Diamanda Galás and KORK, Kanon Hallen, Oslo, 13 September 2012, produced by Ultima and Ny Musikk
(Nominated as 2012’s “Festival Experience of the Year”)

Completely independent of genre, this concert was definitely the biggest art experience I had in 2012. Diamanda Galás sings from a place where all hope is long lost, but where it is still by no means possible to give up. The technical vocal delivery over three octaves is one thing, but what really makes her great is the ability she has to give pain an expression that is genuinely beautiful without it dispelling the ugly. What is ugly is included – has to be included – on equal terms with the beautiful. Her piano playing is also immensely concentrated and powerful, often syncopated. At times it is as if she is trying to hammer herself down into hell with the keys. The Norwegian contemporary composer Jon Øivind Ness gave Galás a musical context that matched her – equipped with his orchestral composition, KORK orchestra was like a huge animal that both breathed with her and gave her resistance. Best of all, I remember the version Diamanda Galás and the orchestra did of the Edith Piaf classic “Heaven Have Mercy” this evening. Simply powerful.

By Mariann Enge (tranlation: Anne Hilde Neset)
Source: http://www.kunstkritikk.no/artikler/21-desember-mariann-enge/