Splitting her time between Los Angeles and the Czech Republic, the Czech-born singer/songwriter, producer and musician Lenka Moravkoa is the creative mastermind behind the indie electro pop project My Name Is Ann. Moravkova is also the creative mastermind behind the rising, solo, experimental pop project Bohemian Cristal Instrument.
The Czech-born artist hails from the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic, a region famed for its glass industry. Inspired by the region’s history, Moráková created several striking multimedia installations based on the sound of local glass factories during their decline. Those installations also helped inspire and inform the Czech-born artist’s Bohemian Cristal Instrument project — and the unique instrument at the center of the project.
In the early 1950s, siblings Bernard and François Baschet developed a new instrument, the Cristal Baschet. With a Cristal Bachet, metal rods are embedded into a heavy plate to form the elements. Each metal rod is accompanied by an attached glass rod. The metal rod’s length, weight and position at the equilibrium point help to determine the sound’s pitch. The player gently strokes and/or rubs the glass rods with wet fingertips.
Moravkova’s Bohemian Cristal Instrument is a unique version of the Baschet’s Cristal Baschet that follows the Czech-born artist’s original design. With her unique instrument, the Czech-born artist creates immersive and hypnotic soundscapes that pair the otherworldly acoustics of the Bohemian Cristal Instrument with ambient and pulsating electronics and her vocals.
2017-2019 was a busy, breakthrough period for the Czech-born artist: In 2017 she went on her first European tour, which included a one-off collaboration with William Close and The Earth Harp Collective as a headliner at that year’s Colours of Ostrava. She performed at a TEDx Talk and with Grammy-nominated artist Bora Yoon at Los Angeles’ The Broad Museum. Live footage of Moráková in the California desert went viral, amassing over two million views.
UNICODE EP, Maravkova’s Bohemian Cristal Instrument debut was released in 2018. The following year, she performed at Eurosonic Nooderslag. She was shortlisted for SXSW in 2020 and this year. And adding to a growing profile, she has performed at Summit LA.
Maravkova’s latest Bohemian Cristal Instrument single “Evapora” is a cinematic collaboration with Sofia degli Alessandri-Hultquist, an Italian-born composer, sound artist and performer, who writes compositions for film and media, best known as Drum & Lace. Centered around glistening and ambient synth pulses, the theremin-like Bohemian Cristal Instrument and Maravkova’s processed yet ethereal vocals, “Evapora” is a slow-burning fever dream that feels as though it evokes water slowly evaporating away.
Accompanying the song is a gorgeous and cinematically shot live footage of Maravkova performing the song in the snow covered mountains of her native Czech Republic.
Moravkova and her Bohemian Cristal Instrument will be playing at this year’s Lighting in a Bottle Festival. The lineup is actually pretty bonkers — and her set will be on May 26, 2022.