Let Us Praise the Masters of Slow Death

From by Diamanda Galas, Still Wild and Primal returns to the New York Stage, byCharles Curkin:

“For more than 40 years, Ms. Galás has used her voice like an eagle’s talons, with frenetic performances on dark topics like AIDS, vengeance and genocide.

“There is nothing like her work anywhere, in my opinion,” said Henry Rollins, the actor, writer and singer. “There are vocalists, avant vocalists, but nothing with the depth, power and force.”

The performance artist Marina Abramovic remembers the first time she saw a piece by Ms. Galás. “She was covered in blood,” Ms. Abramovic said. “The audience and her became one beast together.”

It’s that vim that has propelled Ms. Galás to continually breach the limits of music, improvising, mixing classical bel canto singing with demonic shrieks, muttering and glossolalic runs. Her vocal range is stunning, though the precise parameter is unknown. Theories put it at anywhere from three and a half octaves to eight octaves, and, like the Gyuto monks of Tibet, she can invoke more than one at a time.”

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