2021 Roulette Commissioned Artist
The inheritor of many traditions, virtuosic vocalist, composer, and scholar Ganavya brings together beloved ones to create an experience that sits comfortably in the nexus of them all—a sonic gathering in love, prayer, and play. Let’s Go Out and Play, she entices, as she uses a song-making technology taught to her in childhood, turning English poetry into prayer. Behind her, in this performance, you will find her chosen family, her literal family, and her ancestors. Poetry will range from 1st millennium CE to current-day poets, including Ganavya herself.
Come, play and pray with us.
Ganavya (voice/ acoustic bass/ ukulele)
Devon Gates (bass)
Utsav Lal (piano)
Sunny Jain (drums)
Rajna Swaminathan (percussion)
Immanuel Wilkins (saxophone)
Ria Modak (guitar)
Additional vocals by:
Eden Girma, Jahnavi Harrison, Ganesan Doraiswamy, Vidya Doraiswamy, plus additional guests.
Textile Sculptures by Sagarika Sundaram
Additional Production Rajna Swaminathan
Creative Producer Ashni Davé
Tamil Nadu-raised and New York-born critically acclaimed vocalist Ganavya lives, learns, and loves fluidly from the nexus of many frameworks and understandings. Hers is a deeply profound and rooted voice. A multidisciplinary creator, she is a soundsmith and wordsmith. Trained as an improviser, scholar, dancer, and multi-instrumentalist, she maintains an inner library of “spi/ritual” blueprints offered to her by an intergenerational constellation of collaborators, continuously anchoring her practice in pasts, presents and, futures. Much of her childhood was on the pilgrimage trail, learning the storytelling art form of harikathā and singing poetry that critiques hierarchal social structures. She is a co-founder of the non-hierarchical We Have Voice Collective.
“No matter the language or the content, Ganavya’s voice is a thick ephemera, like smoke as dark as ink, just coming off the fire.” — The New York Times
Ganavya: Let’s Go Out and Play is a Roulette commission and is possible, in part, by the Jerome Foundation. The Jerome Foundation, a long-time supporter of young composers, was a mainstay in Roulette’s early development and continues to help us fulfill our mission by presenting ambitious work by promising artists.