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Romance with ragas

CHITRA SWAMINATHAN
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musicSinger Karthik revisits Carnatic compositions

Tuneful twistKarthikPhoto: R. Ravindran
Tuneful twistKarthikPhoto: R. Ravindran

Karthik, who has given us innumerable hits, fromNaakoga Girlfriend Kaavali Ra (Boys) toOka Maaru Kalisina Andham (Ghajini) and many others, has done a contemporary take on Carnatic music with his new album.Music I Likeis a contemporary take on classic Carnatic compositions such asMaha Ganapathim, Krishna Nee Begane, Brochevaarevarura, Pibare RamarasamandNagumomu.

The music, a melodic orchestral arrangement by Sai Madhukar, gives a different ring to these traditional pieces while the singing is gentle and soothing. “I know people are used to full-throated rendering of these great works but I preferred to handle them with subtlety as the album is a delightful interpretation of these works. The aim is to reach out to listeners across genres,” says the singer.

But why an album on classical compositions? “Vocalist Unnikrishnan guided me through the project,” says Karthik, who is delighted about his recent jamming with Western musicians at a jazz festival in Switzerland. He had gone there as part of an India show.

Elaborating on his tryst with classical music, he says, “The abandon and power of swaras, the rhythmic play of words and the technicality of the form opens your mind to new ideas and aids in expressive interpretations. ThroughMusic I Like, I have revisited the compositions I grew up listening to,” he smiles.

CHITRA SWAMINATHAN

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