Charming Chinese Indian Fusion

16 10 2013

ARC pal, Prof. Victor A. Vicente at the Chinese University of Hong Kong had his students in “The Music of Bollywood” course,  arranged, performed + recorded some of the best-known Bollywood songs of the past decade.  It was their contribution to India Music Week + to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Indian film industry.

Most are sound files, but to get an idea of the interest, dedication and sheer sweetnes of the project, please have a look at “Zoobi Doobi” (3 Idiots, 2009) — by Vincent Wai Chun Luk (arranger, mrdanga), Enoch Kin-Shun Au-Yeung (lead vocals), Meilina Mei Ling Tsui (lead vocals, video editing), Janet Hiu Ling Chu (vocals), Simon Hei Man Kwok (vocals), Toni Hoi Tung Poon (vocals), Flora Sin Ting Lam (flute), Violet Yau Yung Tsang (harmonium), Natalie Hiu Ching Lam (karatalas, audio editing)

What Am I Doing Tomorrow for India Music Week?

12 10 2013

ganeshB. George here – Saturday I’m heading out to flushing Queens to the Ganesh Hindu Temple Canteen for a quick dosa in the basement, then a FREE concert across the street @ Saraswati Hall.  Take the # 7 train to 45-57 Bowne St., Murray Hill, Flushing, Queens. (718) 460-8484).

Concert starts @ 2:30 pm.  Smt. M. Bala Raidu, Sri A.R. Balaskandan – violin and Sri Yazhpanam T. Shenthuraan on mridangam.

After the concert it spicy lamb burgers @ Xi’an, or lamb something, from this downstairs eatery featuring Chinese cooking from the Shanxi province.

Back on the the Flushing line for my 6 o’clock – a FREE talk on the Ins-and-Outs of Classical Indian Music @ the Chhandayan Center for Indian Music (4 West 43rd Street, Bet 5th & 6th Ave., Suite 618) in Manhattan.  This pre-concert lecture is by Dibyarka Chatterjee – tabla and runs  from 6 to 7 pm.
At 7:30 there’s a concert by Ruchira Panda – vocal,  Sri. Anirban Chakrabarty – harmonium, and our lecturer, Dibyarka Chatterjee on tabla.  Admission for this one.  Ms. Panda is of the Kotali gharana Hindustani Classical music school who studied under Pandit Manas Chakraborty.

PLENTY of other events throughout NYC this Saturday.  Hava look!  All the info and so much more about Indian culture and music on our site @   Have fun!

More India Every Day!

8 10 2013
robotEvery day more and more data and info and fun things to do are pouring into the India Music Week, Oct 6-13 webthing.  Just last night  •  a discography of Tibetan music from in India • links to the audio for a massive 78 collection  •  Indian music programs from the 80s on WNYC radio  •  THREE new concerts  • and even more on the curious relationship between India and ROBOTS!

The site is a sight –

Blue Lotus Festival in Rajasthan

29 01 2013

My trip to India was a wonderful experience and has led to a host of new friends and musical information. One stellar event that’s coming right up is The Blue Lotus Festival in Rajasthan.

This is a massive, well-organized event, featuring more than 300 talented artists from nearly every state and representing the widest range of traditional, semi-classical and Sufi musicians presented anywhere. Definitely not a tourist-hype event, but striving for authenticity. A quick look at the short video above tells you this is exciting stuff!

This event is organized by De Kulture Music. They make it pretty darn easy to have a great musical experience – a long trip to an unfamiliar place, made safe and comfortable. Click here to view the Blue Lotus Package travel package they offer .


De Kulture’s mission is to develop an Indian network of audio archives and an entertainment resource that delivers the India’s diverse cultural expressions in an entertaining and informative way via all mediums and formats possible. They represent 2000 artists from various parts of India, and have released more than 50 albums over the past seven years.

It’s worth lingering a bit in Rajasthan, a desert region with beautiful cities, sites and music. This is where they have a lot of “j”s – Jaipur, Jodhpur Jaisalmer – as well as Pushkar, most famous for it’s camel fair (Nov), and now, the Blue Lotus Festival.

Learn everyting here:

Need even more info? You can always e-mail them:

ARC roundup 2012

26 12 2012


Did you clean 4,500 LPs covered in talcum powder?

Did you work during Hurricane Sandy searching for albums by flashlight?

Did you wade through a mile long alley of engine parts and motors, piled 4 ft high, in 96 degree weather, to find a Beatles 78?

Did you unload 150,000 recordings?

Well that’s only a portion of what we did this year at the ARC. You can read all about it on our Year-end Roundup on our website

And if you can, please send a donation so we can continue this important, and sometimes preposterous work of preserving the world’s music.

