We are super excited to talk to Sumanth Srinivasan aka ‘Reckoner’, an independent musician and digital artist from India currently based in NYC who creates computer music.

He recently put out a new release called ‘Nation Wants To Know’ which is a two part minimalist process music composition built with samples from a bunch of TV appearances by Arnab Goswami, all triggered with some Haskell code. It was made during the quarantine, but feels more relevant in the current pandemonium around the public perception of Goswami’s work and persona today.


This is not a conventionally musical track, although speech-based
minimalist music has a rich and illustrious history to draw from.
Besides, these are strange times, and they call for strange music.

– Sumanth Srinivasan

Listen to Nation Wants To Know HERE.

Musicmandir – Hi Sumanth, please tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Sumanth Srinivasan. I release and perform under the moniker Reckoner. My earliest release was Anachronism EP, which is a series of outtakes from the soundtrack I made for an indie horror game from the #AltGames era. I’ve since put out a few EPs and a full length album called Instructions Unclear, which came out in 2019. I grew up in India and am currently based in NYC.

I studied electrical engineering and work in the tech industry, so writing code is a huge part of how I spend time. Live coding music has been a great way for me to do both things at once. My composition involves whatever I can find – my guitar, computer, an abandoned piano in the library, field recordings and what not.

I perform frequently in the NYC area, mostly as part of the duo ‘Reckoner+=Matthew’. I’ve always wanted to play in a band, but I’ve come around to welcoming computers to fill the role of a drummer on stage. The lockdown has made me reconsider all the plans I had for this year, and has resulted in me spending more time in my room trying to find new ways to make music with my computer. ‘Nation Wants To Know was one such experiment.

Listen to 3.15.20 by Reckoner+=Matthew.

Musicmandir – Who have been your inspirations in music composition?

I go through lots of phases very quickly so this will be a long list. Some of my earliest releases were soundtracks for my friends’ Indie video games, which were strongly influenced by Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill 2 OST) and Matt Uelman (Diablo II).

I draw a lot of inspiration from Radiohead, St Vincent, Opeth, Coltrane, Nils Frahm, CAN and Burial. I’m a sucker for late-2000s indie bands like Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear, but also composers like Mica Levi, Messiaen and Steve Reich. My proclivity for rock music was a major force driving me to obsess over making computer-generated beats sound like a real drummer to the extent possible. Live coding is perfect for this, since it allows me to program variations and quasi-uncertainties using probability functions that control the dynamic parameters of a rhythm section such as intensity, latency, drum fills and even samples.

Sumanth Srinivasan

Musicmandir – What can you tell us about live coded music or in simple terms what makes it different from music composed with musical instruments?

From a conceptual standpoint, live coding probably brings you closer to traditional forms of composition by forcing you to treat computers like any other instrument i.e., a device that you can interact with to make sound. This is a departure from how we normally use computers in the context of music (as studios, arrangement systems or virtual versions of a synth, pedal or a mixer). This certainly isn’t new, though. Code and algorithm based music has a rich history dating all the way back to the 80s. The live part of it has become more feasible in the last decade as computers got more powerful. I like that live coding allows me to execute ideas without physical technique limiting my ability to do so, as would be the case with a guitar or piano. This makes it easy to think of a musical phrase or rhythm pattern, type it out, and have it materialize in the real world in no time. Most live coders tend to think on their feet, and improvise during their sets a lot, making the whole thing a bit like jazz.

Musicmandir – Can you give us 5 Indian independent artist you enjoy listening to?

Shaa’ir and Func is a favorite. In fact, I’ve been trying to hunt down a
copy of their album Light Tribe, which contains a lot of my favorite music
from that era of Indian independent music. Sky Rabbit is another band whose music I revisit often.

I’m a big fan of Peter Cat Recording Co and nearly everything that
Consolidate releases – including the recent Disco Puppet EP and the
compilation record from earlier this year. I’m also waiting with my fingers crossed like everyone else, for Sulk Station to put out new music.

Follow Reckoner on the following

  1. BandCamp ( )
  2. Instagram ( )
  3. His Personal Website ( )
  4. Dream Deficit Zone, a newsletter about what Reckoner has been up to music-wise, upcoming shows, releases etc ( )
  5. Youtube

Discover Independent Artists across India through our Artist Directory HERE.