The AndroidVirus slipped this under my electronic door a month or two ago, and with the amount of materials I have to review, this unfortunately disappeared somewhere amongst the Bones. But I remembered he had sent it to me, and this of corpse led me to one of my bouts of sonic curiosity: What is this OPARU project, anyway?
Well, that is a long and multi-tiered answer, my dear readers. This “ep” *(I hate using the word “demo”) consists of one lone solitary track, the song “Love Me.” It’s a ghostly, haunting lament of security found in insecurity, of the all too human fears of eternal loneliness and abandonment, backed by sounds beauty and infused with a futuristic, post-apocalyptic vibe *(quite literally fitting of the name OPARU, the meaning of which I will get into later). Fitting, as the isolated sound and desperation of Dianna St. Hilaire’s Siren-like vocals, cooing and wailing softly over remote endtime planes of irradiated dust and strange skies, and the tale they tell, are not only the focal-point of the music, but in fact also quite in tune with her own personal pains of the soul. This landscape (soundscape?) leaks out of her very soul.
A bit of history, as the mind & soul behind OPARU is no stranger to the sheer ugliness of the business. Originally hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, musician & actress Dianna St. Hilaire now resides among the ever-drifting hopefuls of Los Angeles, California, OPARU being her second musical outing, and this time a solo project. In 2001, she formed a goth rock/synthpop act called VERSAILLES. The music was an expression of the severe depression and abhorrent psychological abuse she was suffering through at the time, due to a series of highly destructive relationships. Over time it leaked like Fukushima’s radioactive waste into her VERSAILLES project, as in 2007 some kind of J-Pop boy band began to use the same name for their band. This resulted in an extremely drawn out, unnecessarily cruel way of handling the issue *(on the boy band side, anyway, involving harsh hate mail and internet harassment), leading eventually to the end of Dianna’s VERSAILLES project in 2012, as well as a constant series of intense, particularly harsh life struggles *(many of which I can unfortunately identify all too well with myself). She had been left alone in those atomic wastelands, with nothing more than crumbs of sanity upon which to rebuild. *(Repeatedly losing everything, regardless of how hard one tries, will do that.)
On an interesting side note, she has worked several times with the only person who can out Phil Spector-Phil Spector, that creepy grande old queen of glam and punk himself, the legendary Kim Fowley *(yes, THAT Kim Fowley, the man responsible for awesomeness of THE RUNAWAYS). Dianna’s music is in his *(well, he wrote and produced it) film “Black Room Doom,” which won a Special Jury Prize in 2012’s Melbourne Underground Film Festival. He also produced her 2013 album “Targets.” Dianna has also been on the Official Grammy Ballots. That’s no small feat.
That all of corpse leads us to Dianna’s new project OPARU. Having seen and lived through hell, and with a newly enlightened outlook on life, Dianna’s created this music with the hope that it will guide others through their own hells, putting them on a contemplative path toward healing and deep thought over what is truly important in life.
“Love Me” was written and produced by Dianna, mixed by Brian Bode, and mastered by Brian Lucey. Currently OPARU is working on new material with grammy winning producer Josh Stevens.
Oh, and what does OPARU mean? I’ll let Dianna St. Hilaire tell you in her own words: “Oparu represents pure animalistic behavior in its basic form. Oparu is mentioned as a petite girl in a long flowing dress surrounded by a desolate apocalyptic world, with a dream like operatic voice that makes it’s way into pop culture. Oparu is illumination, a single candle in a dark room, a fire upon a hill in the wilderness, a tower of light for the ship lost at sea. It is a guiding force lighting up the moonless night. Oparu means opal in Japanese: the birthstone of the artist.”
To hear “Love Me,” and to learn more on OPARU, check out the following links:
Vincent Daemon, writer, editor, musician, photgrapher, film/music buff and historian, and rabblerouser, can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 as well as his spontaneously updated blog of writing news and nonsense THE WRITINGS OF A DEPRAVED MIND http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/Some of his music can be painfully experienced at http://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 His email firstname.lastname@example.org