Diamanda Galás is an American avant-garde composer, vocalist, pianist, organist, performance artist, and painter.
Galás has been described as "capable of the most unnerving vocal terror." Her works largely concentrate on the topics of AIDS, mental illness, despair, injustice, condemnation, and loss of dignity. She has worked with many avant-garde composers, including Iannis Xenakis, Vinko Globokar and John Zorn, and also collaborated with jazz musician Bobby Bradford, and John Paul Jones, former bassist of Led Zeppelin.
Galás was born and raised in San Diego, California, to Greek Orthodox parents. She studied a wide range of musical forms, and played gigs in San Diego with her father, also a musician, performing Greek and Arabic music.
Galás has often worked in the film industry. She was the voice of the dead in The Serpent and the Rainbow. A cover of the Schwartz-Dietz song "Dancing in the Dark" appears in Clive Barker's film Lord of Illusions during the closing credits. "Le Treizième Revient" and "Exeloume" appear on the soundtrack to Derek Jarman's The Last of England. She contributed vocals to Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 film Dracula as a group of female vampires, and vocal improvisation to Hideo Nakata's 2005 film The Ring Two. Excerpts from Galás' "I Put a Spell on You", "Vena Cava", "The Lord is My Shepherd", and "Judgement Day" can be heard in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers.
In 2011, she premiered the film Schrei 27, made in collaboration with Italian filmmaker Davide Pepe. Based on Galás' 1994 radio piece, Schrei X, a co-commission of New American Radio and the Walker Art Center, the film is described as an "unrelenting" portrait of a body suffering torture in a medical facility.
Most recently she contributed vocal work and composition to James Wan's 2013 horror film The Conjuring, and "Free Among the Dead", from Galás' The Divine Punishment was featured in Zoe Mavroudi's 2013 documentary about the criminalization of AIDS,Ruins: Chronicle of an HIV Witch-Hunt.
Galás has cited multiple artists as influences on her music, including Maria Callas, John Lee Hooker, and Johnny Cash. She is also influenced greatly by Greek and Middle Eastern styles of singing, as well as blues music. (wiki)