American singer, composer-producer, and performance artist, Lyra Pramuk’s work is far-arcing by necessity, accomplishing a remarkably broad practice with a brevity of movement.
Lyra’s starting point is listening, an empathic response to the contemporary cultural landscape. This likewise tethers her between various projects and forms. Citing musical collaborators such as Holly Herndon and Colin Self, collaborations with the visual artist Donna Huanca, freelance writing projects, and an ongoing international performance schedule, there are a variety of creative nodes that come to feed back into Lyra’s practice. These experiences are directly transposed into possibilities for the voice, affording a vocal space that is one of texture as much as lingual clarity. The impulse for adaptation embedded in Lyra’s body of work is revealed here, too, lending some perspective to the movement between club spaces and concert halls, channeling sensuous, personal experience into critical ideas for community.
Taking the route of subjectivity to establish collective practices is a path as theoretically fraught as it is poetically knotted. And as artists find ways to develop and demonstrate exploration, new harmonics are unearthed, new interfaces for the future are written. Our senses deliver enlivening returns that can come to intimately alter one’s life. Against these considerations, Lyra takes the voice as a conduit and extends the communicative basis of the instrument to the tender contingencies of experimental self-expression.
Where the voice is deployed most imaginatively and seductively for Lyra is just where the orbit of electronic music is conceived as a modular spectrum. Seizing on recorded work as well as performance to be a process of sampling and synthesis, genres are cross-pollinated and extended, returning all the while back to her formative impulse that storytelling is song, and song is a means of short-circuiting the structures we are sold as real difference in this world. Maximalist vocal layering cajoles us through melodrama and mystique, emotive vocalizations playfully stir instability. Whether embodied in Lyra’s practice as elemental assets of philosophy, theatre, or folk-musical histories, a kinder future is summoned as a fictive play in the present.
Lyra is based in Berlin, Germany.
As of October 2017