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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

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.