Sandy Asirvatham is a writer, musician, and video producer living in Baltimore, although forever a New Yorker at heart.
She was born in Pittsburgh, grew up in New Jersey, earned a BA and MFA from Columbia University, and worked prolifically for several years as a freelance journalist and young adult nonfiction author. As an alt-weekly columnist for Baltimore CityPaper, 1997-2002, Asirvatham was twice awarded by the Maryland Association of Professional Journalists with their Best Columnist honor. Although short fiction was never her primary interest, she also published a story in the Berkeley Fiction Review.
In her mid-thirties Asirvatham took a major professional detour to become a working jazz pianist and singer, gigging throughout the mid-Atlantic with a few choice hits in NYC. In 2007 she produced a band album of her earliest original songs, Memoir. (These mini-fictions set to various jazz-pop grooves had emerged like gremlins while she was severely blocked on an attempted first novel.) In 2013 with co-producer ellen cherry, Asirvatham brought a quirky personal dream to fruition: Mobtown Moon, an idiosyncratic, fully re-orchestrated homage to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon involving 50 local musicians and a crazy blend of genres/styles. (See the music page to hear/buy these projects.)
Her skills as an executive producer in music led to a brief but successful business partnership with a longtime TV-spot director. The partnership received a regional Emmy for a public service announcement, for which Asirvatham was co-writer and executive producer.
After years of creative entrepreneurship—and all the networking, socializing, and collaborating it requires—she felt the need to retreat into her previous writerly, antisocial persona. Earlier this year she finished a book-length project, a biographical story (i.e., memoir) about trying to use music to escape childhood wounds and forge an identity. Its working title is PLAY IT BY EAR: AN AMERICAN ANTHEM. As she seeks representation and publication for that project, she is starting on an ambitious novel project and slowly gearing back up for more music and video production work.
At this point her main job is figuring out how to live long enough to do everything.