Lyra Pramuk - Fountain Music Album Reviews

On her debut album, the American musician works entirely with recordings of her own voice, processing and layering largely non-verbal sounds to explore the very fiber of her being.

When Lyra Pramuk was a child, her parents insisted she go to two different churches every Sunday. It made for a long day and so, as she explained on a recent podcast, she joined a choir at one of them as a way to kill time. Singing soon grew into a way of life and, as she got older, led her to classical training. At university, however, she felt conflicted by the expectation to pursue a traditional operatic or choral career path; inspired by the pop artists she listened to outside of class (Björk, M.I.A., Missy Elliott), she was interested in using her voice as an instrument in more experimental ways. Looking back at her time in children’s choirs, she realized that the archetype of the prepubescent child with a voice as pure as “a bell” represents a “fetishized sound.” On Fountain, the composer and producer’s debut album, Pramuk explores her voice—and her spirituality—with a considerably more holistic outlook.

Each and every sound on Fountain sprang from the same source: Pramuk’s voice. The rhythms, the melodies, the textures—it’s all her, even the bits that don’t sound like her, or even human. Along with using recognizable performance techniques like vibrato and humming, Pramuk heavily processed many of her largely non-verbal vocals, manipulating and layering them to create an orchestra of herself—a technological excavation of her own body’s resonant possibilities inside a tender vision of a post-human future. On occasion, Pramuk leans toward the wistful meandering of Arthur Russell, albeit wordlessly (for example, in the warm glow of lead single “Tendril”); at other times, she evokes the primal world-making of Anna Homler, who devised her own non-verbal vocal technique that involved “exploring the body like a cave.”

The voice, like the self, is fluid, not fixed. Depending on the time of day, the weather, your age, hormone levels, the amount of sleep you got, how you’re feeling, and countless other variables, your voice can sound different—sometimes marginally so, sometimes radically. Pramuk’s extensive vocal recordings and reimaginings, then, weave a spectrum of situational factors into the fabric of Fountain, rendering it the most personal of documents. The line “You say it best when you say nothing at all” comes to mind, a phrase that illuminates the emotional fluency of Pramuk’s often wordless vocals.

“Xeno” sounds like a folktale. It builds from a vulnerable mew (like that of a young creature trying to feel its way through a new world) to a vibrating wall of sound; unscalable and ambiguous. On the austere yet grounding “Cradle,” Pramuk casts herself as a cello, using her computer to stretch her voice into the shape of a bow soberly meeting its strings. It’s the closest she gets to a chamber choir on the album, anchoring her creative progression in her musical beginnings. “Gossip,” on the other hand, feels like a playful tribute to her adopted home of Berlin. Dozens of vocal bits and bytes arrange themselves in crosshatch, creating a scene of harmony and happenings, of exchange and excitement. In spirit rather than sound, “Gossip” makes me think of Pramuk’s longtime collaborator Colin Self and his 2018 song “Quorum,” which features artists Martine Syms and Diamond Stingily enacting the exhilaration of a video chat with a close friend. Gossip is a bonding agent. It’s not only the information that knits people together, but the way it is shared: with laughter and in the kind of intimate tones reserved for one’s nearest and dearest.

Not that anyone needs to be told that the voices of loved ones buoy the spirit. Or that spirituality is deeply rooted in one’s own being and experience. In form and in practice, Pramuk’s debut album generously looks inward to illuminate the multiplicity of the self. Fountain is too rich in scope and meaning to be reduced to just a salve, but there’s no doubt it’s an oh-so-timely reminder that the body is a site of infinite possibility.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Lyra Pramuk - Fountain Music Album Reviews Lyra Pramuk - Fountain Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on April 02, 2020 Rating: 5


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