Dia de los muertos (5)

Roger Grund on a Sunday to slash your wrists by:

Ask around which day of the week is associated with death and in 8 out of 10 cases you’d get Sunday. It seems it is only a small step between rest and Rest-In-Peace. So it befits on Day of the Dead to revisit Gloomy Sunday, a song written originally by the Hungarian composer Rezső Seress in 1933.

Be warned, Gloomy Sunday is a song of considerable power and mystique. The particular frequencies of Gloomy Sunday appear to carry a secret code that leads its unsuspecting victims to commit suicide. Many artists have dared their version of the magical and ill-fated chords of Gloomy Sunday. Billie Holiday, Bjork, Diamanda Galas, and of course the ubiquitious Serge Gainsbourg,  just to name a few. More recently Claire Diterzi in 2006 released an elegant but strangely upbeat Sombre Dimanche, so far without any reported casualties. However for the full suicidal impact the listener need to turn to the delightful and desolate version of Gloomy Sunday recorded by New York chanteuse Lydia Lunch on her brilliant 1979 album Queen of Siam.

Someone once said that to be lost at sea must be the saddest way to die. Therefore as a bonus on the Eurovision Festival of Death also the panoramic vista of ‘Listen! Those Lost At Sea Sing a Song at Christmas Day’ by Get Well Soon. Douze Points pour l’Allemagne!

Lydia Lunch – Gloomy Sunday

Claire Diterzi – Sombre Dimanche

Get Well Soon – Listen! Those Lost At Sea Sing a Song at Christmas Day

(picture stolen from here)

Claire Diterzi

An album about Marxist heroine Rosa Luxemburg, 90 years after she was murdered in Berlin, set to urban beats and bird noises – yes, you have to be Claire Diterzi to accomplish this. ‘The odd one out’ when it come to les filles fragiles, first was asked to write music for a theatre ‘spectacle’ about the Red Rose, which culminated into a full album; Rosa la rouge. You can read a French interview with Claire and director Marcial Di Fonzo Bo here, where she explains that the thing she wears on her back on the albumcover (and the pic on the right) is a ‘kalash-guitare’. I’m sure Tom Morello of RATM would love to have one too. To be honest I did not know very much about Rosa Luxembourg (read a short bio here) but I understand there was a lot of violence (and imprisonment) in her life. Claire tells in the interview that nature and birds, which explains the bird noises in the songs (soundscapes, really). There’s a genuine waltz on the album, as are urban beats. Luxemburg wanted to touch the masses, Claire explains, that’s why the song Je Touche La Masse (with samples of Rosa’s voice) sounds something MTV might wanna broadcast, including quotes like I got the power.  If you were into Claire’s Tableau de Chasse album (and many of you were), you’re in for a surprise. There are a few songs on the album (like the titletrack, and the very Diterzi-sounding J’étais Je Suis Je Serai) that I really like, but most of the tracks work better on a stage, I guess, than at  home. See a teaser video here.

Claire Diterzi – Rosa la rouge