Voice of India exhibition- the world of haunting melodies

Are you the one who would love to revel in the old melodies and take up a journey to that logn-forgotten world of nostalgia? Then visit Voice of India exhibition, you will find a lot of stuff that’s the treasure trove of the bygone era that keeps you hooked.

Archive of Indian Music, a not-for-profit trust founded by Vikram Sampath, that seeks to digitise and preserve old and rare gramophone records of our country, has organised the audio exhibition ‘Voices of India,’ at Alliance Francaise on Queens Road. The expo started on 10 May 2013; the inaugural of Archive of Indian Music was held on the same day. Many eminent personalities like Chiranjeevi Singh and T V Mohandas Pai paid a visit to the exhibition.

Launch of AIM and the Mobile App L to R Chiranjiv Singh Umesh Ganjam Vikram Sampath Mohandas Pai.

The exhibition presents a sample of the kind of treasure trove that the Archive has in its possession which represents the diverse voices of the country. All these were recorded during the Gramophone era, right from the first recording artist Gauhar Jaan in 1902 till the 1950s.

The exhibition is non-ticketed. Recordings of Amirbai Karnataki (1906-1965) who sang ‘Vasihnav Janatho‘, Radha-Jayalakshmi duo and Rabindranath Tagore among others have been kept in the exhibition. The recordings contain even primitive types of audio, and tell the tale of the history of Indian music.

Those who step in are given an android phone with an app and headphones. Walking around the cabins, they get to listen the original voices of the personalities on display, ranging from Mahatma Gandhi to D K Pattammal.

Vasanthi Hariprakash, an indepedent journalist, television and radio anchor, who paid a weekend visit to the exhibition describes the expo in great detail: "While the 1912 rendering of Jana gana mana with all stanzas can give you gooseflesh, the ones who left me spellbound were the women: Nagarathnamma, devadasi, singer, firebrand who went to court against the stay on the erotic poetry she published and won the case (she is the one who built that famous shrine for St Thyagaraja that hosts the Thiruvaiyyar festival to this day); Gauhar Jaan, Armenian Christian, bohemian and the first woman in all of South Asia to cut her voice on the gramophone."

Needless to say more. Hurry up, visit the rare exhibition and soak in the past. The exhibition will be on till 17 May from 10 am to 7 pm.

All the music presented in the exhibition is uploaded on the Archives of Indian Music website too.

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