Karthick Iyer is a musician, an accomplished violinist who is taking Indian music to global audiences.

Birth of a new style of playing the electric violin: The Nail

It was a couple of years ago.. I was jamming with Krishna, my band mate from Emergence, at his Solitude Farm, Auroville, India. We were working on a new song called 'Love of my Live'. I tried creating something interesting for the outro (end of the song), and played my violin like a guitar, plucking the strings with my nail. This sort of mimicked the guitar melody that Krishna was playing. I had never played anything like this before, and it was exciting to stumble upon this entirely new style. It somewhat resembled the pizzicato* but played with the tip of the nail instead. The sound that came out was a bright and resonant unlike the pizzicato. Happy with the part, we christened this style 'The Nail'.

*Pizzicato (/ˌpɪtsɪˈkɑːt/; Italian: pizzicato, translated as pinched, and sometimes roughly as plucked)[1] is a playing technique that involves plucking the strings of a string instrument with the fingers, rather than using the bow

Keep a look out for The Nail at 6:00 min:sec!

Recently, I went into a recording studio with music director Dharan Kumar to record music for the movie Naaigal Jaakirathai, starring Sibi Raj and a German Shepherd as leads! Recording with Dharan is always interesting as we spend a lot of time coming up with experimental sounds and layers on the electric violin. During this process, I started fiddling around with the violin, playing a carnatic riff with The Nail. This caught Dharan's attention and we decided to try this style in the song En Nenjil, that singer Naresh Iyer had just finished recording. What was required was a bluesy melody from the violin. I played some blues over the existing guitar arrangement and added some Carnatic slides to make it more interesting. The sound engineer added a compressor to make the sound resonant and The Nail made its way into a Tamil movie song. Here is a link of the track. The interlude at 6:00 min:sec is what I'm talking about. I followed this up with some Irish fiddle lines in the interlude and the end choruses. En Nenjil is a simple, pleasing melody, sung beautifully by Naresh and I hope you enjoy listening to it! Later on in the video is the theme song for the same movie that I played at 12:10 min:sec

Indiearth at The Park

Indiearth is a media platform for musicians and filmmakers. Karthick Iyer Live recorded a few tracks with Indiearth which you can find here and here. We recently played a concert at the Park, organized by Indiearth on October 9.  The concert attracted an extremely diverse audience, it is always great to know that our music resonates with the young and the old! Happy to see this article about the show, props to the bloggers at Indiearth!

Conversation with Shonali from The Hindu

Meet Young Violinist Karthick Iyer, Who Enjoys Giving A New-Age Twist To Classical Melodies 

I played a really fun show with Karthick Iyer Live at The Park in Chennai last week, as part of IndiEarth at the Park. I sat down for an interview after the concert with The Hindu's Shonali Muthalaly. Here is the interview, published in The Hindu MetroPlus on Oct 9 2014.

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