Ian and Enrico were keen to attract new members from diverse musical backgrounds. In 2011, after auditioning a number of singers, Hayley Griffiths was announced as the new lead vocalist. Hayley was already enjoying a very successful solo career and had recently been part of the Irish phenomenon, ‘Riverdance’. She had won the part after being flown to Dublin to audition for the Executive Producer of the show. Just two days later she began a tour that over the next few years would take her extensively across Europe, North America, Russia, Japan and China singing to a crowd of thousands every night.
In 2005 and hand picked by Michael Flatley himself, Hayley won the role of Erin the Goddess in ‘Lord of the Dance’. The resulting tour would take her to nearly every state in North America as well as extensive sold out tours of Canada, Mexico, and Europe. A one off performance of Michael Flatley’s ‘Feet of Flames’ in January 2008 would mark a high point in Hayley’s career, thus far, with her voice being heard by 20,000 people at the Taipei Arena, in Taiwan.
Hayley has enjoyed a hugely successful solo career, releasing her debut album Silver Screen to critical acclaim in 2010. The album was produced by Grammy Nominated producer Jared Hancock. Silver Screen won the prestigious Classical Crossover Album Of The Year Award 2010.
In 2011 Hayley released an album of traditional Celtic tracks ‘Celtic Rose’ which featured her beautiful version of Lagan Love. Hayley performed the song on the New Light Tour.
Writing for the new album started in 2012 and Hayley proved she is far more than just a singer by stamping her writing credentials on the new Karnataka material.
In 2011 Karnataka also announced their new keyboard player Çağrı Tozluoğlu.
Hailing from Istanbul, Turkey, Çağrı has emerged as one of the hottest keyboard talents on the rock scene. Playing piano and keyboards from a very young age, Çağrı went on to study classical piano before branching out further into other genres including folk, progressive/symphonic rock and jazz fusion.
It was immediately apparent from the auditions that Çağrı was right for the band. He had an instinctive feel for the sound. Çağrı also brought great technical expertise in the field of programming and arrangements and immediately made an impact on the sound.
New Light Tour
The band embarked on a major UK tour at the start of 2012 playing some of their biggest venues to date.
The band was augmented by Colin Mold on guitars and violin, and session drummer Matt McDonough.
AVP Media and Professional Audio Company were commissioned to film and record the band’s performance at The Met Theatre in Bury. AVP had previously produced films for Status Quo and Fish amongst others but were alo familiar with the band’s music. A lighting show was designed specifically for the event including a stunning laser display and programmed Varilites. The show was filmed in high-definition.
The tour was a huge success and culminated with a superb show at London’s Bush Hall.
Prog Magazine review
Prog magazine featured a great review of the Karnataka Bush Hall London show.
“…mighty new band and an impressive show..”
“…Griffiths’ smooth voice is truly stunning…”
“…her mighty lungs are just as capable of hollering with great power as they are tackling the more fragile numbers like the stunning Delicate Flame Of Desire…”
“…tonight’s show feels like the start of a new era…”
The band continued writing throughout 2012 and following the success of the New Light Tour announced the forthcoming release of New Light Live In Concert on Blu-Ray, DVD and double CD. A second substantial UK and European tour was announced for later in 2012.
Cineworld Blue-Ray/DVD Premiere
The band premiered their new in-concert film New Light on the big screen, in high-definition and surround sound at Cineworld Trocadero London on August 30th 2012. The band also fielded questions from the audience in a live Q & A.
New Light was released on Blu-Ray, DVD and double CD on Sept 24th 2012. Filmed in High Definition video, the DVD and Blu-Ray featured both 5.1 surround sound and stereo audio mixes plus extras, including exclusive interviews with the band and a tour image gallery.
Track listing: Karnataka, Serpent and the Sea, Delicate Flame of Desire, Heaven Can Wait, Tide To Fall, Forsaken, After the Rain, The Calling, Lagan Love, Our Love, State of Grace, The Journey, Your World, Heart of Stone and The Gathering Light.
New Light was ‘Album Of The Week’ on Radio 101′s Fuzzbox show in Malta.
