Chennai-based violinist plans to compose his own music soon

Seeing his passion for the violin, you would think the bow has become his sixth finger. That is the thought Akkarsh N Kasyap, the violinist from K K Nagar, inspires in you. Akkarsh is creating a niche for himself in the world of music. He has worked with famous singer Sid Sriram on a single, titled ‘Theerathe’, and has played solo background music in movies like Airaa and Thadam.

Akkarsh is looking forward to composing his own music in the near future. In an interview to NewsToday, he also talks philosophically about his passion for music and some of the challenges he had to face as a budding musician. He plays the violin in Carnatic concerts around the city in December and is currently engaging himself by playing for private musical gigs.

Excerpts from his interview:

Q: How long have you been playing the violin? Can you tell us the story behind your choosing to play the violin?
A: I’ve been playing the violin for the past 15 years but a bulk of that time was spent aimlessly. It was not until recently that I discovered my passion for the instrument. And also my family does not have music in its genes. I’m a first generation musician so there was a lot of self-evaluation.

It’s an interesting story – my dad had great interest in music and wanted us (my brother and I, we both play the violin) to develop an interest in music for which he started learning the violin. I watched my dad play and, slowly, like any other child, wanted to do what he did. That’s how I picked up the instrument.

Q: You seem taken up with music. What are the other instruments you play apart from the violin?
A: Yes, music is something which has been a part of my life from a really young age. I started singing at the age of 3. To be honest, I didn’t really develop a penchant for music until into my late teens but always found time for it. But with maturity, I found out what it did to me and people around me.

It answered all my existential problems and gave me a sense of belonging and, to top it all, it made me happy. That’s when I really decided to pursue music and chose the violin because it’s such an emotional instrument and also because I learnt it from my childhood. Violin has always been my main instrument. I can manage to play some guitar and bass.

Q: Can you talk about the process of composing your own music? Or learning to play an entirely new tune?
A: Composing and putting out my own music were always of optimum interest to me. I always wanted to be a composer. Whenever I think of any tune, I record it for the time being in my phone. I haven’t properly tried recording them yet but I plan on doing that very soon.

I try to come up with new chord progressions to which I decorate a melody line and try to fuse different styles of music. I’’m still figuring out my sound. Learning to play a tune, well, having a Carnatic music background, whenever I listen to a piece of music, I hear the song as swarams, which help me to replicate it immediately on the violin.

Q: According to you, what is the biggest challenge as a musician?
A: Every day is a new challenge, which is why it is a very interesting life given its dynamic changes. Things go wrong during live shows, equipment fail, deadlines crop up during sessions and I have faced a lot of problems with my computer, which only a sound engineer can understand, and what not! And also there’s the monetary aspect of it. But I believe a worthy musician can always find his way around in the field.

Q: How do you manage your time between musical gigs and academics?
A: It was hard at first till I finished my 12th grade. After that I didn’t want to spend time in any other field. I wanted to do something related to music so I chose to do sound engineering and my college is very supportive and gives me compensation classes.

Akkarsh Kasyap can be reached at 96000 74526.

(The article was written by SADAKSHI K R)