Lykanthea is Lakshmi Ramgopal, a solo ambient musician from Chicago, IL based in Rome, Italy. With lyrics rooted in ancient mythologies, a haunting voice smoked in cave-like reverb and the gauzy drone of synths, Lykanthea writes the soundtrack of thresholds. Drawing on a decade of Carnatic training, Ramgopal “sings hymns of the ancients in a tale that breaks against oppressive hands to expressions and emotions that emerge from behind the veil” (IMPOSE). Her sound is ritual chanting for the electronic age.
Ramgopal began writing and performing as Lykanthea while pursuing a doctorate in Classics at the University of Chicago. She found herself drawn to the narrative of legacy and rebirth in ancient Sumerian texts about the goddess Inanna. While isolated on an uninhabited Greek island in 2013, she began writing lyrics, collecting field recordings, and laying down the soundscapes that became her debut Migration. The EP was released in July 2014 digitally and on cassette to local acclaim, with the initial physical run selling out in months.
A fixture in Chicago’s dark fashion and witch house scene, Ramgopal’s passion for atmosphere and texture has made her music an inspiration for collaborators. Her music has been featured in promotional videos for Velvit and Hunter Gatherer and her style has been praised by dark fashion magazine FAIIINT. In summer 2014, she worked with independent designers to produce the video for “Telos” in Chicago. In that same year, she collaborated with Hunter Gatherer to release a capsule collection of jewelry inspired by Migration’s lyrics. Currently living in Italy as a winner of the Rome Prize, Ramgopal has continued collaborating by partnering up with sound artist Paula Matthusen to create “Prex Gemina,” a sound installation at the American Academy in Rome.
Lykanthea has been featured in Warren Ellis' SPEKTRMODULE podcast, Chicago Reader, Largehearted Boy, Artribune and IMPOSE. She is currently touring Europe, where she will appear at Leipzig's Wave Gotik Treffen.