5 star review of New Light (DVD and CD) on the Musical Discoveries website!
A great new in-depth review of New Light Live In Concert (Blu-Ray/DVD/CD) appeared on the Lady Obscure website by Martin Hutchinson
The band performed at The Weyfest Festival on September 1st 2013.
Other artists included 10cc, Steve Hackett, Asia and Go West.
Forbidden Dreams Tour 2012 – 2013
Following the release of New Light the band embarked on a second major UK and European tour – The Forbidden Dreams Tour.
The band featured new material in a radically re-worked set from the one played earlier in the year. Hayley had now truly found her rock feet and was commanding the stage with her performances.
The band were moving in a more symphonic direction and this was mirrored in the new tracks being debuted – Forbidden Dreams and Poison Ivy. A third new track, Feels Like Home, showed the band still experimenting with Celtic influences.
The band filmed and recorded their Leamington Spa Assembly show on November 17th 2012. The footage has been edited for a possible 2014 release. The tour included a sold out performance in Verona Italy.
The UK leg of the tour culminated in a show at Scala London where the band performed a version of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir.
The tour continued into 2013 with two shows in The Netherlands – De Pul in Uden and Boerderij Zoetermeer on January 26th 2013.
HRH Prog Festival
Karnataka performed at the three day HRH Prog Festival April 6th 2013.
The Festival took place in the (very cold!) Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham.
The drum seat had been filled by various session drummers since 2006 but the band were keen to return to being a team and take on a full time band member.
In late 2013 Enrico was introduced to French drummer and multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Pallagrosi. Jimmy was recording in Enrico’s Quadra studio.
Enrico played Jimmy some of the band’s material – he loved it. An audition was arranged where it became immediately clear to the band that Jimmy was an exceptional drum talent. It was clear to all that he was perfect for the band and in 2014 Jimmy was announced as the new Karnataka drummer.
Jimmy is endorsed by Yamaha drums.
The new studio album
The band continued writing throughout 2013 and into 2014 and began recording a new studio album and the follow up to The Gathering Light.
Pre-production recording started early in the year allowing the band to develop arrangement and production ideas.
In July the band spent time at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios near Bath working on the new album.
Recording continued throughout the summer at Enrico’s London based Quadra studios. In July Seána Davey, one of Ireland’s most accomplished harpists, recorded some beautiful harp parts for the new album.
In November the band announced that Troy Donockley from Nightwish would be guesting on the new album and had recorded some Uilleann pipes and low whistles.
Rachel van der Tang and Clive Howard
In early December cellist Rachel van der Tang and viola player Clive Howard from the Royal Philharmonic orchestra recorded parts for the new album.
New album mixing
In Dec 2014 the final production sessions started and mixing was planned to take place in early 2015.
Album title and formats announced
On 22nd of December the band announced the new album would be released in Spring 2015 – the title, Secrets of Angels. The album would be available on CD, mp3 and FLAC and also a special edition CD/DVD which would include a ‘making of’ documentary, previosuly unreleased live footage, interviews and studio footage including Real World. The album would also be the band’s first vinyl release with the album also being made available as a double LP.
Secrets of Angels Tour
In December the band also announced a new tour in 2015 to support the release of the album.
Feb 27th Bury The Met Theatre 0161 761 7107
Feb 28th Lowdham Hall 0115 9663596
March 7th Derby Flowerpot 01332 204955
March 8th Bilston Robin 2 01902 497860
March 13th Edinburgh The Voodoo Rooms 0131 556 7060
March 14th Chesterfield Real Time Live 01246 277702
March 20th Bristol BierKeller 0117 930 4264
March 21st Worcester Huntingdon Hall 01905 611427
March 22nd Leamington Spa (with Arena) 01926 523001
March 26th Norwich Arts Centre 01603 660352
March 27th Milton Keynes The Stables 01908 280800
March 29th Southampton The Brook 023 8055 5366
April 12th Swansea The Scene 01792 448010
April 17th Leicester Y Theatre 0116 255 6507
May 9th London Islington Assembly Hall