Posts Tagged ‘Digital Conversion’

Continuity called heritage


Over two years back, Madhukali invited unpublished analog recordings of Indian classical music in self-raised or inherited collections. Unplucked flowers, in mysterious ways, may turn into gems to be discovered by the fortunate. Heritage, like all things natural, is a presence waiting to be recognized. In a country rich in heritage like India, many scions of musicians families are blessed with letters, photographs and recordings of their ancestors. Yet, the urgent necessities of immediate life keep pushing the care of their inheritance off till they verge on brink of oblivion. Some music was received; not all of it can be restored fully or published at once. Commemorating the tenth anniversary of  UNESCO Convention 2003 for Safeguarding of  Intangible Cultural Heritage, Madhukali has released three compact discs restored from analog originals.

cdWork is also on progress for restoration and digitization of recordings of Dr. Lalmani Misra’s live recitals on Vichitra Veena, Sitar and other instruments as well as  wealth of  knowledge in lectures and lessons on Raga-s and essentials of Indian classical music. Apart from rich listening experience that each Raga recital provides, the collection is significant in another way. It constitutes an elaborate illustration of the Misrabani technique and style. How through  adequate application of Mizrab Bol-s, an artiste may create compositions starting from any beat in any Tal.

Dr. Misra had initiated a course in Indian music at University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1969. He taught there off and on throughout the seventies. Many of the recitals he presented in Philadelphia, New York and other cities were recorded by disciples . Almost all recitals were in different Raga-s. The students benefitted from such rich resource by making copies from the original tapes. It is possible that such copies may still be available with them while a few originals have been misplaced or deteriorated beyond restoration.  It would benefit the music world if  copies of such recordings are added to the main collection available with Dr. Misra’s family.  Madhukali in collaboration with Misrabani, would soon release the first volume to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Lalmani Misra on 11th August.

Madhukali Releases rare recordings


Madhukali had initiated a project  two years ago for conversion of  music, available on analog magnetic tapes and audio cassettes to digital format. Since then, encouraging communication has been received in this regard. People have sent in queries about the process for getting audio and video content on analog systems; some have informed how they could achieve it through use of appliances available at home. Several queries fizzled into silence after initial interest. Still, there is  some positive result to report.

Dr. Lalmani Misra first organized Dhrupad Mela at Varanasi in 1975 and in next few years worked for its continuation. In the little time available (he died in July 1979), he could turn it into a tradition. The almost invisible practices of Dhruva-pad singing and Pakhawaj-playing,  gained national and international lime-light within a decade and today exist as mainstream practices of classical music. Dr. Misra organized the event in collaboration with Sangeet Natak Akademi, Maharaja of Banaras and Mahant ji of Sankatmochan. He chose Dr. Rajeshwar Acharya and Pt. Omprakash Chourasiya (both were young music students at BHU in 1975) to assist with the project. Prominent citizens and musicians were contacted to maximize participation of Dhrupad singers and Pakhawaj players. During the three day conference ending on Shivratri, discussion were held during day sessions and recitals were given from evening to morning. Pandit Ravishankar and Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar were present as chief guests in the inaugural function.

For the final session on the last day, Dr. Misra was invited to give recital on Vichitra Veena. Pt. Amarnath Mishra, Mahant of Sankatmochan accompanied him on Pakhawaj. Misrabani technique enhances the range of string instruments to present complex compositions. It was a perfect finale to gathering of Dhrupad musicians. He played Bairagi, bringing in dawn and consummated the festival with Bharavi.

To commemorate tenth anniversary of UNESCO Convention 2003, Madhukali planned release of this precious recording and some others in March 2013. “A Dawn of Veena” represents the endeavour to preserve and promote traditional practices –  both,  the original effort of organization and present attempt at digital preservation.


In a function dedicated to Dr. Lalmani Misra, organized by Madhukali, his son late Dr. Gopal Shankar Misra and disciple Pt. Omprakash Chourasiya presented a duet on Sitar and Santoor. The 1992 recording made on magnetic cassette tapes has been successfully converted to digital format. “Wings on Strings” sports the spontaneous Upaj work m hallmark of Indian Classical Music, in Raga Kirwani.


Madhukali choir, since its very inception has been accomplishing a rare task: combining best poetry with classical music. It has released several titles of such compositions. In “Geet, Ghazal: Abhinav Pahal” poetry of Pt. Krishna Kishor Dwivedi, Shivmangal Singh Suman and several others like Amir Khusro, Ghalib, Meer and Bahadur Shah Zafar.


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Recognition–A step towards preservation


Madhukali congratulates all sensitive and concerned citizens for encouraging appreciation of our intellectual and cultural heritage. There are numerous ways that the mammoth task of preserving seeds, if not fruits and flowers, of traditional knowledge rooted in warmth of harmonious nature-human relationship may be addressed. Recently Madhukali made digital release of four albums recorded on magnetic cassette tapes. Of the numerous live recordings of Vichitra Veena made by Dr. Lalmani Misra on magnetic spool tapes, three tapes have been digitally converted. The music would be made available soon.

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