The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Diamanda Galás Discusses Her 13 Favourite Albums
The Quietus , August 1st, 2012 06:24

Diamanda Galás plays the one of the opening concerts of Antony Hegarty's Meltdown Festival at London's Southbank Centre tonight. In advance of the performance, she tells us about 13 albums that have been influential on her life and work

Add your comment »

New York-based composer, singer and performance artist Diamanda Galás plays at London's Southbank Centre tonight, at one of the opening concerts of the Antony Hegarty-curated Meltdown Festival. Like many performers across the twelve days of Hegarty's festival, she's a unique voice. Having trained in both classical and jazz piano, Galás has spent the three decades of her career creating distinctive interpretations of the blues and jazz that directly address a range of political and social issues: from HIV/AIDS to stigmatisation of minority groups, genocide, exile and mental illness. She's also worked with a host of fellow musicians, artists and filmmakers, and recently worked on a major film collaboration with director David Pepe entitled Schrei 27, which was showcased in London last year.

So Galás, with her art and music incorporating so many different facets, is an appropriate choice to open the festival, which Antony explained afforded him the opportunity to assemble "a constellation of courageous artists, all of whom have used their platforms as cultural producers to challenge us. They have exhibited a ferocity in their pursuit of beauty, and, falling like a guillotine behind it, justice. ... Today I am among a group of artists from NYC (some of whom are performing at this Meltdown Festival) who reject patriarchy in its myriad virulent and apocalyptic manifestations, and who advocate for a fundamental shift towards the feminine in all our systems and structures of governance. We have named this approach Future Feminism." Appearing alongside Galás on the festival's line-up are a range of other, similarly exploratory artists: Laurie Anderson, Cyclobe, Marc Almond, Matmos, William Basinski, Liz Fraser and Kembra Pfahler (for the full list click here).

In advance of her show tonight, Galás chose a list of 13 albums that have been favourites or influential on her life, and told us about each of them.

To browse through Diamanda's 13 favourite albums, click the picture below.

Diamanda_1343775849_resize_460x400



JoffreyP
Aug 1, 2012 11:48am

No Stereophonics then?

Reply to this Admin

Carpathian
Aug 1, 2012 2:20pm

My first thought was that they weren't the choices I'd expected for her, then I realised I actually didn't have a clue what I'd be expecting for her run down.
Also I'm wondering if she remembered the song title for #11 correctly as there doesn't seem to be a single mention of it online?

Reply to this Admin

Grump
Aug 1, 2012 5:33pm

Is there any reason you can't offer a "view on one page" option? Clicking through 14 times is the worst kind of irritating.

Reply to this Admin

John Doran
Aug 1, 2012 8:29pm

In reply to Grump:

Not really. This site really isn't designed for you if you can't face up to clicking a button 14 times. I mean, you actually just depressed more keys whining about it, so why not just open the windows and let some fresh air into the room. It's a new day...

Reply to this Admin


Aug 2, 2012 12:01am

Great selections. Had never heard 'On the Corner', and I lost my Ellen McIlwaine LP somewhere back in the mists.

Reply to this Admin

Rooksby
Aug 2, 2012 8:51am

I'm unfamiliar with a lot of Diamanda's choices - which is a GOOD thing, obviously. Am looking forward to tracking a few of them down for a listen...

Reply to this Admin

Flaps
Aug 2, 2012 8:51am

Well... she sounds delightful. But I would like to know, when Diamanda goes swimming, does she not sink under the weight of her pretension?

Reply to this Admin

Carpathian
Aug 2, 2012 10:52am

Gave the Sviatoslav Richter a go last night and rather enjoyed it. Full of gusto and fire. A great choice to ride shotgun with the Arvo Part I'm listening to currently. Ta for that.

As a side-note, please keep that belting picture of her on the front page. Just askin', you know........

Reply to this Admin

diamanda galas
Aug 2, 2012 11:19am

In reply to Flaps:

I'm a surfer, baby, and an ACE swimmer, so the Devil
and the deep blue sea hang out just fine.
THanks for worrying about me, halfwit.

Reply to this Admin

Lee W
Aug 2, 2012 11:54am

One of my favorite Diamanda Galás collaborations is on Erasures eponymous album a seemingly unlikely project but it is really rather beautiful and I am sure gained her some new and unexpected fans.

Reply to this Admin

Rasheed
Aug 2, 2012 12:35pm

In reply to Flaps:

What's pretentious about telling people what music you enjoy and why when you are asked? I don't get it...

Reply to this Admin

John Doran
Aug 2, 2012 1:10pm

In reply to Flaps:

Show some fucking respect you cock juggling thunder cunt. You're not on The Fly's forum discussing The Paddingtons, so why not try coming correct?

Reply to this Admin

Sam
Aug 2, 2012 6:46pm

All the records on this list that I know (Miles, Annette Peacock ,Max Roach) are absolute belters so looking forward to checking out the rest of 'em. Nice one.

Reply to this Admin

diamanda galas
Aug 2, 2012 7:46pm

In reply to :

if it is you who know zoe and found me ain't no use in cryin'
when it's raining, i bless you, sweet soul.
I am near tears for the great beauty of this song and the
memories of Miss Gina, Miss Michelle and The Duchess.
mid70's oakland-if a song was written to keep you alive,
this was it. now i can sing it,and it will set me free for
those great moments. thank you.

Reply to this Admin

Flaps
Aug 3, 2012 10:16am

In reply to diamanda galas:

Is that a yes?

Reply to this Admin

Flaps
Aug 3, 2012 10:25am

In reply to John Doran:

I have two questions, John:
1) Are you the bloke from Scrubs?
2) Who are The Paddingtons? Have they been shaped by Diamandas sizeable self regard?
Sorry, that turned out to be three questions.

