When I awoke from the most vivid and disturbing nightmare in recent memory, I was in a cold sweat. Was it a result of fever, or the dream? I was mildly delirious, approaching panic. Again I wondered, had I OD'd on the Formula 44, or was it the dream? Assuming the latter, I thought to myself, "This woman is going to have me for lunch! She's going to chew me to pieces and spit me out like a unwanted watermelon seed! What have I gotten myself into? She'll probably show up with a velvet cape in a cloud of smoke, and make a toy out of me like some cat with a hapless mouse. Shit! Why didn't I better prepare for this meeting? From now on, I should just stick with the jazz stuff! Damn!"
That day, I was pretty nervous, which was unlike me before doing a radio show. I obviously hadn't slept well the night before. My head felt like anvil and my concentration was nowhere to be found. Everybody at the station was excited about her arrival, happy with glee in fact. Myself, I had almost wished she'd call to announce that she needed to cancel, a sorcerer's convention or something. Quite suddenly there was a noticeable commotion outside the studio, Diamanda and her small entourage had arrived. Lingering outside for a moment, her companion entered the studio first, a tall, lanky guy with a pasty complexion (a studio tan actually), and an expressionless look on his face. He was dressed in black leather with combat boots, and introduced himself to me as Naut Humon.* "Charming," I thought as I nervously stroked my bulging throat, "This is gonna' be everything that I feared." Just then, the small crowd outside the door parted, and in walked the woman who I was convinced was about to cut me into little pieces, Beelzebub's messenger, Diamanda Galas.
The woman above is who I met. A disarmingly pleasant, highly intelligent, and extremely articulate woman of substance who greeted me with a warm smile, an easy laugh, and willingness to subject herself to my largely uninformed and benign questioning (as well as my irrational fears). We spoke at length of literature (Baudelaire, Nietzsche), musical heroes (Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra), audience perception (often mirroring my own), and of course, her own art. She was absolutely charming! She put me at ease (in a reversal of what was supposed to be my job!) and revealed a side of herself that few audience members (again, like myself) might have never imagined. She was no longer a simple girl from suburban San Diego, but now something different. A hybrid of that girl, integrated with the adult woman in her newfound and self-created role as an artistic spokesperson and interpreter of social and political ills, many from which our society would rather turn away. She has found an art form which enables her to illuminate with brutal honesty and searing intensity all the evils of our world, presenting them in a visceral context that offers them up for deeper examination. Certainly not in glorification, but rather in an effort to confront them with the hope of one day banishing them forever. As stated previously, it's an exorcism of sorts. And yes, it's deep, it's dark, and it's very disturbing. It's meant to alarm, to frighten, and to provoke. Because of that, it then becomes a unique form of political action, and as a result, I've learned to love Diamanda Galas.
668: Next Door Neighbor Of The Beast, Pt.2
7) Eight Men And Four Women
8) La Treizieme Revient
9) Deliver Me
10) Free Among The Dead
a) Psalm 88
c) Sono L'Antichristo
11) You Must Be Certain Of The Devil
*Naut Humon at the time was leading an industrial noise/music group called, 'Rhythm and Noise,' and was actually not as intimidating as his name or dress suggested. For info on 'Rhythm and Noise,' please read here. He also runs Recombinant Media Labs.
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