You might be shocked to listen to that Diamanda Galás’ new album, Damaged Gargoyles, is not a light-hearted, easy-listening romp. The subject material is extraordinarily heavy, expertly translated right into a sonic onslaught that’s by turns excruciating and delightful—and all the time brutal.
Music critic Brett Callwood spoke with Galás about her newest dive into the darkness: “I started to work on this piece because of the poem ‘Das Fieberspital’ by Georg Heym, which means the ‘The Fever Hospital.’ When I read it, I was stunned. When I discover a poem like that, it gives me a reason to continue. It gives me a reason to live because it’s stagnant just to live in one’s own life. It never has interested me in the least. I find it much more interesting to start to analyze a poem that hits me hard. That’s how it happened so it started then. When I moved back to New York, I did some concerts so I was working on that, and this piece had just begun, so I worked on the first part of this piece, I performed it in a few European places and in the Dark Mofo festival in Tasmania as a performance work.”
Callwood factors out that Damaged Gargoyles is uncomfortable and thought-provoking, regarding, partially, the struggling of troopers that returned from World Battle I with mutilated faces, a number of limbs lacking, burned throats, and different atrocious accidents, and have been saved out of public view. By together with a booklet of poetry, translations, and images with the new album, Galás provides loads of context to assist listeners perceive the layers of historical past in her work: “There are people coming back from Afghanistan living in places with mold and no windows, and they’re put in these places because they have nowhere to go. No one’s going to take care of them. But we don’t see that in the news.”
For the full interview and links to videos, click here. —VV editors
• Galás’ Damaged Gargoyles is out August 26.
– • –
NOTE: The promoting disclaimer under doesn’t apply to this text, nor any originating from the Village Voice editorial division, which doesn’t settle for paid hyperlinks.
Promoting disclosure: We could obtain compensation for a few of the hyperlinks in our tales. Thanks for supporting the Village Voice and our advertisers.