Digital sound archive of India launched formally

Last Updated: Wed, Jul 31, 2013 08:55 hrs

New Delhi: The online repository of the old and rare gramophone recordings, Archive of Indian Music (AIM) that gives music lovers access to the voices of bygone era in a digitised form was launched in the capital.

Brainchild of author-classical singer Vikram Sampath who passionately and single handedly collected these gramophone recordings from flea markets and kabadi walas, digitised them and made them available on the website that was launched officially Tuesday evening.

The pilot of the site went online in January, and the team was working on making the end product user friendly.

"It is a moment of celebration for the music lovers who now have access to legendary voices. It should become movement and more youngsters should participate," external affairs minister Salman Khurshid who officially launched the website said at the conference.

Aimed at saving these vintage recordings for the future generations, AIM is a museum of sorts to listen to the golden voices of bygone era.

The recordings span 1902 to 1952 and boast of many known and unknown names like Bhimsen Joshi, Devika Rani, Abdul Karim Khan, Hirabai Barodekar and Madurai Mani Iyer among others.

"It is an attempt to democratise the cultural heritage," said Sampath who has written three books.

Also present at the launch was Padma Vibhshan recipient and classical dancer Sonal Mansingh who said the country needs more young men to start such initiatives.

"Our cultural heritage is slipping away from our hands, it might sound like a cliche but it is a fact. I hope our younger generation addresses these things and protects the tangible heritage," she said.

"Someone who is passionate about dancing should do something similar to what he(Sampath) has done," she added.

The Bangalore-based Sampath was supported by T.V. Mohandas Pai of Chairman of Manipal Global Education for this endeavour.

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