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 at the University of Chicago and worked with Paula Matthusen on Prex Gemina, a sound installation for the American Academy in Rome's show Cinque Mostre that featured field recordings from early Christian catacombs in Rome.
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 projects like A Half-Light Chorus, a sound installation she created for Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago’s Lincoln Park Conservatory that featured vocalists imitating the calls of birds from India and Sanskrit literature. These projects accompanied multidisciplinary ensemble shows that herald a shift in Ramgopal’s storytelling—one that eschews electronics and synths and embraces the warmth of the sruti box, unprocessed vocals, and performance art and dance.
Such journeys find a home in Some Viscera, Ramgopal’s new EP. A study in the search for renewal, the record finds Ramgopal on vocals, the sruti box, glockenspiel, and guitar with the accompaniment of cellist Lia Kohl, violinist Lucy Little, and violist Johanna Brock. Some Viscera drops fall 2019.
Buy Lykanthea's debut EP Migration at https://lykanthea.bandcamp.com.