The National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) has opened its music treasury to the world. It has decided to make some work from the collection public for lovers of Indian classical music.
The cultural nerve-centre of the city has partnered with a leading music label to bring out a series of compilation CDs featuring recordings of noted artistes like Bismillah Khan, Gangubai Hangal and Hariprasad Chaurasia among others.
"This is a unique and substantial collection, recorded especially for the NCPA over the past 30 years by India’s greatest musicians. We were looking for an experienced and trusted manufacturing and distribution partner with expertise in the recording sector to help us do this. Through a process of tender, the NCPA sought to collaborate with Sony Music to make the work accessible to music lovers around the globe," says Khushroo N Suntook, chairman, NCPA.
The first edition of CDs, titled Masterworks from the NCPA Archives, is now out on stands. Upcoming releases will feature works by Vilayat Khan, Dagar Brother, CR Vyas, Lalgudi Jayaraman and Shiv Kumar Sharma.
The NCPA archives are preserved in controlled climatic conditions of temperature, humidity and dust-free environment.
The collection has been listed by International Music Collection (IMC) of the British Library National Sound Archive and non-profit organisation Music for Change as one of the top 137 archives of the world in its December 1999 report titled Archiving the Music World, after a global survey.
Ask Suntook about the challenges in maintaining and preserving these rare works and he says, “With time, as the magnetic tapes have a limited life there was the need for them to be digitised urgently. Also, the role of archives has changed over the years. People are using archives in an innovative fashion to create new work.”
Masterworks From The NCPA Archives, available on stands in the city.