C. Ashwath (Kannada: ಸಿ. ಅಶ್ವತ್ಥ; 29 December 1936 – 29 December 2009) was an Indian music composer and exponent ofBhavageete (“expressive poetry”) in the Kannada language. He was also a singer, and sang many of his own compositions. He was credited with singing Bhavageete songs and making sure that they reached the common man.
Early Life and Education
He was born on 29 December 1939. He graduated in Science from Mysore University( there was no Bangalore university before 1965) and later worked in Indian Telephone Industries for 27 years before retiring as an Executive Engineer in 1992. He started his musical career as a disciple of Devagiri Shankara Joshi in Hindustani music.
Some of his notable compositions include the composition of music for Mysooru Mallige – a classic work of noted poet K.S. Narasimhaswamy and his compositions of Kannada saint Santa Shishunala Sharifa‘s works.
L. Vaidyanathan met C. Ashwath during the recording of the film Kaakana Kote in 1976. This meeting led them on to a strong relationship of almost three decades. Vaidi provided the orchestra for many of Ashwath’s compositions, but it was with the film Yene Barali Preeti Irali that the Ashwath-Vaidi duo became collaborators of great music.
- Anupama (Olume Poojegende, Bartaale Bartaale, etc.)
- Aalemane (Nammoora Mandaara Hoove)
- Kaanchana Mruga (ee savidina endendu)
- Baadada Hoovu (Hoova Nodu Aaaha Entha)
- Bhoolokadalli Yamaraaja (Endoo kaanada belaka kande)
- Naarada Vijaya (Idu entha lokavayya)
A pioneer of Kannada “Sugama Sangeetha” (light music), the versatile singer had over 75 albums to his credit.
C. Ashwath is a household name in Karnataka. He is, perhaps the only Music Director in Karnataka, to have carved a niche of his own in all three fields that demand music as an element of expression: Theatre, Sugama Sangeetha and movies.
Ashwath has also brought out an album titled “Nesara Noodu” which consists of 21 drama songs of his direction.
As both a singer and composer, he was extremely popular in Karnataka and among Kannadigas all over the world. His concert in Bangalore in 2005 was attended by a crowd of almost 100,000 people. He has also given concerts outside India, Melbourne for Melanudi Kannada Sangha and few other places around UK.
On his 70th birthday he celebrated with friends and well wishers in a special way. A function was to be held at Ravindra Kalakshetra, Bangalore and Swamiji of Suttur andVirendra Hegde were to felicitate him on the occasion evening followed by singing his popular songs.
The Kannadave Sathya live concert, which was held in Palace Grounds, Bengaluru on 23 April 2005, headed by Ashwath, was the great success which witnessed around a lakh audience for the show. This was the first time a Kannada Musical event was taken place here, while many western and other Indian language programs taken place in the past.