Press Release: Diamanda Galás

For Immediate Release: January 22, 2015

Diamanda Galás


Diamanda Galás to deliver Keynote address “In the Mouth of the Crocodile” at UCLA’s Voice Studies Now Conference

Friday, January 30, 2015 4pm, Schoenberg Hall
Free and Open to the Public

One of the most exceptional singers and performance artists of our time visits UCLA for an unprecedented free event

LOS ANGELES, CA – UCLA’s Voice Studies Now Conference is proud to announce Diamanda Galás will be delivering the Keynote address, Friday, January 30th, 2015. Hailed as one of the most exceptional singers of our time, Diamanda Galás has earned international acclaim for her highly original and politically charged performance works. Notable among these are Plague Mass, Defixiones: Orders from the Dead, Vena Cava, Schrei X, and The Refugee. Galás is a singer, pianist, activist, painter, and one of the most revered artists of the late 20th Century.

In the past decade, Galás has toured worldwide, presenting the work of living and dead poets who were imprisoned, exiled, or assassinated from/by their own countries, who were in fear for their lives for real or perceived political/moral dissidence: Siamanto, César Vallejo, Ali Ahmad, Said Esber, Konstantin Kavafis, Yiannis Ritsos, Miguel Huezo Mixco, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Paul

In addition to lending her music to the films of directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Oliver Stone, Wes Craven, Clive Barker, Derek Jarman, Hideo Nakata, Mercedes Moncada, James Wan, Zoe Mavroudi, and others, in 2011 Galás collaborated with filmmaker Davide Pepe to create the experimental sound and film work, Schrei 27. The film, an unrelenting portrait of a body suffering torture in a medical facility, continues to be presented in museums, festivals and cinemas worldwide.

Since 2012, Galás has been composing a concert-length theatrical work for voice, electronics and piano, based on the poetry of Georg Heym. The first movement (Das Fieberspital, based on the Heym poem of the same name) premiered in 2014 as a work-in-progress at the Dark Mofo festival in Tasmania. The entire work, which includes treatments of Heym’s Die Daemonen der Stadt and Das Blinde, Gottfried Benn’s Mann und Frau gehn durch die Krebsbaracke, and poetry by Galás, is currently being developed in residence at the Grotowski Institute in Poland. It will receive its world première in June 2016 during the “European City of Culture 2016” in Wroclaw.

Galás is also completing a series of new recordings as well as remastered and remixed versions of earlier works to be released in the upcoming year.

Other current and recent work includes collaborations with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK) on treatments of poems by Paul Celan, Cesare Pavese and Georg Heym (arranged for voice, piano, electronics, and orchestra), and Espergesia, a composition for a cappella voice in small sanctuaries, based on the poem by Cesar Vallejo (first performed as a work-in-progress in 2013 at the Emmanuel Vigeland Mausoleum in Oslo).


…her voice–ONE MOMENT SERPENTINE, THE NEXT A JUGGERNAUT–carries her audience on a journey into primal regions, where intellectual analysis and even aesthetic judgments become redundant. All you can do is listen and feel.

Clive Barker, Author/Filmmaker

You can sing a very aggressive word in such a way that it’s very funny. You can change words, completely turn them around on their head so that they mean exactly the opposite of what they are written down. There are endless possibilities which I think Diamanda Galás is doing already. She turns everything upside down by the way she sings it. She makes you feel nauseous or horrified or ridiculous just by her voice. I think that’s an incredible power.

PJ Harvey, Musician

The first time I saw her live was in a dingy bar in the meatpacking district in the early 90s. She was doing a techno collaboration with Aldo Hernandez – I remember feeling like she had ripped my guts out and driven knives through my body with her voice. I was left quaking. I had never experienced the voice so physically – it was undeniable and utterly arresting. It’s like a tidal wave moving through you. She harnesses tremendous power and delivers it through her voice.

Antony Hegarty, Musician

Galás carries Stanislavsky’s method of emotional truth to a logical extreme neither he nor Duse nor Lee Strasberg ever dreamed of. I have rarely heard such power of expression commanded by a single performer. … Galas is an aesthetic revolutionary.

Mark N. Grant,, New Music Box Magazine

I have seen Diamanda perform quite a few times and it’s always the most intense live experience I have as an audience member that year….I have no idea what she puts herself though to reach that level of intensity, [but] I have never heard a voice and a talent anywhere near hers.

