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Archive for April 30th, 2009

The AACM Audio Project (30th April 2009)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on April 30, 2009

(AACM Youtube Channel -04/30/09) – The Ali Akbar College of Music has been working towards creating a public library to maintain our ongoing collection of music in order to make it accessible to students, scholars, researchers, and music lovers. People throughout the San Francisco Bay Area have attended concerts, classes, and films, at our college campus and are very familiar with our work. Now, we are looking forward to extending the life of Indian Classical music through this unique library that will be open to the public right here at our campus in Marin County.

Our founder and principal teacher, Ali Akbar Khan, known affectionately as Khansahib, is now 87 years of age. He first came to the U.S. in 1955 at the request of the late Yehudi Menuhin. During his 44 years of teaching and performing in the U.S. he has received: a MacArthur (Genius) Award, a National Heritage Fellowship Award, he was inducted into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry, and has received 5 Grammy nominations. Khansahib continues to teach master classes at his college as he has been for the past forty years. Hopefully, he will continue in this capacity for many years to come.

Our immediate concern is to preserve the archives of his classes, concerts, photographs, newspaper articles, etc. This collection is comprised of the personal library of Ali Akbar Khan as well as the archives of his non-profit music college. It is an unbroken line of music dating back to the 16th century court of Emperor Akbar. Between Khansahib and his father, Baba Allauddin Khan, it spans over one hundred years of musical compositions and concerts. It is by far the largest single collection of Indian classical music. The collection emphasizes the teaching of the music as well as concerts. The teaching is the future of Indian classical music, and Khansahib has taken great care to make sure it survives by teaching 4-6 classes weekly, nine months of the year for the past forty years. His daily teaching is part fixed composition with the majority of the class focusing on his composing music on the spot as he would put it. This method has left behind a treasure trove of new compositions specifically designed to help the student better understand the movement of the ragas.

Our largest need is to transfer and reference over 4,500 hours of audio tapes of Ali Akbar Khans classes spanning from 1980-2001, and approximately 1,000 of his concerts. This does not include the 15 years of video tapes of his classes. In 2007, we were finally able to begin to work on this exciting project with the help of a very generous grant from the James Irvine Foundation of $150,000. The award was intended to partially fund this project for a 2 year period. We have also received a very generous $10,000 award from the Rex Foundation, and $15,000 from individual donations totaling $175,000. Our budget for this crucial phase of the library is $375,000. We are still $200,000 short of our goal.

It is of the utmost importance to us to have Khansahibs input on all aspects of the library. As an example, when we have transferred older concerts we have discovered that many of the tapes have nothing written on them. Khansahib has been instrumental in telling us who was accompanying him on tabla, drums, and has identified obscure ragas. Sometimes he has been able to recall an interesting event that took place around the concert, all of which will not be possible in the future. It is vital that we continue to preserve this great body of work that Khansahib has so lovingly passed on. We need help from the community to ensure that this tradition is carried on to our children, and our grandchildren.

For a full description and to donate to this project, visit www.aacm.org.

AACM Audio Project…

Posted in Music Paedagogic Work | 1 Comment »

 
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