Published: 05th May 2020
Meet 31-year-old Karthik KM from Sakleshpur to whom crafting didgeridoos is a way of life
Karthik KM discovered his love for the didgeridoo more than a decade ago. Today, he lives at his Sakleshpur estate where he escapes into sweet oblivion while making this instrument
It was almost a decade ago. Karthik KM was bored of his usual playlist so he began shuffling random songs. While the video of one such song was playing, something caught his attention, so he quickly paused the video. The frame froze on an instrument, but it was not a regular instrument; it produced unique tunes. With a bit of research, he found that it was the Australian didgeridoo. Fast forward to today, that 'something' has become a huge part of his life. The love for its rustic tunes took Karthik out of Bengaluru and sent him to his estate in Sakleshpur. "I was working for a private firm as a customer representative when I was introduced to this indigenous instrument. The instrument and its music captivated me instantly. A year later, I saw one at a friend's place. Though I did not play it then, I observed it closely," recalls the 31-year-old.
His interest only grew over time. "I wanted to make one for myself. After a few attempts with PVC pipes, I started making didgeridoos using bamboo. 2013 to 2015 was my learning period and making didgeridoos was just a hobby. But the pull was so strong that I started making them professionally not long after," says the University of Mysore graduate. So far, Karthik has made around 50 didgeridoos using bamboo, agave, teak and jackfruit wood, including travel-friendly smaller ones. Talking about the workspace that he has set up at his estate, he says that living a life with nature helps him build a bond with the instrument. "Sourcing raw materials is easier here. The peace in the estate helps me work better. There are no other distractions here because all you can hear is chirping birds," he says and smiles.
Karthik handcrafts all his didgeridoos
The instruments he makes are all handcrafted by him and hence, he takes his time to make each one. The price depends on the raw materials used and the amount of work he has invested. "I would like to give it to someone who values the instrument, it doesn't matter if they know how to play it or not. But I am not ready to offer it just as a room decor because the benefits of playing and listening to a didgeridoo is beyond explanation," he avers and adds, "The breath control of the person playing the didgeridoo improves over time. Also, any kind of music produces vibrations which have a positive influence on both the listener as well as the player." That's probably the reason why most of his customers are from healing centres as well as yoga practitioners.
If you are someone who wants to learn or simply experience the rustic tunes of this indigenous instrument, then Karthik is ready to offer it to you at his estate. "I grow coffee, pepper and a few other native fruits here at the plantation. If anyone is interested in listening to the unique tunes of the didgeridoo or simply wish to escape from the humdrum of regular city life, they can visit me here anytime," he concludes.