Henry Rollins, Musician/Writer/Actor


Voice Studies Now Conference UCLA (January 29th – 31st)

This conference is designed in conjunction with the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Voice Studies. Authors will gather to engage with each other and with the public, discussing the significance of voice as concept, embodied act, and cultural practice. We are asking our participants to consider the overarching question “What is voice?” We will have representatives from the disciplines of anthropology, musicology, ethnomusicology, medicine, literature, music composition, communication studies, media studies, and linguistics. Topics will include voice and cognition; vocal health; voice and religious practice in Islam; voice in Hindustani classical music (India); singing impersonators; the speaking voice and American identity in public radio; voice and the telephone; voice and trans* identities; voice and authenticity in African American gospel singing; trans-Pacific voice in Korean religious practices.

Panels will be held in UCLA’s Royce Hall 314 8:30am – 4pm Friday and Saturday

Select Participant Bios:

  • Nina Sun Eidsheim (organizer), is on the faculty of the UCLA Department of Musicology. As a scholar and singer she investigates the multi-sensory and performative aspects of the production, perception and reception of vocal timbre of twentieth and twenty-first century music. Forthcoming and in-progress works include Sensing Sound: Singing and Listening as Vibrational Practice (forthcoming, Duke University Press); Measuring Race: Listening to Vocal Timbre and Vocality in African-American Popular Music (in progress); . and she is co-editing Oxford Handbook of Voice Studies and special issue of Postmodern Culture.
  • Jody Kreiman, is Professor of Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine.  She is interested in all aspects of voice production, acoustics, and especially perception, and is co-author with Diana Sidtis of Foundations of Voice Studies.
  • Jason Stanyek, teaches at the University of Oxford where he is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Tutorial Fellow at St. John’s College. Work include editing the journal Critical Studies in Improvisation on Brazilian improvisation and guest producing an hour-long radio show, “The Brazilian Diaspora in the United States,” for Public Radio International’s programme Afropop Worldwide. The two-volume Oxford Handbook of Mobile Music Studies (co-edited with Sumanth Gopinath) was published in early 2014 and “Deadness: Technologies of the Intermundane”—co-written with Benjamin Piekut and published in TDR—was given the Association of Theater in Higher Education’s Outstanding Article Award in 2011 and was also named by MIT Press as one of the 50 most influential articles published across all of its journals over the past 50 years. He currently serves as Reviews Editor of the journal Twentieth-Century Music and as general editor for Bloomsbury’s new series 33 1/3 Brazil.
  • Daphne A. Brooks, is the author of two books: Bodies in Dissent:  Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910 (Durham, NC: Duke UP), winner of The Errol Hill Award for Outstanding Scholarship on African American Performance from ASTR and Jeff Buckley’s Grace (New York: Continuum, 2005).  Brooks is currently working on a new book entitled Subterranean Blues: Black Women Sound Modernity (Harvard University Press, forthcoming). Brooks is also the author of the liner notes for The Complete Tammi Terrell (Universal A&R, 2010) and Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia (Sony, 2011), each of which has won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for outstanding music writing. She is the editor of The Great Escapes:  The Narratives of William Wells Brown, Henry Box Brown, and William Craft (New York:  Barnes & Noble Classics, 2007) and The Performing Arts volume of The Black Experience in the Western Hemisphere Series, eds. Howard Dodson and Colin Palmer (New York: Pro-Quest Information & Learning, 2006).
  • Shane Butler, is Professor of Latin at the University of Bristol (UK). His research interests include the history and theory of media, sensation, and cognition. HIs recent books include The Matter of the Page(Wisconsin, 2011), The Ancient Phonograph(Zone, forthcoming 2015), and a co-edited volume, Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses (Acumen-Routledge, 2013). He currently is co-editing Sound and the Ancient Senses (Routledge) and editing A Deep Classics Reader (I. B. Tauris). Later in 2015 he will take up a new position as Professor of Classics at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
  • Rupal Patel, is join appointed across the Department of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology in Bouve College and the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeaster University. She directs the Communication Analysis and Design Laboratory, an interdisciplinary group that conducts research along two broad themes: 1) the acquisition and impairment of speech prosody (the melody of speech) in healthy speakers and those with neuromoto disorders, and 2) the design of speech enhancement and learning technologies that leverage the residual and/or developing capabilities of users.


Diamanda Galás –,

Voice Studies Now Conference –

UCLA Department of Musicology –

Herb Alpert School of Music –

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For more information, photos, or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Tiffany Naiman
P: 310-666-1013,


Barbara Van Nostrand
P: 949-212-7833

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