Meet our Music Composer, Kamala Sankaram

The original music score composed by Kamala Sankaram for Grandma’s Great Gourd features instruments from diverse musical traditions! Listen closely and you will hear the flute, piano, tabla, chimes, drum kit, upright bass, marimba, rainstick, cowrie shells, maracas, tanpura, a long-necked plucked string instrument from South Asia, and guiro, a Latin American percussion instrument.

The original music score composed by Kamala Sankaram for Grandma’s Great Gourd features instruments from diverse musical traditions! Listen closely and you will hear the flute, piano, tabla, chimes, drum kit, upright bass, marimba, rainstick, cowrie shells, maracas, tanpura, a long-necked plucked string instrument from South Asia, and guiro, a Latin American percussion instrument.

Praised as “strikingly original” by The New York Times, Kamala Sankaram is the talented composer whose South Asia-inspired musical score you hear in Grandma’s Great Gourd. She is also the voice artist who brings all the human and animal characters in Grandma's story to life!

The bi-racial second-generation daughter of a father who immigrated to the US from South India and a mother whose ancestors hail from Scotland and France, Kamala was born and raised in Southern California. She grew up listening to Debussy and Rachmaninoff with her mother and to Indian classical music and Bollywood and Telugu movie soundtracks with her father. A large part of her childhood was spent straddling two cultures, and in her body of work which crosses over classical, opera, folk, and pop rock traditions, she has demonstrated a commitment to creating works that are inspired by and quote from all of her influences.

Kamala has been hailed as "an impassioned soprano with blazing high notes" (Wall Street Journal) and praised for the “sheer power” of her music (TimeOut New York). She is the frontwoman and a composer for the band Bombay Rickey, whose debut album won the 2015 Vox Pop Award for Best Eclectic Album from the Independent Music Awards. Kamala’s compositions have been performed as part of American Opera Projects “Opera Grows in Brooklyn” series, at HERE Arts Center, the Stone, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the Santa Fe New Music Festival, and the Lucerne Festival. As a performer, Kamala Sankaram has collaborated with and premiered pieces by Anthony Braxton, the Philip Glass Ensemble, the Wooster Group, John Zorn, and eighth blackbird, among others.

In addition to her musical pursuits, Kamala holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and can be heard as a voice on the Cartoon Network show Superjail. www.kamalasankaram.com