Photos by Richard Lovrich. 

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. 

By David Howard King 

Kristen Hayer AKA Lingua Ignota.

Kristen Hayter sits down for an interview with The Collaborative.