Kartic Subr


Humans, do NOT type the "ic" to email

Newton Fellow

Dept of Computer Science

University College London

Malet Place

London WC1E 6BT, UK

Ph: +44 20 7679 3876

This page contains my own compositions and some quasi-random recordings.

Instruments used: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, Keystation+synthesized midi, electric bass, percussion, wooden carnatic flute. Collaborative work can be found here.

The music player (below) requires your browser to be capable of playing flash applets. A playlist containing all the songs on this page is loaded into the player. Click on the song of your choice or listen to them all. Enjoy!

Click on the corresponding thumbnail images to download songs. The pane on the right contains embedded YouTube video of some songs by artists that I find truly inspiring.

This text will be replaced by the flash music player.


Cheluvayya cheluvo

Aug 17 2009

My improvisation on Cheluvayya Chelvo, which is a popular folk song in Karnataka. I am not sure which language the original song is in, so please let me know if you do. Here is a version of the original folk song.

Confused Movements

Feb 7 2009

This piece starts out sober and then gets funky after a couple of minutes. I hope it sounds as enjoyable as it was to create it.

Blowing the Trumpet

Dec 7 2008

For a while, I have been wanting to use horns but never found a convincing enough midi sound. I gave up looking for realism and used Garageband's horns in this mix of latin+hip-hop.

Charukesi Moods

Nov 16 2008

I tried adultrating raga Charukesi, again paying more attention to scale than grammar. It is quite amazing, the transformation that the major scale undergoes with one modified note.


This track is a sacrilegeous mixture of grammars of two different Carnatic ragas- Karaharapriya and Sriranjini. The main melody is folkish and light, although some could find the tabla loop to be too repetitive.


This track, one of my personal favourites, explores the structure of the raga Brindavanasaranga. Hardly a classical rendition, the main melody is set to a 5 beat cycle while the percussion meanders through 5, 10, and 6 beat cycles. My feeble attempt at a bass solo bombed.


I was excited to try out Garageband. This composition was my first using GB and is a light piece showing off the piano and classical guitar sounds of GB.

Hemavati Pianized

Since I learned Carnatic music on the keyboard as a child, I still find it hard to play the keyboard/piano as used in Western music. The concept of harmony is something that is alien to Indian classical music.

In this track I tried to render a Carnatic raga- Hemavati- using a fingering technique that is more similar to Western styles. This is a long track, sure to bore you unless it is stacked away in a playlist for listening while working.


Roshta is a very folkish tune that follows the grammar of Niroshta, an uncommon Carnatic raga. I found this interesting because, the scale is split into the first 3 major notes and the last 3, thus requiring large jumps to avoid the middle notes.


This track contains rhythmic patterns blended with chants from the vedas . The Shri Rudram and Chamakam appear pieced, the blending could have been done better and the percussions sound synthetic, but I enjoyed experimenting with the percussive arrangements.

Revathi Plucked

Revathi is probably the favourite choice for amateur composers because of its deep sounding structures that provide a very typical South Indian feel. I was just playing around with my acoustic guitar and decided to record what I was playing. I even went one step further and chanted the Gayathri mantra in the intro. If I didn't enjoy it so much, I might have been more embarassed of the result.


After a year's gap, I put this piece together with just my laptop keyboard as a midi input device. If you liked this, send me an email- I am curious to see how long I will have to wait.

You're in My Way

My first experiments with an electric guitar and distortion pedal. The main tune is set on a modified version of Dharmavati. The first minute of the slow guitar solo might be too lethargic for some.

The Return of Hemavati

I tried several times to put together something that I liked, in this raga. So far I haven't succeeded. Although I wasn't very happy with this one, it stays on this list.


An experimental composition by mixing the arohana, or ascending grammar of hamsadhwani and avarohana of bahudhari. Sounds very strange to me.

Repetitive Madhyams

After a little variation for one minute, this track is long and repetitive. A slap bass and percussion keep looping, awaiting mix-ins from enthusiastic visitors.


Classic example of how to ignore percussive or rhythmic rules and just enjoy melody. A slight variant to raga Natai is used as a base. Simple guitaring.

Hippie Hop

Slow and repetitive, this track sounds like it was played under the influence. It wasn't. I am not sure if that is a good sign. I think this is a good track to improvise over especially for vocal improv.

Console this Guitar

One of my early compositions. Lacks crispness. It's like a big gaussian blur over the result so as to keep the errors from showing. Don't be put off by the gimmicks at the beginning. There's plenty to be put off by later.

Inspiring pieces/artistes