Friday Review » Music

Updated: March 28, 2013 19:01 IST

When techies make music…

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Techies4Kannada was born out of an idea that took shape during a carpool ride to work. It resulted in techies from across IT companies coming together in harmony for a music album, Baa Sangaati

A simple idea that some IT folk discussed during a carpool ride to work has taken on a whole new dimension — it’s resulted in a romantic music album Baa Sangaati …In The Journey of Love where techies have composed music, written lyrics, sung songs, funded, produced and executed it. See, it pays to carpool!

Karthik Somanath, with Infosys in Bangalore, and a musician with an album already in his kitty, expressed a desire one day to create a tribute album for his father, who had died recently. Friend, fellow-IT professional, and former colleague Krishnamurthy H.V., showed enthusiasm.

They started spreading work in their workplaces and scouting around for talent within the IT industry to work on the album. “People unfortunately perceive us as guys who are in front of their computer the whole day. But there are plenty of talented people in the IT industry. We wanted to push fresh talent from amongst our tech community,” says Karthik. And so Techies4Kannada was born.

Still an informal group, the core group of Techies4Knannada now includes Vasantha Kumar, Venkatesh C.P., M.S. Murali, Anantha Murthy V.R — all from Bangalore, Paawana Poonacha, Infosys, Mysore, Pramod Ramesh, in the U.S.A., and Anil Kumar H.S., based in Australia.

“It was natural that we start of in Kannada because we were coincidentally all Kannadigas; language binds people together. Moreover if we started with something too big, things would go out of hand,” says Karthik. The bottom line was that people with a passion for music would join in and stay on consistently, despite work commitments. Karthik himself is trained in light and classical music, plays the guitar and tabla. “Our group aims to celebrate Kannada music, which remains to be the single most connecting force for Kannadigas across the globe. It’s a way of unifying the global Kannada IT world,” points out Paawana. Most of the people in the core team have lived abroad at different points of their career. Having been part of the Kannada Diaspora, they found a deep desire in the community to stay connected with their culture.

With members spread across Bangalore, Mysore, U.S.A., and Australia, technology came to their aid in breaking distance barriers. Many of the members have not met each other yet, having worked on the album from across continents. Emails, chats, Skype sessions followed. Tracks that Karthik composed on his Mac were mailed to Paawana, who wrote the lyrics. Krishnamurthy helped coordinate studio bookings and schedules.

“I had heard Karthik perform earlier at the office functions and in other spaces. We started discussing the project seriously. We contacted friends and brought other like-minded people interested in music on board. Soon we started discussing lyrics as we drove to work, I would give feedback, Karthik would hum tunes he had composed…” Krishnamurthy recalls how Baa Sangaati started falling in place since January this year. They worked on it in their spare time, and over weekends. The album has eight tracks, woven around a romantic storyline.

Then they roped in Bollywood playback singers Shaan and Sadhana Sargam — Karthik who tapped in on his contacts in the music industry went to Mumbai to record their songs. Professional musicians from the Kannada film industry joined in — the album features Rajesh Krishnan, Shamita Malnad, Hemant Kumar, Anuradha Bhat and Anil Ambaari. The fresh face from the IT industry who lent her voice was Eshaswini Murali Krishna, along with music composer Karthik. “We decided to bring in these professionals because we don’t have an identity yet. We wanted to connect to more people through them. We also specially wanted to reach out to the non-Kannadiga community in the IT industry, and for them Shaan and Sadhana Sargam create instant recall,” explains Karthik.

The group hopes to take up other activities too, musical or otherwise, in the future.

Baa Sangaati will be released as a CD (Rs. 70) on March 31 at Yavanika Youth Centre, Nrupathunga Road, at 5.30 p.m. by Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Murthy. You can know more about the group on the facebook page “techies4kannada”.

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