Reply to this Admin

Athenais
Aug 3, 2012 2:45pm

In reply to Flaps:

Genius is entitled to self-regard. A woman who speaks more languages than you've probably ever heard, has an encyclopedic knowledge of world music, history, obscure literature and pierced the souls of the homophobic religious powerhouses whilst they were salivating over the AIDS epidemic so thoroughly that they're still trying to tear her art out of museums 20 years later....this woman is allowed to toot her horn. It's made of bloody adamantine bitch.

Reply to this Admin

Andrew Wales
Aug 3, 2012 2:59pm

A genuinely interesting/inspiring selection, some of these I have heard of some not, which is great! Looking forward to checking out Ellen McIlwaine for one. Sad to see the comments below aren't exactly "troll" free: pathetic...

Reply to this Admin

Rasheed
Aug 3, 2012 5:53pm

In reply to Flaps:

"cock juggling thunder cunt" you're done man, Have a seat.

Reply to this Admin

josh
Aug 3, 2012 6:51pm

What these cunts are calling pretentious? I mean, when they see a fuckin Lady Gaga that is pretentious because she fuckin is pretentious with no reason. Now, a woman who DOES art-music and is very influential from moving on with music to some place artistically speaking and actually opening some eyes out there? Fuck she's not pretentious if you seen her live and fuck you too because as an artist who does so much for music she can fuckin act as she wants.END

Reply to this Admin

Flaps
Aug 3, 2012 7:19pm

In reply to Athenais:

You forgot to mention her contribution to Conan the Barbarian.

Reply to this Admin

Flaps
Aug 3, 2012 7:24pm

In reply to Rasheed:

Certainly. Where would you like me to sit?
Oh, can it be the front row of Diamndas concert? So I can bask in her genius.

Reply to this Admin

john
Aug 3, 2012 9:32pm

I wonder what is Diamanda's opinion on Cliff Edwards.

Reply to this Admin


Aug 5, 2012 7:18am

In reply to Flaps:

Check this out, motherfucker. You are the snail in Mr.Doran's
garden. This is one of the only forums left for the discussion
of great music, and because you are a snail, you need to gnaw at the rose. I can well understand that you are
foaming at the mouth with jealousy. Brother, I am not without mercy.
Now. Crawl to the toilet, up to the seat, slowly, slowly.
Now contemplate your life; now the second's up: jump in.
Do you see God? He's calling you.

Reply to this Admin

Bert
Aug 5, 2012 11:55am

In reply to Rasheed:

Isn't that a quote from Ryan Reynolds in Blade 3? Yes, Big JD is as cool as me. I love it when The Quietus comments turn into Daily Mail scorn and bile. What a beautiful world.

Reply to this Admin

John Gooden
Aug 6, 2012 2:10am

In reply to diamanda galas:

Sweet! A new, previously unexplored part of the Stax family to investigate: The Rance Allen Group. Thank you!

Reply to this Admin

John Gooden
Aug 6, 2012 2:30am

In reply to John Gooden:

Note: Further research reveals the song "Ain't No Need of Crying" was written by the one and only David Porter. He is probably best known for working with Isaac Hayes and writing a good load of all those great Sam & Dave hits.

Reply to this Admin

Luke Turner
Aug 10, 2012 11:28am

In reply to :

This is one of the finest comments ever written on the Quietus.

Reply to this Admin

Emmanuel Gasparinatos
Aug 10, 2012 12:33pm

Great list. Nice remarks and reminiscences.
Some in my collection, the rest I'll seek out for a deeper connection to a great artist.
As a Greek/Egyptian....well, I'll check next time I nick myself shaving.
Would love to see and hear you back here in Sydney Diamanda. Privileged to have met you at ABC circa '88/89?

Reply to this Admin

diamanda galas
Aug 10, 2012 2:20pm

In reply to :

i detest anonymity and for some reason I forgot to put my name by
the snail death message. sorry, just saw this.
diamanda galas

Reply to this Admin

art damij
Aug 14, 2012 2:15pm

diamanda,interesting list,..already checked a couple out,and love 'on the corner' by MD.. so thanks for making me curious..
respect is due.

Reply to this Admin

Jason P
Aug 14, 2012 6:51pm

I can't even begin to describe the ways Ms. Galás's music has impacted me and how she has helped broadened my musical horizions.

Among my favorite pieces by Ms. Galás is her take of Ornette Coleman's Lonely Woman which introduced me to the music of Ornette Colelman and I have since become a fan of his (his Free Jazz album is probably my favorite, I love the double quartet).
Thank you for this list of music. I can't wait to start checking out some of the artists!

Jason P
Minneapolis, MN

Reply to this Admin

marcus
Aug 14, 2012 8:04pm

great list, thanks

Reply to this Admin

Christa
Jan 13, 2013 3:00am

Thank you for sharing these interesting selections, Diamanda. Glad to learn that someone else is blown away by Doris Day's singing. Have you heard and seen her in the film April In Paris? Have you heard early Helen Merrill with Artie Shaw? All The Things You Are and Comes Love are awesome. Also, I'm curious to know if you have any favorite Laura Nyro recordings, and thoughts about how and why she essentially retired at 24. (If you happen not to be an admirer of Laura, sorry for that.)

Reply to this Admin

Christa
Jan 13, 2013 9:19am

In reply to Christa:

Sorry, I meant Helen Forrest!

Reply to this Admin

stephan
Mar 6, 2013 3:32am

Thanks a lot for Ellen McIlwaine. I didn't know her. There's this fantastic clip of her at Youtube, type "Ellen McIlwaine at Deep Groove 2008". Take the one where you see her playing the guitar in a room. My jaw dropped when I saw her perform. Magnificent. As if it was no effort at all.

Reply to this Admin