Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Diamanda Galás

Diamanda Galás is one of the great artists of the last thirty years. Hers is an emotional expressionism of demonic shrieks, operatic falsettos, glottal clicks and diabolical growls. Her performance at Music Lovers’ Field Companion was of her new suite ‘You’re My Thrill’; love song standards made famous by the likes of Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra, which pared each song back to it’s emotional core.

What we wrote at the time...

 

In avant garde/experimental circles that are often predominantly male, there are a few fearless female artists who stand proudly, defiantly out, and whose work regularly outstrips that of their peers. And when it comes to experimenting with the basest of all instruments, the voice, female lungs and throats have shaped many of the great discoveries and truths – check the record shelves for Patty Waters and Linda Sharrock, Junko, Ami Yoshida and Joan La Barbara if you need proof.

Straddling the nexus of these two virulent strains of female expression, the volcanic chanteuse Diamanda Galás is one of the great artists of the last twenty or thirty years. Hers is an emotional expressionism of demonic shrieks, operatic falsettos, glottal clicks and diabolical growls.  While drawing on inspiration as broad as old jazz standards or the outrageous injustices of AIDS or ethnic cleansing, she somehow finds modes of expression capable of dealing with such harrowing subject matter, with the emotional authenticity of all the great revenant blues singers.  It’s a feral polyphony, but also a politicised bravery.

Her performance at Music Lovers’ Field Companion will be of her new suite ‘You’re My Thrill’; love song standards made famous by the likes of Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra, which if you’ve heard her versions of other standards (Dark End of The Street and See That My Grave is Kept Clean are two of our personal favourites), will undoubtedly pare each song back to it’s emotional core.