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THE LALIT Kala Akademi has played host to a variety of shows, but an audio exhibition of rare gramophone records is not something that visits this art address often.

As visitors to the venue between February 1 and 6 will realise, the exhibition, Delhi Public Library Rewinds: A Saga of Times Gone By , has a rare ace up its sleeve in its audio section -- a selection of 40 records from the library's collection of rare 4,000 gramophone records.

Musician and Ph. D. scholar Irfan Zuberi, the curator of this show, says even he wasn't aware of such treasures existing in Chandni Chowk. " It's interesting that this collection was born out of the requests made by the library members, most of who stay in the nearby areas," says Zuberi.

The titles are a measure of the rarity that is going to be on display -- Martial Music of the Indian Army, Homage Unto Ahura Mazda ( Parsi prayer records), Dulal Roy's santoor recital, Lata Mangeshkar's first concert abroad ( 1974), as also all- time favourite Bollywood numbers from an era when the Hindi film industry didn't have a fancy nomenclature.

The exhibition is divided into four sections -- classical/ semiclassical, Indian/ Western popular music, film music and religious/ devotional music.

Zuberi digitised the records with the help of NaadSaagar Archives and Documentation Society for South Asian Music and inserted an introduction to the record so that the listeners know what they are going to hear.

The visitors will be able to tune into a playlist of their choice at four kiosks. The songs will be played by the representatives of the library at the venue.

( The exhibition is on at the Lalit Kala Akademi grounds, Copernicus Marg, from February 1 to 6.)

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Feb 1, 2010
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