Dr. H.S.Venkatesh Murthy - Noted
poet and playwright
"…Among the the three branches of Sugama Sangeeta that I see,
C.Ashwath occupies the foremost position in the style of Sugama
Sangeeta wherein the word power and emotional richness of the
poem are given the first consideration during composing.
A strong confidence that every word has a meaning,
a history, a feel and a narrative to it is evident in Ashwath's
compositions. This loyalty towards the 'words' of a poem gives
him an easy entrance into the poem. This approach makes his path
to finding the true meaning of the poem easier.
Music is not a decorative ornament in the hands
of Ashwath. He does not attempt to cover literature with a thick
fabric of music. To him, music is a moment of emotional sensibility.
Ashwath finds his understanding of the poem with the help of this
thread of musical pearls. It is for this reason that many a times,
in a single song of his, you can find different shades of composing.
Like in one of his songs, he cannot sing 'hasiru utta bettadinda'
the same way as he sings 'mara gida hu mungurulanu' as the raw
beauty of the first line and the elegant beauty of the second
line cannot be expressed in the same tune.
In his tunes, Ashwath allots musical emotion
to a word, by weighing the value of the word to the poem. The
significance of the word 'mouna' in Gopalakrishna Adiga's line
'mouna tabbitu nelava' is entirely different from its significance
in K.S.Narasimhaswamy's line 'modala dina mouna'.
This fierce loyalty to meaning is one of the
most important features of Ashwath's style of composing. To him
a word is a catalyst in the quest for meaning. 'maatu maatu mathisi
banda naadada navaneeta' is a characteristic trait not only for
Bhaavageete. It is also the feature of one of Sugama Sangeeta's
distinctive styles. Ashwath knows that the depths of meaning can
be reached by understanding the intrinsic relations between words."
Dr. G.S.Shivarudrappa - Well known
"…There is possibly no one who has not been mesmerised by Ashwath's
singing capabilities. As there is a natural freshness and a sense
of exploration in his singing, it is experimental and mature at
the same time. Along with bringing a dignity to to the field of
Sugama Sangeeta with his compositions, Ashwath has sucessfully
explored the secrets and the depths of Sugama Sangeeta with his
"…Ashwath is a big name in Sugama Sangeeta. His name is being
mentioned along with the names of P.Kalingrao and Mysore Ananthaswamy.
Many of K.S.Narasimhaswamy's poems have been born again in his
voice. He has sung the songs of Bendre, Chandrashekar Kambar and
He has the voice and mental makeup apt for Sugama
Sangeeta. He knows poetry as well as he knows music. The way he
sings Bendre's 'nee hinga nodabyaada nanna' shows the depths of
his understanding. By slight miscalculations in rendition, the
song has the danger of falling into a 'love-song' category. It
is a tough task to potray compassion and pity in a poem which
is easily mistaken as romantic. It seems as if that poem was written
to prove that the North Karnataka spoken language can be used
to write something serious. By Ashwath's singing, this task has
Gangubai Hangal - Noted Hindustani
Classical Vocalist of International Fame
"…His voice touches the heart. I immensly like his songs of Shishunala
Sharif, Bendre and Narasimhaswamy. I have heard the same songs
in different tunes by other people. But I think the way he has
composed them gives them a new meaning. "
"…at this time C.Ashwath gradually came into light. When a singer
has the same creative sensibilities as poet, the songs that he
sings becomes as much his, as the poet's. Ashwath is one such
Ashwath has the capabilities to sing a variety
of bhavageetes. His voice has the versatality of singing 'shrungara',
'veera', 'shanta' rasas equally well. Ashwath's conviction in
his compositions arises from his attempts to first understand
the poem that he has chosen, to decipher it, to weigh the similarities
and differences in his understanding of the poem and the auther's
say on the poem and finally to try and bring out, through music,
all the emotions possible within that frame that he has discovered.
To give a voice to words of literature, to give
a meaning to musical notes is not an easy task. A poem becomes
melodious and at the same time meaningful only if the deeper meanings
of the poem travel across the melody and reach the audiences.
Ashwath stands apart from the rest of the lot for these reasons.
Another quality of Ashwath is constant unsatisfaction.
And because of this he has never grown stagnant. He is able to
surprise his audiences by improving his standards and give new
meanings to the songs by singing them with fresh emotion, style,
pace and energy every time. The 'Ashwath style of sugama sangeetha'
stands out because of his deep understanding og classical music."
T.N.Seetharam - Well known Theatre
and Cine Director
"…I am not equipped enough to talk about your music. I have no
scholarship in classical music or any form of singing, but I have
been fascinated by many of your songs. I listen to some of your
songs repeatedly. The list of those 'some songs' goes on to more
than three pages. Sharif's 'manase manasige', 'nishchintanaagabekagide',and
'mohada hendati', all your songs of Narasimhaswamy, Bendre's 'shravana'
and 'kurudu kaanchaana' to name a few.
Usually a song becomes popular with the masses
due to its melody. But your songs, along with melody, have deep
meanings and emotions embedded in them. A hopeful song sounds
different in you voice. A romantic song sounds different in your
voice. You have the amazing capability to show the thin difference
between devotion and respect with your voice and your music."