Sunday, April 21, 2013

Diamanda Galas: History of a Passion VII

       "People with intelligence will use it to fashion things both true and false and will try to push through whatever they want with their clever reasoning. This is injury from intelligence. Nothing you do will ever have effect unless you use truth."



                                        The Game Changer

     I had a roommate once upon a time that had just as much of a passion for music that I do. We became good friends. One day he was listening to this singer that sounded like a devil worshipper. I was scared sh**tless. I was like who the "F" is that? He explained she wasn't a devil worshipper, but a singer with a unique voice. At first, I could not wrap my ears around this cacophonous noise. Diamanda Galas, as was the singer in question sounded like a cat being strangled. I was like, dude! please shut that off! He did, but told me to listen to some of it when I had time. Slowly, I tried to warm up to her, trying to figure out where this seemingly crazy person was coming from. It was a bit of a process, but I found her to be quite intetesting in fact. She wasn't worshipping the devil at all. Her style was one that it was like she was taking all the pain in the world, channeling it through her own body and singing so hard as to get it out and be cleansed. 

     Sure enough Galas was giving a performance shortly after my discovery of her and my roommate and I were bound. The show was being held in Berkeley, Ca. at Zellerbach Hall(Univ.of Ca@Berkeley) which happens to be one of the finest concert halls in the world. It is known and widely respected for its acoustics. Only wood and soft fabrics allowed in the hall. So, we ventured across the Bay from SF that night and once we were at the hall found our seats in the nosebleed section which was o.k. because the hall is small enough to experience the full effects of the music. Galas appeared and it her solo voice and piano. The piano had this intense sound effect device hooked up to it which made each key sound like an organ in a haunted house, but a little cleaner meaning the notes would echo in reverberation. Galas began to sing with mild intensity that would slowly but surely build and build and build into what would become a volcanic eruption. Meanwhile, I could not think of anything else as this singer began to unravel the coil of my soul little by little. Such artistic vision has but one goal anyway. Not to be loved like a best friend, but to own you like samurai to their master. After a few songs, Galas' talents became without warning apparent. Her vocal style is in a category of its own and hence very difficult to describe. However, I will say based onmy own opinion that although she does sustain an operatic status she can quite successfully incorporate different tones in a single breath. This technique is similar to that of the Tuvan throat singers.

     Basically, my mind is being blown at this point. Vocal ability is something that pretty much dominates my attention. Iy goes beyond entertainment, it goes beyond art, it goes beyond love. It isn't a part of my soul. It is my soul. Galas' particular ability looked me in the face and said, "Your eyes were open...but now you can see."  Towards the end of the show, rendered speechless, Galas starts in on a song that had this bizarre underlying pop music feel to it. I started thinking to myself...this is a cover!....but she has it reconstructed into her style. I was standing there wondering and straining to figure out what it was and then she sang one line very slowly that enabled me to decipher the track. "My World is Empty Without You."--The Supremes. Yes.
She is unbelievably righteous. My roommate and I left totally mesmerized. I had never experienced such a performance before and certainly not one with such an intense innovative vigor. I proceeded to buy up all of Galas' discography because I wanted to begin to study this one closely. This my friend's was the game changer. I felt reborn.


Style:  Demonic Opera

Vocal Range: 4 Octaves

Projection:   YOU

"Praise the warrior and master...."---dg

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