By Guitar Center for Guitar Center
As a live performer, Madame Gandhi aims to incorporate her message of female empowerment and versatility by using a wide range of instruments and techniques onstage. “I show I’ve rehearsed the drums, I’ve built the soundscapes, and I’m using the technology to impact my vocal through loop pedals and sensory percussion triggers. That’s why I do so much on stage, because I really want to embody this three-dimensionality of not only the female experience, but the human experience.”
We captured Madame Gandhi’s live first impressions of the new Moog Grandmother, while also discussing her multi-faceted stage setup as a means for spreading message through example.
Madame Gandhi: It’s basically an entire studio setup to make a song. Between these three instruments, the amount of flexibility you can have when creating soundscapes is crazy. It’s very healing to make stuff like this. It’s so cool. The feeling of the actual physicality of the music is very therapeutic. I really didn’t understand it five or ten years ago, before I started working in the analog synth world. I didn’t get it. Now that I’m more immersed in it, I understand it. It’s the purity of the quality of the sounds, and the satisfaction of going on a journey until you land on something that resonates with you.
Your solo live shows incorporate looping in the setup. How did that come to be?
MG: The only time I loop is on “I Own My Own Voice”, and I do that because that’s how the song was written. It’s a great way to get ideas out in the moment. Because I am a drummer, putting melodies on a loop makes intuitive sense. I perform that piece exactly how it was written to preserve the vulnerability and honesty of it.
What was your process when creating a multi-instrumental stage setup?
MG: In my work, I talk about three-dimensional femininity, and what that means to me. I feel like in Hollywood and the mainstream media, we only see two-dimensional constructs of what it means to be female, often reducing [women] to our sexuality only. We have so much more to offer than that. On my stage, I’m really trying to embody the very change I wish to see in the world. I show I’ve rehearsed the drums, I’ve built the soundscapes, and I’m using the technology to impact my vocal through loop pedals and sensory percussion triggers. That’s why I do so much on stage, because I really want to embody this three-dimensionality of not only the female experience, but the human experience.
What do you envision live shows looking like 20-30 years into the future?
MG: Live shows are going to be very immersive. I want the future of my live show to be 3-D, binaural sound. I want people to feel like they’ve been healed by my show in a sensory way. Even now, playing with the Grandmother, I’m receiving all of the sonic healing power of the physical waves. I want someone to be at my show, hear the song “Yellow Sea”, and feel like they’re immersed in my Madame Gandhi joyful energy. That’s really what my project is about. My message is about love, and so I want the music and the sensory experience to embody the very same message.
Check out our live stream with Madame Gandhi at the Moogstore at Moogfest: