Sandunes, aka Sanaya Ardeshir, is a composer, producer and pianist from Mumbai, India in the process of relocating to LA to pursue a new chapter in life and music, in line with the release of her third transcendental album which will be released as her debut on Tru Thoughts records

Surrounded by instruments growing up, Sanaya began learning piano from the age of 6. She would listen to her families collection of records “jazz, blues, broadway musicals, Americana, folk, and a fair bit of classical music” which she describes as ”a very postcolonial soundscape… which was sort of typical for a Parsi family in urban India back in the 90s.”. As her father experienced as part of a band who had to build their own amps, alternative music, particularly live alternative music, was harder to come by, and much harder to pursue compared to today.

As a child, Sanaya recalls running between the piano and CD player in the living room, pausing Dave Brubeck and Oscar Peterson records and trying to figure out those pieces. Piano lessons eventually lead to recitals and before long Sanaya was exposed to the world of producing when rehearsing at her friend’s studio with her college funk and jam band. Later attending Point Blank School in London to pursue her newfound love of music production, she was inspired by incredible music, performance and magic at the intersection of electronic and acoustic sounds. Now, Sanaya “thinks in sound” making her music with an urgency, expressing herself and cherishing its sacrality as a means to connect with the world. Her sound constantly evolves, “revealing itself to me in real time” she adds.

“I think music is going to be one of the last living threads that keeps us tethered to what is human, primal and collective as we venture into hyper-individuated terrain where technology informs so much of our social culture”

In 2017 Sanaya’s tour ended with an opening slot for Bonobo at the Manchester International Festival. Whilst in the UK she worked on Different Trains 1947, a collaboration between India and the UK commissioned by Warp Records and Boiler Room funded by the British Council. The project used Steve Reich’s ‘Different Trains’ as the main springboard, but set to the context of the Partition of India and the ghost trains between India and Pakistan of the time and included a performance at London’s Barbican Centre. Her unforgettably enchanting live renditions are performed with anything from a solo show up to an eleven-piece band.

Sanaya has also supported George FitzGerald’s album release tour at Evolutionary Arts Hackney, toured the US supporting Pretty Lights, remixed a track from Grammy award-nominated Anoushka Shanker, provided a guest mix for NTS and hosted a radio show as part of the BBC Asian Network residency and released a collaborative album with celebrated UK jazz drummer Richard Spaven. In addition to releasing music, she also works as a sound designer having most recently composed music and designed sound in spatial audio for a first-of-it’s-kind 15 room exhibition titled “India in Fashion”, commissioned by the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre in Mumbai. As well as joining NTS for a guest mix, her previous work has gained praise from international and local tastemakers across various media; Rolling Stone, The Quietus, The Guardian, Red Bull Radio and Resident Advisor to name a few.

The pensive nature of Sandunes body of work is often informed by her interests, which extend into pedagogy, mentorship and mindfulness. She has appeared as a guest lecturer at Ableton’s Loop Summit for Music Makers, Today At Apple at India’s first Apple Store, and is the co-founder of Ears to the Ground, a trans media project with Krishna Jhaveri which centres around activated listening, field recordings, and the potential to sustain dialogue around climate justice through sound-forward spaces, experiences and installations. The project seeks to reinvent itself at every juncture as a young exploration of the oldest Mountain range in India – the Western Ghats.

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