Over the last four 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 all this, she completed a PhD at the University of Chicago and teamed up with Paula Matthusen to create Prex Gemina, a sound installation for the American Academy in Rome's show Cinque Mostre.
Since the death of her maternal grandmother and birth of her niece last year, Ramgopal has turned her attention to herself with 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.
These journeys find a home in Ramgopal’s follow-up to Migration, which is due in 2019. A study in the search for renewal after loss, hope mingles with despair in her new record. In Lykanthea lies the eternal possibility of transformation and rebirth.
Buy Lykanthea's debut EP Migration at https://lykanthea.bandcamp.com.