Bryna Golden, 41
Unidentified neuromuscular disease, 20-plus years
Singer, songwriter and keyboardist for Babylonian Tiles, a "dark psychedelic" band. Also called acid-goth, her music combines Middle Eastern, 1960s psychedelia, progressive rock and post-punk influences.
Released three internationally distributed CDs, went on five U.S. tours and played numerous shows. Currently working on new material for upcoming recordings with plans to continue performing.
Started by playing the keyboard in post-punk bands and writing songs as a hobby. Looked for a band for which she could create musical arrangements, direction and sound. Found Babylonian Tiles in the Los Angeles underground music scene by 1989. Needs the support of a desk chair while performing, and hypoventilation has made singing difficult.
"As my health problems became worse and more troublesome, music became an outlet into which I could channel my feelings. And at a time when I was becoming more limited in what I could do, playing music was something that gave me a sense of accomplishment and an arena in which I could feel good about myself, where I didn’t have to try to be like everyone else.
In fact, I did everything I could to make myself stand out."