabular meaning. I made up that word I think, "vocabular" but I think you know what I mean. :-)

Anyhoo, great post. Thanks for taking the time.

Spudnuts said...

You might find this interesting. I am not sure what to make of it, but this IS Lisa Gerrard.

Spudnuts said...

This says that Lisa is born again.

MothRust said...

Quote about belonging to Revival:

Why not just look at what the testimony is about not where it comes from or has been posted. So if I read an article about you in a farming newspaper that makes you a farmer?

We (Lisa and I) are not part of any (religious) organizations! (accept maybe for blockbuster video).

My self I find it hard to attach God any (earthly) organization and hope that you do the same (it is an experience not a place or doctrine).

We (Lisa and I) are not part of any (religious) organizations! (accept maybe for blockbuster video).

My self I find it hard to attach God any (earthly) organization and hope that you do the same (it is an experience not a place or doctrine).

MothRust said...


Originally posted by MiaCosmos:
The "testimony" on Revival Centres International might as well have come from Sally Sue Johnson from Memphis, Tennesee. It just doesn't read like Lisa Gerrard wrote it.


I think you're on to something. I've just read the piece, and my take on it is that it was ghost-written. Lisa was interviewed, and the interviewer went off and wrote the article from his/her notes.

Spudnuts said...

Thank you. This was helpful. Perhaps she did not write it after all. ON the other hand, Jacek may be out to disassociate her from it. Who can say? In the end, it does not matter to me all that much. I just wanted to post the link. Thanks.

MothRust said...

No worries. Thanks for pointing it out... I was pretty damned shocked to see her testimony on there. You prompted me to spend a lot of time researching her, and finding recent quotes as to where she's at. Interesting.

Spudnuts said...

My pleasure.

Funny thing is, I still do not "know where she is". What we do know is where Jacek is. I wonder if he speaks for her or if he was voicing his own bias and dislike of Christianity. Like the one poster said, "context has meaning" and unless someone wrote that for Lisa, I think the fact that this testimonial is on a very fundamental web site means a lot.

I mean, at the risk of being absurd about it, if we had found a testimonial from me on a KKK web site, and I was running for political office, don't you think that the public might find my contribution to a KKK web site relevant?

So for Jacek to poo-poo this testimonial and all the people making the connection seems ridiculous.

Anyway, was all very interesting and thank you so much for the links to that forum.

MothRust said...

Just one more thing... and for current members of the Revival Churches to note, or correct (should they happen along here): I truly doubt she is involved with the same 'church' she was when the article was written in 2001. I base this on the following replies she made to questions put to her on her official forum. Revivalists DO NOT support homosexuality in any way. They definitely do not believe that 'love' will align anyone with God, and there is zero tolerance for 'swearing'.

Question from Diogo Andrade: The first topic in the “To Those Who Care” thread is about homosexuality. In a religious vision, what do you think about it? I know that you must be very careful when responding but what do you think about it?

For one thing, never look at anything religiously. Lets take politics out of the equation. Wherever you want to look, you probably need to use your wisdom, but when it comes to love, it’s a god thing, and there’s this scripture in the bible, and I know nobody wants to hear about the bible, but it says that if you know love, you know god, because god is love.

So if you love absolutely, then god is with you, love is with you, and you can only create a fantastic influence in the world because you will sympathise through the gentleness of your compassion, so much so that you will never be judged. I love you.

Question from texrah: Aside you’re your music, do you have strong feelings about global warming? Politics?

Strength comes from laughing at pain. An old Irish friend told me once ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing’. We have no power over the powers that are destroying (temporarily) their own inhabitants. Live for now because they are not going to go away. I had this idea the other day that maybe we should move underground, but I know that we’re going to die anyway, so what difference does it make? All we can do is the best we can because those powers that are just so fucking greedy and that don’t give a shit about anybody except their own bank account have no right to be dignified in this conversation. So be well, and take cover. I don’t have a solution, but I know that if we love each other, that in some way there will be some abstract chariot that will lead us out to a place where we will meet in our dreams.

MothRust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Spudnuts said...

Oh, by the way, I am a Christian and I have been fascinated with the Holy Spirit. The concept of speaking in tongues is one that intrigues me in particular. Your observations are equally intriguing and fascinating to me. I do not belong to any church, but have learned what I know through studying God's Word. Praying in an angelic language is something I "practice" and I am spending more and more time learning about what is actually taking place when I pray in that manner. I am still uncertain as to what is truly happening, but I am open to learning as much as I can.

You might find it interesting to know that the Word tells us that there is not a sound that is capable of being made that does not have meaning to another sentient form of life. So, in the instance of glosalalia (I hate that word...its yucky heheh). those sounds have meaning that are perhaps not understood by you and me, but would be understandable to an infant or, perhaps, an angel :) JUst something to consider.

MothRust said...

I'm fairly well read when it comes to bible verses that relate to tongues and dialect. I'm curious as to which verse are you referring to when you say, "the Word tells us that there is not a sound that is capable of being made that does not have meaning to another sentient form of life."

Spudnuts said...

I was referring to 1 Corinthians 14:10

The KJV reads: There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them [is] without signification.

In this chapter Paul is talking about "tongues" as a gift and a tool for the church. The word "voices" come from φωνή phōnē - which means

1) a sound, a tone
a) of inanimate things, as musical instruments
2) a voice
a) of the sound of uttered words
3) speech
a) of a language, tongue

I am certainly no scholar, and I could be wrong, but I think that this is fairly clear that all sounds have meaning.

I would even go so far as to say that if you dropped a glass, then the noise you hear can be broken down into musical notes, and that though these notes be random in a sense, they still have meaning. After all, musical notes are really about mathematics - its information, a language.

A bird speaks in frequencies which you and I cannot make sense of, but birds understand it perfectly, as I am sure God does, for I assume He speaks all languages. There is nothing God cannot communicate with.

With respect to God, He communicates with us all the time, but rarely are we tuned into His voice. The ability to hear and understand what God may be telling us is done spiritually and requires spiritual ears that are not dull of hearing. I have yet to fully develop this "sight". But I am learning :)

I wish not to argue, so if you disagree with this answer or my interpretation, that is fine. I have no desire to convert anyone. Therefore, if you are seeking a debate I will ask you to just accept my answer, take what you like and disregard the rest.


MothRust said...

Nope, that's cool. As you can see by this blog of mine, I'm quite fascinated by the subject also. Cheers :)

diesyndrome said...

thats great,, Lisa gerard make lyrics from her own language,this reminded me of a song from jeEloy..they make their own language in their lyrics...

JT said...

I regularly sing and speak in tongues (glossolalia), a small amount of mine is on youtube.
My voice is male and not as good as Lisa's but there are similarities. I have never 'learned' this language and have found that it touches the parts that other things cannot reach, severely brain damaged babies, those mentally disturbed and others. I spoke in tongues 30 years ago ..I actually sang while driving the car and couldnt stop crying, i felt what I was saying rather than understood. I guess i am in 'opposition' to the main premise of this site!! I may even blog on this issue soon. Here is my blog btw

Lana Miles said...

I am so blown away by all of your comments. What beauty in the way that you have expressed yourselves . I could read mothrusts and spudnuts comments all day. Thank you gentlemen for expanding my mind.

Dora said...

Very illuminating dialogue. Peace to all.

MapRef41N93Wx said...

Liz Fraser does the same thing except she doesn't have her own language. Just sort of sings nonsensically to create emotionally fueled melodies.