Music

Carnatic violinist Shreya Devnath releases new Tamil indie single, ‘Kaatre’

Cover art of the single   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

A little girl speaks freely with the wind, flows gently with the river, has conversations with birds and wonders if clouds are changing shapes for her. She discovers Nature at its purest form.

‘Kaatre’, the recently-released independent single by Chennai-based Carnatic violinist Shreya Devnath tells the simple story of a little girl who discovers the joys of interacting with Nature. Almost two-and-a-half minutes long, this Tamil track, sung and composed by Shreya, ebbs and flows gently.

A performing Carnatic violinist, Shreya has always been recording small songs that ended up on her phone and were never produced. “The pace of life was very different before the pandemic.

I just thought I’ll get to it when I get to it,” she says, adding, “With the pandemic, there was a lot more scope and time to indulge in different creative processes.” This is when she dove back to her original compositions in an attempt to revive them. ‘Kaatre’ was one of them.

“In my mind, this melody seemed like it was about a little girl discovering Nature. It was very instinctive and immediate. That led me on this path to creating what stands today as a song and its visuals,” says Shreya.

After composing, the next step for the melody was to find its lyrics — Shreya put out an open call for a Tamil lyricist on social media and Prem Chand joined the crew.

Shreya Devnath

Shreya Devnath   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

“I have always been drawn to quieter moments of happiness and that sort of found its expression through ‘Kaatre’,” says Shreya, adding, “I did not draw consciously from classical or folk influences. But it sort of ended up sounding ‘folk-sy’. It is just a very South Indian-sounding melody.”

The single experiments with sounds that are very characteristic of the times. Says musician Praveen Sparsh who produced and arranged the song, “In the process of creating something, I didn’t want to morph the basic emotion that we are trying to convey. But I had to make it relevant in terms of its sonic identity.” Stating that he experimented with a tight mix for the melody, Praveen adds, “It was a revealing process for me as well.”

The video was animated by visual artist Susha. Shreya says, “The idea of an animated video appealed to me in this case, to follow the thought of creating something completely from imagination. Rather than making it too literal or real.”

Shreya’s journey in music began with singing when she was about eight or nine. “Three-four years down the line, I developed severe problems with my vocal chords. I had to go completely quiet for a few years. I was so miserable that I couldn’t sing, and that’s how the violin happened.. To let the music continue even if the singing can’t,” says Shreya who is a disciple of violinist Lalgudi Jayaraman.

“A few years back, I wanted to pick up singing again. I started voice training and tried to build my voice back up.”

But as far as practice sessions and creative processes are concerned, violin and vocals are incomparable, says Shreya, adding however that “the involvement is the same”.

‘Kaatre’ is currently streaming on Spotify and YouTube.


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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 5:51:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/carnatic-violinist-shreya-devnath-releases-new-tamil-indie-single/article36644622.ece

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