Harking from over the hills and far away (Argentina to be precise), Pandelindio's shamanistic blend of meditational drone and invigorating Indian and Middle-Eastern currents provides a gateway to the Susurrus like no other. Employing a flute set up unique to the group, Pandelindio have a sound distinct from others, with a softer, more introspective edge than contemporary drone bands. Wishing to find out more, we caught up with the band to discover the roots, composition, and future of this most distinctive South American act. - Interview conducted by Daniel Sharman.
Q.) Who is in the band and who plays what?
A.) At the moment we’re playing live as a trio.
I play Bansuri, N’vike, Hulusi, Pythagorean harp and Bamboo clarinet. Juan Manuel Claro plays Dilruba, Duduk and Bawu and Corina Inveninato plays Tambura, Shruti box, Didgeridoo, Tibetan bowl and Citarina.
We’ve been playing kind of the same set with those instruments this year, but there are many other friends who participate in the recordings and have participated in previous gigs of Pandelindio.
Q.) It's great to interview a South American band, can you tell us more about where you are located?
A.) We're from Buenos Aires, Argentina and we live in Quilmes city. Quilmes is at the shore of the "Rio de la plata”, known as the widest river of the world. But in my opinion the most important thing in the city are friends and family. Besides that and sadly to say it's not much more interesting.
Q.) Pandelindio is an interesting name. What does it mean exactly?
A.) Pan del indio (Indian Bread) it’s an edible mushroom from the Patagonia. Its scientific name is Cyttaria harioti and it grows on trees, it’s orange and spongy like a tangerine, I ate a few and it doesn't have much taste. The native tribes Yámanas o Mapuches they used to eat it fresh or elaborate an alcoholic beverage with it.
Q.) Who influences you as a group musically?
A.) Musically the album “Accordion and Voice” from Pauline Oliveros was a great influence at the time I discovered it and “Ayahuasca” from Pelt was another one.
Also sharing time and playing with my friends like Golondrina Alfa (http://golondrinaalfa.bandcamp.com/) and O+yn (https://omasin.bandcamp.com/) gave me the shape of how to approach the improvisation.
Then, on a conceptual level of experimental music the documentary of the band “Reynols” Influenced me a lot. I believe it’s great, essential. (http://www.cinemargentino.com/films/914988456-buscando-a-reynols - English subs)
Q.) Your music focuses strongly on drone and drawn-out repetition. What attracts you to this compositional style?
A.) The hypnotic state that creates. To me the repetition it is fundamental to develop the melodic composition and sometimes the drone variations are enjoyable enough.
Q.) Are any of your songs ever pre-written or do you produce them on the spot as you play?
A.) I personally like to set up the scale or tonic in what we’re going to play and what instruments. The song or composition comes out always from an improvisation and then we develop that melody or form.
Q.) What part does Nature play in the creation of your music?
A.) A big one.
Some of my best experiences were listening to birds, crickets and toads singing altogether like a psychedelic trance orchestra or the bass drone of the water going down the creek bouncing on the walls. The natural environment always inspires me to listen deeply.
I enjoy a lot to do field recordings and use it in songs.
Q.) I noticed you described your music as meditational. Would you say music can ever help humans transcend the self?
A.) I don’t know if our music fits in the traditional genre of meditational music but it’s kind of my meditation. It helps me transmute emotions or quiet the mind but to transcend the self or take awareness I believe it takes more than music. Shamanic plants for instance, are a great ally of music and they work more intensive and deeply to take consciousness on the "self". But everyone has their own path so I couldn't say for sure.
Q.) Your music is incredibly rich in texture, can you tell us more about the instruments you use to create this?
A.) I'm a big fan of ethnic instruments, mostly from hindustani classical music. I don't have a musical heritage or try to represent any culture so I like to explore the combination of instruments from different places. For example, sometimes we mix the Mbira (African) with a drone-based Tambura (India) or we play the N'vike, which is a bowed string instrument from the indigenous "Toba" people, with the didgeridoo (aboriginal trumpet from Australia) and the Indian's violin Dilruba. Whatever sounds good to us, we try it.
Q.) You're an instrument maker yourself. Can you tell about what that is like to do as a career, and how it impacts your music?
A.) I started to make instruments for myself. I made Didgeridoos for my friends and a couple of Bansuri (traverse flute from India) in pvc and later in bamboo. Luckily I found a passion in making instruments and I keep doing it since then. It's a great pleasure to make an instrument for someone, who's probably a musician or a music therapist. I'm very happy and grateful to make a living of it. I play mostly the instruments I made so it has a big impact on my music.
Q.) What is next for the band? Any upcoming albums or live shows?
A.) We have a new album coming out soon named "Mount Analogue". We recorded it with Pablo Picco and he also work very hard on the mix. And the amazing collaborations of musicians that I admire like Ulrich Rois from Bird People, the guitarist Mariano Rodriguez and my partner Corina Inveninato that was sick with fever when she recorded the piano tune. I'm very happy and excited and probably released it on tape next month. We're playing live this month on saturday 24th with Dario Dubois Duo (https://darioduboisduo.bandcamp.com/) an amazing drone-kraut band from Buenos Aires. And on november 6th we're playing next to Diente de Madera, one of my favourites band right now (https://dientedemadera.bandcamp.com/releases) and Nicolas Melmann too, I believe. He (http://melmann.bandcamp.com/) is a great minimal-ambient composer.
Do You Even Psychedelic? would like to thank Pandelindio for taking the time to complete this interview!
Make sure to like the band's Facebook page, and thus stay up to date, here.
Make sure to check out the band's work here.
By Daniel Luke Sharman