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It is usually said that when one attains the higher being in any performing arts, the artist forgets what exactly is happening in the surroundings and witnesses something beyond the normal, mundane life. In today’s fast paced world, we seldom come across such artists who are not conscious about what the audience would think of their performance and their only focus is to enjoy themselves and play their best. One such gifted artist, whom I had the fortune to meet and hear live, is the incredible player Karan Joseph aka Mad Fingers.

It was the first weekend of Feb 2013- in the cold winds of Coorg, Karnataka where Storm Festival commenced. Storm Festival is almost like an Indian version of Woodstock where artists from various parts of the country come to perform for two long days which involves camping, great food and even various forms of music in one venue. The entire atmosphere breathed with music and whoever I encountered randomly spoke about some form of Music that they were into.

Karan Joseph along with his friend Michael Anthony Dias on the electric guitar were performers for this festival and this duo set everything on fire the moment they stepped on the stage. Karan’s exquisite display of keyboard brilliance has put everyone in awe. He was almost in unison with the instrument and communicated to the audience through his effervescence. The audience wanted more and more for the evening but the best was in store for the exclusive midnight jamming sessions which happened in the presence of bonfire.

After the regular performance schedule, the audience was quite eager to hear more from Karan Joseph in particular. The popular singer Benny Dayal, chipped in and started singing many Jazz numbers randomly. When I shouted aloud to perform the all time classic Light My Fire by the Doors, there was nothing to stop Karan! The way he played the keyboard solo, it would even bring Jim Morrison into a state of shock!

As an individual, Karan was warm, optimistic and very childlike in nature. He was one such gifted individual who had the privilege of doing what he loved absolutely and enjoyed every bit of playing the keys. The real sense of artistic living was achieved by him at a young age. It is unfortunate to have lost such a soulful musician so early. Surely, his work will trigger many aspiring Jazz keyboardists in India.

Despite limited interactions with Karan Joseph, the incredible impact he had on me as a music lover as well as every audience in the festival, was something difficult to explain. Even now, the memory is still vivid on my mind and the tremendous energy it gives, itself explains Karan’s keyboard prowess.

Karan was one of those gifted keyboardists who firmly believed that music is not just reading notes and performing them on an instrument but it is something beyond that. He saw the higher being through music which very few people have had the fortune to see, at such a young age. His life’s purpose has already been fulfilled with incredible gigs, late night music playing, Jazz ensembles and spontaneity in jamming.

As an individual, Karan was warm, optimistic and very childlike in nature. He was one such gifted individual who had the privilege of doing what he loved absolutely and enjoyed every bit of playing the keys. The real sense of artistic living was achieved by him at a young age. It is unfortunate to have lost such a soulful musician so early. Surely, his work will trigger many aspiring Jazz keyboardists in India.