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Though you most likely haven’t heard her name, you’ve probably heard Lisbeth Scott’s voice – whether on the hauntingly beautiful soundtrack/score to the hugely successful film “Passion of the Christ,” or as the playful voice of the Princess, which she sings in both “Shrek” and “Shrek 2.” Scott’s voice is undoubtedly the most famous voice you’ve never heard of…but that will likely change as she steps out on her own with a new CD of original music inspired by the “Passion of the Christ,” entitled “Passionate Voice”. This music is an example of Scott’s desire to mesh her prodigious vocal talents with her desire to help heal the human spirit – a goal she pursues adamantly.

“I think everyone who gets interested in the process of healing starts out by wanting to heal themselves,” admits Scott, a Los Angeles resident who is married to musician/cellist and producer Nathan Barr. “And that was my path. When I realized how powerful focusing on healing could be – I like to think of God’s energy and love as the most powerful healing energy – I realized I would love to do that for other people. I knew what a gift I’d been given as a musician and how much joy it brought me, so the logical thing was to combine the two interests.”

“I didn’t really want to take the music therapy or music healing route exactly,” she continues, “I wanted to infiltrate the mainstream and put out there with my music and words the very intent of comfort and healing that I held, and couch it in more of an accessible, commercial way, if you will. I felt I could reach a lot more people, and I think that’s what has started happening, both with the “Passion,” and my own projects, which is nice.”

While new to the spotlight due to her involvement with the “Passion” project, Scott is hardly new to the music scene, having spent years working on soundtracks and scores for television shows and feature films like “The Scorpion King,” “The Sixth Sense,” and “Bruce Almighty.” The California native spent years training as a classical pianist before realizing that wasn’t her true calling, and when a friend invited her to perform at a coffeehouse, her gift for singing quickly became apparent. After moving to L.A., Scott found work through word of mouth almost immediately, especially after renowned composer Hans Zimmer tapped her to do some voice work for him on a score. The work just kept coming, without the aid of an agent, and soon Scott was writing her own ticket as far as projects and writing were concerned, and was recording her own albums as well.

The talented vocalist experienced her own awakening of sorts when she began working on an album project called “State Of Grace” with friend Paul Schwartz. “I’ve always been very spiritual, even as a little girl. Whether it took the form of Christianity or not, I always had daily prayers and practices…it didn’t have as much to do back then with church, just more of a private knowing and belief I always had. So when Paul asked me to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ on this album, it was the first big door opening for me. My work on that really solidified that I wanted to use my voice as a vehicle for God, and love, and beauty, and healing, and comfort…and it brought me back to an incredibly God-centered place in my life.”

That project, and her work on the “Passion Of The Christ” that followed, served as a powerful affirmation that she was indeed on the right path for her life. She hadn’t always been so sure.

“For a long time, everybody everywhere was telling me it wasn’t going to be enough, that no one wanted to hear my kind of music…that people only wanted to hear Madonna and things that sounded like Madonna. People would say, ‘Your music’s too slow... it’s too depressing – it makes me think, I don’t want to think,’ all that sort of stuff. So I had a lot of self-doubt, but I always knew in the core of my heart where my truth lay. And I think for me it was just a question of coming to that place in a very solid way, and God showing me time and time again that, yes, this is fine, this is what you’re supposed to do.”

Any doubts she had harbored about her gift and her place in the world vanished when her friend, composer John Debney, personally recruited her for the soundtrack of a new movie he was working on with Mel Gibson. She and John had been introduced by a mutual engineer friend and had worked together on several films before, and Debney heard Scott’s voice in the music he was creating and called her up.

“John and I have a mutual fan club going,” says Scott, laughing. “We had a really incredible artistic connection and hit it off immediately. I knew what he was talking about, and he knew exactly what to provide me with so I could just take off and be as creative as possible, and it just gelled. It’s almost like you’re thinking with the same mind about the music in front of you. So when the “Passion” came up, he called me right away and said, ‘Your voice is a part of this score, I just hear it, and you have to sing on this. And I went over and saw the trailer for the film and burst into tears and we started work immediately on the vocals.”

All the hard work paid off, when the album's release garnered the third best opening week for an instrumental score album in SoundScan history and beat the first week numbers of such notable score successes as "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter." And recently, prolific composer Debney has been nominated for an Academy Award® in the category of Best Original Score for "The Passion of the Christ," Debney's first Oscar® nomination and also the first with co-lyricist/soloist Lisbeth Scott.

It’s a pretty tall order to make Mad Max cry, but that’s just what Scott did with her amazing vocals when producer Mel Gibson heard her. Even more amazing is the fact that Scott sang the vocals in Aramaic and ancient Hebrew, something she found came pretty easy to her. “The essence of language is the musicality with which you say the words,” explains Scott, “and I think for musicians you’ve already got that musicality in your mind, especially if you’ve played for a very long time.”

Scott’s new single from her album “Passionate Voice,” is a song called “Surrender” – an apt title for the singer who has finally given over completely to her destiny and willfully and cheerfully follows wherever it may take her. She is currently hard at work on two more album projects for 2005, including one with creative partner John Schwartz, and she has been tapped as the new solo voice for Dreamworks, singing over the logo screened before each film, and is planning to tour in support of her new record this year. And she is learning that sometimes letting go can give you more of a direction than hanging on – especially in the case of your fate.

“I just want to continue to reach more and more people and create music that’s truly directly from my heart and in line with a higher power that is full of love. I don’t know exactly where it’s going to take me... I find that when I try to predetermine everything everything falls apart, so I’m just allowing myself to be open to wherever the right place is for me to be. And I really want it to involve music and people.”

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 43 - September 9198
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