Studio Visit: Anjna Swaminathan

Release Date: Monday, November 9, 2020
Roulette TV visits composer and our Van Lier Fellow Anjna Swaminathan in her home to discuss project, Rivers Above, Floods Below—an homage to the experience of immigrants, reflected in the meteorological phenomenon of “atmospheric rivers.” Much like the rivers brewing and creating movements above, Swaminathan also considers the massive rivers of protestors who have flooded the streets against injustice in recent months.

Anjna Swaminathan is a queer multidisciplinary artist, composer, violinist, vocalist, writer, theatre artist, and dramaturg. As an artist with a passion for sociopolitical work, community building, and critical consciousness, her artistic practice is an extension of her activist spirit. Informed by her rigorous training in the Carnatic and Hindustani music traditions of India, Anjna creates in New York’s vibrant creative music and improvisatory scene, in hybrid classical compositional work, and in her own multidisciplinary projects. She is a disciple of violin maestro Parur Sri M. S. Gopalakrishnan and Mysore Sri H.K. Narasimhamurthy and continues her training in Hindustani music with Samarth Nagarkar. Since 2018, Anjna has been under the compositional mentorship of Gabriela Lena Frank with whom she is exploring the creative possibilities of using Western Classical notation as a mode of communication for her deeply rooted Indian classical compositional and improvisational ideas. As an educator, Anjna has a strong commitment to mindfulness-based music-making, socially conscious and empathetic principles, and expression-oriented rigorous practice.