(Photo by Austin Young) Out on 26 August via Intravenal Sound Operations is the all new album by Diamanda Galás. “Broken Gargoyles” will be released just a week after the reissue of a remastered version of Galás 1986 classic album “The Divine Punishment”.
Composed in 2020 (during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic), the final incarnation of the work was played as a sound installation at the Kapellen Leprosarium (Leper’s Sanctuary) in Hanover, Germany. This first presentation of Broken Gargoyles featured verses by German poet Georg Heym, “Das Fieberspital” and “Die Dämonen der Stadt”.
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The work was finalized in 2020 in collaboration with the artist and sound designer Daniel Neumann. In “Das Fieberspital”, Heym describes the horrific state of people suffering from yellow fever who live in paralyzing fear of death in early 20th century Germany. “Die Dämonen der Stadt” also addresses such grim portents of World War I; in this poem, the god Baal observes (like a gargoyle) a town from a rooftop of a city block at night time and lets a street burn down during dawn.
The album’s first part, “Mutilatus”, contains the Heym poems “Das Fieberspital” and “Die Dämonen der Stadt”, and concerns the suffering of the soldier in the trenches and during innumerable operations in the hospital. “Mutilatus” was originally recorded in 2012-2013 in collaboration with recording and mix engineer Kris Townes.
The atrocities of World War I
The album’s title references “Krieg dem Kriege!”, a photographic book by the German anti-militarist Ernst Friedrich from 1924 documenting the atrocities of World War I, including the album’s nominal “Broken Gargoyles”, which is how the facially maimed soldiers were termed by their hospital keepers; the disfigured soldiers also had to wear metal masks to better hide their monster faces – blown apart by shrapnel, burned by mustard gas and further mutilated by medical “researchers” – from public view.
Available on 26 August on CD and digitally, the vinyl edition will follow in 2023. The Broken Gargoyles CD will come with a 24 page booklet featuring:
- 4 poems: Das Fieberspital, Die Daemonen der Stadt, Der Blinde and Der Hunger by Georg Heym in German and their translations in English by Antony Hasler.
- Numerous images of Diamanda Galás taken by Intravenal Sound Operations and Austin Young.
- Photo documentation of facially mutilated soldiers during WWI, compiled by Ernst Friedrich in War Against War.
- Photo of Broken Gargoyles Installation at the Kapellen Leprosarium (the Leper’s Sanctuary) Hannover 2021 by Robert Knoke.
- Essays by Dr. Julia Meier of the Kestnergesellschaft Hannover and Luca Zanchi, from the upcoming book Gorgon in The Blue Room: Diamanda Galás and the Divine Monster of Grief (soon to be published).
- 4 paintings by Diamanda Galás.
Here’s already a preview.
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