BANGALORE: The Indian classical music in general and the Carnatic music in particular is an ocean of knowledge and wisdom. Besides being a scientific form, the Carnatic music abounds in multi-dimensional lakshana and lakshya (theory and practical) aspects. We have a rich and invaluable repository of varieties of raagas, krithis, talas and so on. A peep into the hoary tradition and history of Carnatic music would be enthralling, entertaining and endearing.
There is a demand to organise musical moments, movements of the raagas, and form a repository of facts and figures associated with the industry. It is high time something is done to preserve, propagate and popularise the past glory of an incomparable, powerful and soothing medium of aesthetics, art and entertainment.
In this direction, a remarkable connoisseur of music, R T Chari of TAG Corporation, Chennai, has done a yeoman service by collecting varied information about Carnatic music and storing them in the most organised way. Thanks to Chari, music lovers can access his formidable 30-year collection — the most loveable recordings of music by the legendary maestros of the past which are to be found only in private collections, in boxes and boxes of mouldy cassettes or in portable hard drives, containing hundreds of live concerts recorded over the decades. They are now available at one place under the banner of TAG Digital Listening Archives.
The Archives boast of digitised 6,000 hours of music. The repository has a row of touch screens, with a pair of enormous headphones hanging off a hook next to each screen.
A software, which has been specially developed for this purpose, makes for easy browsing. One can browse by artiste, composer, song or raaga. The archive’s worth lies in Chari’s vast knowledge in music and his impeccable taste. Sitting right under a photo of an artiste, you could listen to his/her music in different forms and circumstances. Familiar and unfamiliar concerts, jugalbandhis, change in the accompaniments, venues, every change and nuance is captured. Certainly, it will be a meeting and reference point for musicians, music lovers and research students.
Chari has been magnanimous in extending the benefits of his archives to other institutions. In fact, he wants all leading music organisations and institutions to be equipped with either access to this collection or have their own archives.
Now, it is the turn of century-old organisation Bangalore Gayana Samaja to benefit. The Samaja has also a vast collection of music collected over the last four decades in the form of spools, books and other recordings, which are being digitalised. Along with this the TAG Digital Listening Archives is being established at Bangalore Gayana Samaja. The Archive library will have 10 computers, touch screens with headsets fed by a dedicated server for any easy and comfortable listening experience.