Medusa’s Bed is a star-studded trio made up of no-wave feminist trailblazer Lydia Lunch, the experimental violinist Mia Zalbeka, and the sound artist Zahra Mani. It spans avant-garde, experimental, electro-acoustic, and new music, bringing together three distinct performers in a chilling, tough-as-nails live act.
Lunch, Zalbeka, and Mani released their first “seductively sinister” full-length album in 2013 on Monotype Records. Since then, they have toured annually in Eastern and Central Europe. In the project, Zalbeka’s expressive, self-developed performance language interlaces with Mani’s psycho-ambient textures to create an ornately haunted landscape through which for Lunch’s nocturnal vocals to wander. It’s a suspenseful, evocative murder mystery or late-night radio drama told through sound – in it, something devious lurks in the dark, beckoning your shadow in whispers. Lunch, who makes it her business to “punch [her] way out of the trauma zone and into the light” (NY Times), and to encourage other women to do just so, uses this outlet to externalise urges that “work through the body, on and across it: bloodlust and oblivion,... desire and rage” (Jack Sargeant).
Lydia Lunch is a legendary singer, writer, poet, actress, and now self-help guru. She has made a name for herself as one of the boldest, most unapologetic figures in the history of punk. After moving to New York at 16, she befriended the likes of Alan Vega and Martin Rev, formed Teenage Jesus and the Jerks with James Chance, collaborated with artists such as Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, and performed in the films of Richard Kern, (among them the 1986 short film Fingered). She has released a series of solo albums, including the Queen of Siam (1980) and Smoke in the Shadows (2004). In 1997, she published Paradoxia, a book about her early life, (mis)adventures in sex and substance use, and struggles with mental health issues. In recent years, Lunch’s work has expanded into the realms of self-help and self-empowerment. She published The Need To Feed, a cookbook dedicated to nutritious food, and also hosts a workshop called “From the Page to the Stage”.
Mia Zabelka is Vienna-born sound artist, composer, and experimental violinist and vocalist with Czech, Jewish, and French roots. Comprehensively educated in classical music from an early age, she went on to explore the limits of sound and music and develop a creative language entirely her own. She is dedicated to de- and reconstructing the violin’s sonic possibilities. She does this by expanding the range of the instrument using live electronic devices, by preparing it through the insertion of alien objects between or on the strings, and through the use of innovative performance techniques.
London-born, Austria-based Zahra Mani is a sound, installation and radio artist as well as an improviser, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer. She edits and re-composes field recordings, instrumentals and found sounds to produce psycho-ambient soundscapes. Her process also uses custom-built electronics as well as a range of recording devices and digital audio workstations. She folds recordings of machines, voices, instruments and nature into one another to shape new auditory worlds.