Karthick Iyer Live: The Launch of IndoSoul
His violin has been known to pull at heart strings, while his seamless blend of the classical with the contemporary speaks of artistic sensibilities beyond this young artist’s years. On the 13th of June, violinist/vocalist Karthick Iyer launched his debut album – IndoSoul – to a packed audience at the Museum Theater in Egmore, Chennai. “Since this was our first album launch, it was always going to be a special event,” he told IndiEarth after the launch, “I was very happy to see the audience turnout that included many of our friends, fans and family. We have received very kind words of praise both about the launch show as well as our album music. In the end I believe it was efforts of the whole team behind the launch that paid off”.
The concept of IndoSoul, according to Karthick – more than just the name of his album – is a genre he wants to propagate within the music fraternity. “‘IndoSoul – looking within to look beyond’ is the first step in the growth of the genre IndoSoul” he explains, “Karthick Iyer Live as a band has come a long way since we started about three years ago, and there is a long way to go for us in exploring diverse possibilities in Indo-Western collaborations. I would also like to add that IndoSoul as a genre is not restricted to Karthick Iyer Live. If other bands who resonate with the ideas that we have put out play their own versions of IndoSoul, nothing would me happier!”
The album itself revolves around this theme, bringing together the Electric Violin, Mridangam, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Drums and Vocals to recreate vivid soundscapes firmly grounded in the Classical Carnatic tradition, but with twists and turns to the sonic plot vis a vis edgier more contemporary riffs, textures and lyrics. Also comprising the act is Vikram Vivekanand (Guitar), Naveen Napier (Bass), Sumesh Narayan (Mridangam/Percussion), and Ramkumar Kanakarajan (Drums). “Soul depicts deep, and Indo represents a relation to Indian civilisation and the country’s traditional music” continues Karthick, “IndoSoul is open-minded in the sense that it absorbs and is influenced by different cultures, geographies, and genres from across the world. We have collaborated with musicians from across the globe in an earnest and endless attempt to break the superficial walls between genres, instruments, cultures, languages and bring to the forefront the inner, hidden commonalities”.
And what inspired the genesis of this album? “If I were to be specific, I’d trace the genesis of this album to A Clown’s Junket,” (you might remember this track from the IndiEarth Out There video series – watch the track performed live here), “This was followed by At The Theatres, which is also the album’s first and only vocal track. It’s a very interesting song that is constructed like a story that is loaded with emotions and a sense of drama. Mid-Air happened while I was on a train from Auckland to Queenstown – the melody came to me and I promptly recorded it. Raghuvamsa Sudha, the final track in the album, is a classic; it’s a happy song and I think, a culmination of the idea of IndoSoul”. Other tracks on the album include Saranga – which Iyer composed in two days, and Intro – loosely based on the ragam Shanmukhapriya and in form, drawn from the idea of a Korappu (a conversation based on the orderly reduction of rhythmic patterns that occurs during the Thani Avarthanam – a Carnatic percussion solo).
Image credits: www.karthickiyer.com