DEFIXIONES, WILL AND TESTAMENT
Created and performed by Diamanda Galás
DEFIXIONES refers to the warnings engraved in lead which were placed on the graves of the dead in Greece and Asia Minor. They cautioned against moving or desecrating the corpses under threat of extreme harm.
WILL AND TESTAMENT refers to the last wishes of the dead who have been taken to their graves under unnatural circumstances.
The concert material in this song cycle includes music set to the texts of the Armenian poet/soldier Siamanto; the Belgian/French poet Henri Michaux; the Syrian/Lebanese poet Adonis; the rembetika songs of Sotiria Bellou; the Anatolian Greek Amanedhes; the blues music of the American musicians Bozie Sturdivant and Blind Lemon Jefferson, and the sacred songs of the Deep South. A new addition to the song cycle is a striking piece written by Galás called “The World Has Gone Up In Flames”, which premiered at Royce Hall (UCLA) November 2001. Galás warns that, even in death, those that were chosen to die have not been defeated nor are they forgotten. “My death is written in a rock that cannot be broken.”
The work is concerned with the poet/author living in exile, away from his homeland. DEFIXIONES, WILL AND TESTAMENT speaks for individuals who have had to live as outlaws, as they were treated as outlaws; and for those who have had to create houses out of rock.
DEFIXIONES, WILL AND TESTAMENT is dedicated to the forgotten and erased of the Armenian, Assyrian, and Anatolian Greek genocides which occurred between 1914 and 1923.