DIAMANDA GALAS ANNOUNCES CANADIAN LIVE DATE:
DEFIXIONES, ORDERS FROM THE DEAD
SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2005
Diamanda Galas growls, hisses, groans and shrieks while clawing at the piano like Chopin possessed, creating a soundscape that’s terrifying and beautiful.
Nancy Lanthier, The Vancouver Sun
To have any performer deal articulately with topical monstrosities is rare; to have such a badass musician saying it is a gift from God. We know Galas reigns as the queen of extended vocal technique, a voice that has only gained in power and versatility over the years (she trains constantly, like a boxer); she has also, in recent years, become one of the greatest, most original piano players on Earth, with a strong lower-two-octave/highest-octave attack that perfectly stabs the drama of her lyrical concerns.
John Payne, Los Angeles Weekly
Diamanda Galas will perform her critically acclaimed current work, Defixiones: Orders From The Dead as part of the Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound on Saturday, April 30, 2005 at the Zion Church Sanctuary. This unique venue is located at 32 Weber Street in Kitchener, Ontario – approximately 75 minutes from Toronto.
Defixiones: Orders From The Dead is a sacred mass dedicated “to the forgotten and erased of the Armenian, Assyrian, and Pontic Greek genocides that occurred in Asia Minor, Pontos, and Thrace between 1914 and 1923,” genocides that the American and Turkish governments refuse to recognize to this day. Like the Eumenides – the mythological creatures charged with administering justice -Galas seeks to pursue the criminal with the memory of his crimes. Note her new inclusion of the Turkish poem “Hatred,” published by HURRIYET on the eve of the 1974 invasion of Cyprus, which advocates the large-scale decapitation of the Greek “giavouri” (infidels).
Defixiones draws its title from the “curse tablets,” the small lead charms engraved with curses that were laid on graves throughout the eastern Mediterranean to discourage desecration. With this, then, her fifteenth concert creation, Galas directly engages the Greek heritage that has always – occasionally directly, more often obliquely – informed her work.
DEFIXIONES: ORDERS FROM THE DEAD includes new compositions based upon the texts of Yiorgos Seferis, Yannis Ritsos, Nikos Kazantzakis, and Jose Maria-Cuellar. The new work has recently been performed at the Vancouver New Music Festival, the Portland New Music Festival, and Il Teatro Communale in Ferrara as part of a festival focusing upon the Armenian music and culture.
Songs of Exile from Defixiones, Will and Testament (Mute Records) has been recently performed in January 2005 at the Academia Santa Cecilia di Roma to rave reviews.