It’s clear right away that Kiran Gandhi is an “always-on artist.” We’re sitting down with the drummer/singer/electronic musician/businesswoman at Ableton’s Loop conference, and as she reflects on the acoustics of the outdoor tent where we’re recording, she sings an impromptu recording into her phone. There’s even a lyric reminding her to write about tents.

The tone is set for our whole conversation: as Kiran longs for a higher-fidelity phone microphone, technology alone can’t keep pace with her spontaneity.

By now, Kiran’s story as a radical polymath has made its way around the creative web – not least of which thanks to her TEDx talk about “Atomic Living” (above). As Madame Gandhi, Kiran’s music is electronically processed and arranged but heavily reliant on (and sourced from) the human voice, and human drumming. In our interview, she addresses this balance – you can hear it in musical form in a recent Madame Gandhi track, the intimate “Wazey”:

For a visual look at Kiran’s music, here’s a taste of her drumming with M.I.A.:

After a number of years spent working with others – whether it be her consulting clients or musicians – Kiran seems to be honed in on her own voice now. In person, she was almost overwhelmed with ideas. With a debut Madame Gandhi album and associated performances in the works, it feels like this will be something big – for her, and also for listeners and the landscape in which she’s releasing her music. Based on the music and ideas that we’ve gleaned from her, we’re excited to see what these next steps look like.

kiran2

kiran1

http://kirangandhi.com/

We proudly welcome David Abravanel in his first byline of CDM – more to come. -Ed.

Disclosure: This interview is presented with support from Ableton.

  • z

    Very cool.

  • z

    Very cool.

  • Finding a balance between electronics (or whatever our chosen palette) and humanity is what most of us are striving for. A correlation with any shortcomings of those efforts to the more transient forms of electronic music, which prioritize fresh dance-floor material over longevity, seems like an apples to oranges comparison to me. Notwithstanding, this is a good reminder to focus more on the content, and less on the tools.

    • ‘Finding a balance between electronics (or whatever our chosen palette) and humanity is what most of us are striving for.”

      Maybe, but not for me.

      Personally I find this striving for “humanity” (particularly in dance or electronic music) to be a major albatross around the necks of the genres.

      • DPrty

        I sometimes like to make my music that sounds like a soulless robot played it and for those pieces that’s exactly what they should be. The “striving for humanity” thing is for those that want to feel something human but sometimes I just want to escape humanity.

  • Finding a balance between electronics (or whatever our chosen palette) and humanity is what most of us are striving for. A correlation with any shortcomings of those efforts to the more transient forms of electronic music, which prioritize fresh dance-floor material over longevity, seems like an apples to oranges comparison to me. Notwithstanding, this is a good reminder to focus more on the content, and less on the tools.

    • ‘Finding a balance between electronics (or whatever our chosen palette) and humanity is what most of us are striving for.”

      Maybe, but not for me.

      Personally I find this striving for “humanity” (particularly in dance or electronic music) to be a major albatross around the necks of the genres.

      • DPrty

        I sometimes like to make music that sounds like a soulless robot played it and for those pieces that’s exactly what they should be. The “striving for humanity” thing is for those that want to feel something human but sometimes I just want to escape humanity.

  • meh

    Talented woman but jeez does she love the sound of her own voice

    • josephguisti

      Well, it’s an interview. And a Ted talk. So that’s why she’s…talking.

  • meh

    Talented woman but jeez does she love the sound of her own voice

    • josephguisti

      Well, it’s an interview. And a Ted talk. So that’s why she’s…talking.