“a lean and lovely score by Kamala Sankaram”
“This little gem may have been composed with children in mind, but its creators, composer Kamala Sankaram and librettist David Johnston, know that being kid-friendly doesn’t mean dumbed-down… You tapped your toes and found yourself singing along”
“the music [of "Monkey and Francine" was] always engagingly rhythmic, tuneful and lively throughout the opera”
"As a composer, Sankaram gives herself and her fellow cast members rich material to mine. Within her score are hints of Glassian minimalism, flashes of jazzy bass lines, Verdi-esque virtuosity and a plethora of South Asian folk-music styles...Sankaram’s greatest gift as a composer is her seemingly endless ability to birth beautiful, memorable melodic motives and weave them together dramatically."
“Sankaram is a rousing composer who engagingly merges the jazzier aspects of Indian music with the punchier ones of Puccini-esque and Adams-esque opera and Broadway. She is also a rousing double threat, a compelling singer who took the lead role of a wonder woman, Mukhtar.”
“Sankaram’s voice could shatter a black hole, never mind glass…The high point among many on this album is a Sankaram composition, Pilgram, her wickedly precise, loopy accordion winding through a misterioso, lingering, surfy stroll with ominous bass and alto sax solos, the latter building to a spine-tingling coda…This might not just be the best debut album of the year: it might be the best album of 2014, period.”
“Perhaps the standout track of Cinefonia is the lushly worked instrumental track entitled “Pilgrim,” written by Ms. Sankaram. Allowing for almost visual sax and accordion lines intertwined with twangy guitar, “Pilgrim” is part Southwest openness, part Brian Eno complexity and part jazzy experimental. The effect is stunning…”