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"As he pulls hair out of the back of his head onto the sheet metal some stones blow up
"My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world.”
This text is a passage from the late transgressive fiction writer Kathy Acker’s 1981 masterpiece Great Expectations. However, the centre paragraph was actually lifted, or “pirated” as was Acker’s preferred term for the practice, from French author Pierre Guyotat’s masterpiece Eden, Eden, Eden. And of course the book’s title is pirated from the masterpiece of the same name by Charles Dickens, which Kathy also re-wrote the first passage of to open her book. In the appropriation of her favourite texts, Acker framed her artistic and philosophical interests as inseparable from her literary identity. The appropriated texts weren’t just Acker’s influences, they were the texts that she used to explore her own role in literature and culture. And despite Acker’s reliance on heavy academic research, her work was undeniably personal. It was a primal and visceral expression of rage, anxiety, and desire that was derived from an intense practice of studious rigour.
“A significant element of Acker’s creative process was her personal library,” wrote Julian Brimmers for the Paris Review. “She was an avid and active reader. She frequently marked passages that she later pirated for her own novels. Most important, she used margins, blank pages, and empty spaces in front matter to formulate spontaneous ideas about her own art and (love) life—a glimpse into the writer’s mind at its most unfiltered.”
I thought of Acker’s incorporation of diligent reading and research into a raw, unfiltered expression after witnessing LINGUA IGNOTA, AKA the providence-based musician Kristin Hayter, perform tracks from her new album CALIGULA at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn. Like Acker, Hayter immerses herself in art and history to fuel her intense expression. Writing for the Village Voice, Jamie Lowe said: “The first time I saw Kristin Hayter perform as LINGUA IGNOTA she was presenting her MFA thesis at Brown. She delivered striking operatic tones while behind her played black and white video footage of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, Pino Bausch choreography to Igor Stravinsky’s Rites of Spring and burning buildings. When she finished her set, at least three audience members were in tears.” There you have it. Hayter, like Acker, allows us to see her research as a way of emphasising her interiority, her alterity, and her emotional state; her research enhances the emotional impact of the work rather than dulls it.
Hayter’s 2017 record as LINGUA IGNOTA All Bitches Die was an intense listen in its combination of noise, black metal, experimental electronics, and classical/choral influences. That said, it felt more like the start of something then the culmination of an idea in comparison with CALIGULA. Her latest LP is a masterpiece that perfectly balances her music’s overwhelming extremity and potent beauty. A survivor of harrowing abuse at the hands of a well-known but unnamed Providence noise musician, Hayter presents her sound and performances as rituals of excess catharsis, taking elements from spiritual music, the history of transgressive performance art (traces of Viennese Aktionists and early feminist artists like Carolee Schneeman enhance her performative style), and the well-worn clichés of extreme music that Hayter seems to both embrace and retain critical distance from in her visual packaging and performances.
Read the full article and view more photos HERE.
Members of the audience dressed in black and torn denim began surrounding her in Basilica Hudson’s side room nearly half an hour before she was set to perform. Kristin Hayter (AKA) Lingua Ignota paced back and forth, took deep breaths, her eyes widened as if in a trance.
She’d canceled the previous night’s show having lost her voice and she barely spoke above a whisper in an interview with The Collaborative earlier that day. With a series of sold out gigs ahead of her and an audience of fellow musicians like Dylan Walker of Full of Hell, The Body, members of Elizabeth Colour Wheel and a cast of characters from the music industry in the audience, the anticipation hung thick in the room. As M. Lamar’s set came to a close on the main stage, Hayter began her performance hidden behind a plastic tarp in a room made stifling with body heat and humidity.
Her voice cracked at first and then it thundered. She strode forward into the crowd, a light hanging from her neck. She thrashed and flagellated herself. She stood in command at the top of her piano—contemptuous of the world.
From baritone to soprano, whisper to horrible scream, Hayter had the audience rapt for her entire performance and even then they remained clapping, crying, heads in hand.
MORE PHOTOS HERE via The Collaborative
(via Heaviest of Art)
Beneath the glitter and gold of LINGUA IGNOTA's Caligula lies a fragmented being torn asunder by the demons of man himself. Though this defies the perception one may get from initial observation of the album cover, it is a representation of the front many put up to conceal the pain and suffering underneath. The album's ability to resonate with many across the globe is an indication of where and who we are in contemporary society, highlighting the critical issues happening amongst us. Caligula may not tell you what you want to hear, but it'll tell you what you need to hear.
The third full-length by multi-instrumentalist Kristin Hayter's LINGUA IGNOTA moniker is the musical embodiment of revenge. Harrowing screams, eloquent soprano, and elements of noise, black metal, and industrial music intersect to deliver an array of tastes perfectly complementing the vengeful lyrical themes beneath.
Heaviest of Art had the privilege of engaging in conversation with Kristin Hayter, who dives deeper into the standout Caligula:Read more
Musician Kristin Hayter, best known as Lingua Ignota, on how her music and live performances help her exorcize trauma, reframing genre tropes to create something entirely new, and what she got out of art school.
How would you describe your artistic philosophy?
I think that my work is often about dismantling different systems and looking at the inner workings of different systems. I often take kind of disparate systems or different ways of coding or different kinds of language, and I’ll put them together and try to alchemize them into something new. This has been part of my practice for over a decade—taking different things, different disciplines, different languages, and trying to create something new and strange out of that.
I think that the philosophy is based in juxtaposition and trying to create something new out of pre-existing modes. I guess it’s a postmodern way of looking at things, just kind of deconstructing previously existing things and then trying to make something new.Read more
On her 2018 debut All Bitches Die, Kristin Hayter, aka Lingua Ignota, introduced a truly abrasive blend of opera, neoclassical darkwave, and death industrial. From deep croons over thumping pianos to piercing screams over distorted noise-scapes, her first album covered the entire spectrum of dismality. Even more, this melodramatic hybrid was not a cheap aesthetic gimmick but rather a necessary vehicle. For, Hayter's lyrics deeply engages with the many enduring traumas that come from misogyny and domestic abuse.Read more