Each week, we ask an artist to tell us about something that they find inspiring from outside the world of music. This week, we catch up with Dalma Berger, singer with Hungarian outfit Volkova Sisters, fresh from releasing latest EP HOPE, who tells us about the inspiration that she finds in the mythology and stories of sirens of the sea.
I have an unexplainable bond with sirens. One of my favorite paintings is Hylas and the Nymphs by John William Waterhouse. This inspired the Volkova Sisters logo. Even though there are Nymphs dragging the man down to the bottom of the lake, the essence is the same: to mesmarize, to enchant. No wonder that these two characters of female seduction are connected to the water so much, which is one of the basic female symbols.
There are many different stories around about sirens, but all are about a female character who seduces the sailors on the sea, or the wanderer on the shore of a lake.
When I was a little girl, I used to dream about swimming in the sea with a half female half fish body, but I only understood the core of the siren story later, when I first mesmerized the audience and saw madness in the eyes of those who can really open up to music and singing. I find this a bit scary, because it gives you a power that you have to be able to handle and use wisely, otherwise it will drag down not just the audience but the performer too. That’s why there are two sirens linked together by their arms: the two of them are still dangerous, but their diabolic power is balanced out by becoming limited as a couple.
Where I also feel similar to them is that they didn’t choose to have such a voice, but were given this talent which they sometimes use well, other times not so much.
On the other hand, my star sign in western astrology is double ruled by Mercury, which is connected to water and air in alchemy. They are both indispensable elements of transformation and transmutation. I see the Sirens’ connection to the water as a kind of mercurial characteristic, where the voice and the water as transformational powers are strongly related. In other words, the little mermaids are not seducing, but transforming, transmuting the listener and opening up a different existential form for him. Whether the wanderer is prepared for it or not is another question…
Volkova Sisters’ latest EP HOPE is available now via their Bandcamp page.