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The universal rhythm
Dr S Karthick popularly known as ‘Ghatam Karthick’ has carved a niche for himself in the performing arts world. He has extensively toured the world and has mesmerised the audience with his performances Ghatam Karthick says that rhythm is nothing but like the flow of water and in nature around us. Music has been an integral part of Karthick’s family. His mother Padma Subramaniam is a Carnatic music
Dr S Karthick popularly known as ‘Ghatam Karthick’ has carved a niche for himself in the performing arts world. He has extensively toured the world and has mesmerised the audience with his performances Ghatam Karthick says that rhythm is nothing but like the flow of water and in nature around us. Music has been an integral part of Karthick’s family. His mother Padma Subramaniam is a Carnatic music singer.
He says that he is fortunate to have ‘twin gurus’, TH ‘Vikku’ Vinayakram and his brother TH Subash Chandran. “There was no special ‘debut performance’ for me. It had to be the hard way. I was put on the stage for accompaniment, just like being pushed into a swimming pool. When I am not into Carnatic music, I spend my time listening to the lilting film melodies of RD Burman, Naushad, Illayaraja, Ghantasala, CS Jayaraman and songs from MGR films and NTR films,” Karthick says.
For me the biggest blessing in life is to be recognised along with my musical instrument," says Ghatam Karthick during a conversation at the Hyderabad Arts Festival
“I have great regard for the masters of classical music like GNB, Semagudi, Balamuralikrishna and MD Ramanathan. Yanni, Phil Collins and Sinead O Connor are all around my mind for their great songs and compositions. There have been times when I have been listening to ‘Osibisa’ or ‘Boney M’ and my fingers would keep moving on the Ghatam and it would be an involuntary accompaniment to their music. Rhythm is universal. For me, rhythm is ‘Nirguna Brahma’ (Formless God). Rhythm is abstract and the metre of the count is constant whether it is for an Annamacharya song, folk song, pop song, film song, Thyagaraja kriti,” he adds.
Karthick states that rhythm is like water. In whichever container you place water, it takes that form. “Today we have good and bad around us. A particular song may not be good, but the rhythm may be good. It’s just possible that I may pick up a rhythm from a street singer or a roadside religious festival drummer,” Karthick shares.
There is a lot of modernity attached to the music of Karthick. He is a man of the moment. He has set up a fusion music ensemble called ‘Heartbeat’. “Heartbeat has performed all over India, USA, Canada, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bahrain. We perform contemporary music mixed with traditional form.
It’s also important to play numbers, which are in the local language of the performing city. This is very important to reach out to the audience. After all, a Telugu Annamacharya song would be more appreciated here, than in New Delhi,” he says.
Karthick’s son Sarvesh is also following the footsteps of his father and is training hard to reach the paramount. “My son has been trained in Mridangam and he is also doing well on the electronic Handsonic and Wave drum. Knowing the basics of traditional music helps him to mould the sounds in the fusion style.
Since he understands the traditional patterns of classical music and the sounds that can be produced on a traditional instrument; he is able to recreate these sounds on the electronic instruments,” Karthick says.
Karthick has performed in many countries abroad and with leading Jazz and world musicians. “For me, the biggest blessing in life is to be recognised as ‘Ghatam Karthick’. To be known along with my musical instrument is simply amazing,” he signs off.