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Anthology: Ten Years of TQ – Suresh Chandvankar

Voices in Time and Space, The Lost Recordings of Kesarbai Kerkar  Bombay, 2010.  I was staying in a flat in Versova and taking the train daily to different corners of that endless city. Sometimes it felt like the train was going backward in time. I had read an article online about this man, Suresh Chandvankar, who had amassed over 10,000 records in his flat. An entire history of Indian recorded music. A photo in the article showed his shelves reaching up to the ceiling with shellac 78s, 45s, puzzle-discs, and on into the darkness of time and space. He was also the secretary of the Society for Indian Record Collectors, which sounded almost colonial. Somewhere I got a hold of his phone number and rang him up. He invited me and … [Read more...]

Voices in Time and Space

The Lost Recordings of Kesarbai Kerkar — Kesarbai Kerkar passed away on 16 September 1977 at the age of 85. She never knew that the Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched on the 5th day of same month, carried a gold-coated copper phonograph record with samples of her voice, as recorded in April 1953: ‘Bhairavi Hori – Jaat Kahan Ho’. It was the only Indian music the Voyager contained. By the time Kesarbai died, she had long forgotten about her own disc recordings and no longer listened to them. Her dispute with HMV—for releasing her work without approval—had culminated in letters to Gramophone Company and radio stations requesting they not sell or play the records. Thus, the discs were not known to many, even in India. It is then … [Read more...]