Music sourced from the archival treasure trove of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, which includes rare recordings of legendary musicians such as Bismillah Khan, Hariprasad Chaurasia and Lalgudi Jayaraman among others would soon be out in a range of albums.
The Mumbai-based premier art and culture institution has inked a deal with Sony Music Entertainment that awards the global music giant exclusive license for a period of 20 years to commercially release some of its music from its archives.
"Masterworks from the NCPA archives"- The first set of 11 albums comprising original recordings of Pt Jasraj, Bismillah Khan, Rashid Khan, Nikhil Banerjee, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Kumar Gandharva, Gangubai Hangal, Amjad Ali Khan, M L Vasanthakumari, M S Gopalakrishnan and Balamuralikrishna are already out in stores.
"This is one of the ways by which we would live up to our mission of preserving, presenting and promoting our culture, and in this particular case, to promote the best of Indian culture all over the world," says Khushroo N Suntook, Chairman, NCPA.
"The royalties that the NCPA will receive from the sale of the archival music is intended to be ploughed back into the archiving and digitizing efforts, and be used to encourage young musicians with scholarships and indigenous artists," he says.
Over next few months music recordings of other legendary artistes' is also expected to be released and made available worldwide in physical formats such as CDs, LPs etc. as well as in digital formats.
Presently, the NCPA and Sony Music have permission from the artistes (or their heirs) and accompanists for the release of their archival recordings present at the NCPA.
With over 5000 hours of exclusive audio recordings taken from live and studio performances and 1,200 hours of film footage of musicians - never released in the public arena, the NCPA's archives rank among one of the world's finest documentary resources for Indian music.
Over 200 artistes, with most of the stalwarts of Hindustani and Carnatic music genres, have been preserved in in controlled optimal conditions of pressure and humidity, in a specially-created studio environment.