Over the last five years, the work of Lykanthea's Lakshmi Ramgopal has transformed from explorations of electro-ambient pop idioms into expansive performances and installations. Her debut EP Migration garnered praise from Noisey, Chicago Tribune, and Public Radio International’s The World for its alchemy of synths, catchy melodies, and Carnatic improvisatory techniques. The record led to a European tour, Leipzig’s Wave-Gotik Treffen, and an opening performance for the 50th anniversary celebrations of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, where she shared a bill with Billy Corgan, Lupe Fiasco, and Jamila Woods. Amid these projects, Ramgopal completed a PhD in classics at the University of Chicago.
Since the death of her maternal grandmother and birth of her niece in 2017, Ramgopal has turned her attention to atavistic questions of motherhood and personal legacy with sound installations like last year’s A Half-Light Chorus in Chicago’s Lincoln Park Conservatory. Commissioned by Experimental Sound Studio, the installation included a four-channel composition that featured vocalists imitating the calls of birds from India and Sanskrit literature and site-specific performances by multidisciplinary ensembles of musicians and dancers.
These journeys herald a shift in Ramgopal’s storytelling—one that eschews electronics to embrace the warmth of the sruti box, unprocessed vocals, and dance. They find a home in Some Viscera, Ramgopal’s forthcoming EP, which finds her searching for renewal in analog drones, the glockenspiel, guitar, and a string ensemble. Some Viscera drops in 2020.
Download Lykanthea's debut EP Migration for free from https://lykanthea.bandcamp.com.