So please Donate via paypal (button below), on our page (best for matching funds).  It’s tax deductible, and for as as little as $50 you can become a member, shop early at our sale and attend two swell parties.  And let us know if you have recordings to donate to help build the collection.

Drop by anytime to see this great place.  Thanks

B.+ Fred + Quinn and the 47 volunteers and interns who made it all happen in 2012.

You Light Up My Life

16 11 2012

It’s festival Time in India.  I was in Varanasi (Benares) during Durga Puja and took a breakneck bicycle rickshaw drive trough the streets – highly recommended in a city offering hash and opium on every corner.

Festivals are pretty darn festive.  Here’s a shot from “Outer Space” (you know, about 62 miles away) of India during Diwali, the Festival of Lights, from  May be fake; may not matter.

Cardboard 78 Player from India

13 11 2012

While in India I had the great pleasure of meeting Suresh Chandvankar, a scholar and one of the catalysts behind the Society of Indian Record Collectors (SIRC).  He also spoke at the IASA conference in New Delhi, is an author and has helped Dust to Digital to release material from the Young India Label.  His true love is Indian Classical music on 78s.  He was also my guide to the record haunts in Chor Bazaar (Thieves Market), Mumbai.

One of the treasures that he showed me was this attempt to create a portable record player for the masses, for pennies (film below). He remembers finding this simple, ingenious device while hiking in the Himalayas forty years ago.  At first he thought the cardboard was there just to separate the two discs until the seller told him that he could only buy the records if he bought the gramaphone also.  “What gramaphone?” was his bewildered response.  And to his amazement the cardboard was unfolded and the player revealed.  To his amazement the two discs and player was six rupees (11¢).  Here’s how it works;

The corrugated cardboard is divided into three folded sections.  On one end is a revolving metal disc with a spindle, on the other a metal stylus (needle).  The 78 rpm record has a spindle hole, and a small hole on the outer edge of the label to insert a pen, pencil or stick.  The cardboard is folded to make a triangular shape, the stylus placed on the record, the triangular fold acting as a resonator.  The user insets the pen and handcranks the disc, and voila, an early walkman.

It’s an iffy sounding system, but then again, it does indeed create a gramophone for practically nothing. The designers were proselytizing Christians, hell-bent on bringing “The Good News” to, in their minds, the heathen Hindus.  The disc containing sermons, Bible stories and quotations.  The only info I could glean from a partially obscured label states that this is a “Cardtalk Record Player” manufactured in Bangalore.

So feel free to make one of these at home, a great add to our DIY plastic cup cylinder disc player @

For fine academic work on early Indian sound recordings see back issues of Record Collectors News published by the SIRC that Suresh has made available online, downloadable as PDFs –

Why I’m A Bit Crabby…

1 11 2012


Because of the storm it took 4 days to get out of Mumbai, India.  After 8 hrs at the airport, only 42 hrs to get from Mumbai to Cleveland, and still not back in NYC yet.  ARC is safe and dry, but no power.  Fred is there now doing a job for Muscle Shoals by flashlight!  We should be up and running on Monday.  Thanks to all the great folks in India who helped me out.   A big Halloween ‘boo’ to United Airlines who didn’t man their counter for three days in Mumbai and slashed, broke the handles + lock and stole a telephone from my bag on their flight between Houston and Cleveland.

What Storm?

28 10 2012

Well it’s the storm that is keeping me in India – That’s what storm.  So as no one from United Airlines has the slightest idea what to do to help, I’ll show you this sky related item:  A beautiful specialty generic 45 sleeve that Angel in India had made to package their ‘ethnic’ releases.  Very nice indeed I think.  NOW, can I fly home?

An Indian Ocean of Sound

22 10 2012

Yesterday I walked to the Indian Ocean.

Then, visited journalist and author Naresh Fernandes.  Naresh has written the incredible Taj Mahal Foxtrot, a  history of early jazz in India.  And who says it doesn’t mean anything to blog?  Naresh saw the photos of my record purchases I posted and realized I had a Jetliners LP from Ceylon that he didn’t.  Like any respectable collector, he went out on the street and found one!  Here he is showing off our inspiration with the other Jetliners already on his shelves.  Now if he could only find one in as good a condition as ours…






While his latest book is on Jazz, he also collects pop – Here are some some choice items:

And on 45rpm, Oh, Om, how that slo-mo sitar Edelwiess sends me…

What’s great about these “Music Days” is discovering things – like a major Disco producer and songwriter, who gave us the impossibly great  ‘Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas was an Indian identified on record as Biddu.  British based, Grammy Award winning Biddu Appaiah even published an autobiography.  Who knew?

Off to Chor Bazaar , colorfully named Thieves Market to look for vinyls.

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