Pyra Draculea is a multidisciplinary writer, artist, and composer currently marooned on Canada’s West Coast.
As a writer, Draculea has meddled in everything from CD and concert reviews for publications such as Discorder Magazine, The Ubyssey and The Spill to comedy podcasts and stand-up. (And even a perpetually unfinished book of snarky essays about various aspects of the music industry and how our society consumes music and musicians… it’ll get put out one day… for sure this time…)
As an artist, she has created everything from art quilts to photography to event posters, but her main medium remains acrylics and mixed media painting. (Unless you count doodles, then it’s definitely doodles.)
She’s been both writing and painting (OK, doodling) for her entire life, but from 2008 to 2015, Draculea took a detour into experimental noise and industrial music, working under the moniker maQLu and releasing four official EPs and two albums along with assorted other improvisational electronic experimental releases. maQLu racked up numerous college radio chart positions across Canada, starting in the summer of 2010. Fans have described her music as “a beautiful abomination” while reviewers have said maQLu’s music is “a breath of fresh air in the electro scene” (James Wright of Soundsphere Magazine) and “an orchestration of foreign, unsettling industrial rock” (Tom Harrison of The Province).
As maQLu she also remixed for other artists including Left Spine Down, iVardensphere, Drowning Susan, and others.
(Some might say she didn’t remix so much as she mutilated and dismembered then Frankensteined audio into new forms. Those would mostly be people who never asked for a second remix, though.)
However, the business and the noise itself started getting to Draculea, along with the frustration of what is normally a fairly slow and drawn out recording, editing, and reworking process, and that, coupled with a near-death drowning experience in 2013, caused her to rethink her creative direction. Sparked by an off-handed comment by a friend who (mistakenly?) thought her hilariously vicious comments about a mutual acquaintance were meant to be jokes, this resulted in a detour through comedy open mics and a year or so working on The Dry Shave Show, a political comedy podcast with a couple of friends, along with relaunching the characters from her old webcomic about a megalomaniacal iguana, Zamo the Destroyer, as a comedy podcast “by an iguana for iguanas, talking about important iguana stuff and issues” narrated by Zamo igself complaining about the various “pet humans” and their misdeeds (such as perpetually offending the Sun God leading to the weather we’ve come to expect in Canada).
Along the way there have also been various forays back into the visual arts. Much like her experimental and noise music, she is primarily interested in textures, symbols and metonymy, but she does venture into more illustrative work such as Zamo the Destroyer and current projects exploring European folklore and pagan culture.
As of early 2021, Draculea has circled back to writing as a main creative output. She is currently working on an odd-ball sitcom-y web series very loosely inspired by some of the antics she witnessed, took part in, or heard about in her music biz days (but seriously, folks: any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead — and/or incidents, actual or alleged — is purely coincidental and all in your head) and two full-length stage plays with more historical and/or superstitious roots.