A music lovers mission

first_imgIt was sheer curiosity that led to a beautiful serendipity which has now become a mission for author-classical singer Vikram Sampath, who has created an archive of Indian classical music, carnatic music, folk music and speeches from the pre-Independence era, digitised them and built a national treasure online.The Archive of Indian Music(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 can be accessed at Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’www.archiveofindianmusic.org.‘I was curious to listen to the voice of legendary singer Gauhar Jaan (the first Indian voice to be recorded in 1902) while I was writing a book on her. It was during the research that I realised there were old gramophone recordings of known and unknown singers in abominable condition,’ Sampath, 33, told in an interview. ‘I started collecting them and reached out to record collectors. Some generous people donated. This is how the process began accidentally. One thing led to the another by chance,’ he said, adding he has around 100,000 records for digitising, of which 10,000 have already been transferred. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe BITS Pilani alumnus has penned three well-researched books on history and music: Splendours of Royal Mysore, My Name is Gauhar Jaan – The life and times of a musician and Voice of the Veena: S. Balachander, a biography.The pilot of the site went online in January. After receiving an overwhelming response from music connoisseurs, the team is now working on making the final version user friendly.There was never any intention of minting money through the site, Sampath said.To sustain and monetise the site, he has plans to create audio-visual exhibitions across India.last_img read more